Breakfast Breads 5: Bagels

2006-10-14

Bagels should really belong in the Art of Breads course. I mean, lots of people eat toast for breakfast, so a Pullman loaf could conceivably be taught in this class too. There's also a one-day bagel class teaching both sweet and savoury treatments so the college already has bagels covered.

With that rant out of the way, we started off with a basic bread dough to which rye flour and vegetable oil was added. After a half-hour proof, we scaled off 100 g pieces, poked a hole in them, then stretched the hole to make a ring. The other method of shaping begins by making a short rope then joining the ends together. Chef prepared shallow pans of salted boiling water into which we quickly dropped and retrieved our bagels. While they were still wet, we coated the tops in various seeds then put them on racks for baking (no second fermentation needed). Our instructor was adamant that we not egg wash our bagels.

BagelsThe holes in the finished breads all closed up. Shaping the bagel the way we did, by poking a hole, is susceptible to this problem, but it's mostly an aesthetic issue. They were a little on the salty side, and not chewy and sweet enough for my taste, but they are otherwise excellent. Since I don't know the secret to baking my favourite bagels, I'll have to continue buying mine from St. Urbain in the St. Lawrence Market.

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