Saturday, January 11, 2014

BBA Bagels

Several years ago I bought food grade lye with the plan of making homemade bagels.  I have been terrified to open the bottle - you apparently need to wear goggles, gloves, and be ready to throw away the jeans you wear.  I never went near the bagel recipe because I was deathly afraid of the lye.

But the BBA book has a bagel recipe in it that does not involve lye and still the bagels are AMAZING.  Everyone I gave them to absolutely fell out telling me how good they were.

Again, I did this on November 23 and was just late posting it.  The holidays always interfere with blogging for me both here and on my beekeeping blog.

Making bagels was incredibly time-consuming but at the same time, so much fun.  Every recipe in the book takes more time than any other bread recipe, but every time it is worth it.

The recipe uses malt which I have on hand for the communion bread recipe, so I was delighted to have another use for it.  

The bagels are ultimately shaped into 4 1/2 ounce pieces - I weighed each and every one.  They rest for a bit and then you make them into bagel shapes.  I didn't do a great job taking a photo of my own hand but here are the shaping photos:

The shaped bagels rest on a cookie sheet until they are ready to go into the refrigerator.  You determine this by a float test in which the ring is dropped into water.  If they float then it's time to put the cookie sheet into the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, you heat the oven to 500 - I'm so glad my Wolf oven can easily do that temperature.  The bagels are then boiled but instead of lye, you add baking soda!  While the boiled bagels are still wet, you season them.  This is where the recipe let me down. 

Left to my own devices (since there were no recommendations for amounts of seasonings), I salted mine too much, but not irreparably - everyone adored them but next time I'll go much easier on the salt.

I measured exactly 4 1/2 ounces per bagel but I ended up with 14 instead of 12 absolutely delicious bagels.  I'll make these again and again despite the long process.

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