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Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Definitive Updated Bagel Recipe

Codex Bagelensis—The First Book of Bagels As the previous, excellent post by the one and only Monica Meehan shows, bagel making is alive and well in Santa Fe — thanks to the tireless efforts of a multi-talented scientist, bagpiper, and all-around eccentric genius known as Bagel Bob. He recently contacted me to let me know the version I have on the site from years ago has been updated and improved so here it is! There is also a 12-page, elaborate text which goes into the science of the bread and ingredient details which I would be happy to share — email me if you want a copy. Here is a photo from Terrace bagels in Park Slope Brooklyn who I think makes the best bagels in the city.

THE Definitive Updated Bagel RECIPE, in Abbreviated Form

As revealed to Bagelbob, aka Robert Shlaer

540 grams High Gluten Flour (about 4 cups) (King Arthur Sir Lancelot is good)
320 ml water (10-3/4 fl oz) (1-1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) at 120 degrees F
1 teaspoon instant yeast (SAF is good)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon Bob’s Red Mill Malted Barley Flour, no more;
   or 3/4 teaspoon diastatic malt powder
1 tablespoon dry malt extract, dark
1 tablespoon dry malt extract, amber
1 tablespoon malt syrup, dark
1 tablespoon baking soda in 5 cups (boiling) water
semolina flour

Place the dry ingredients except the salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and run for 5-10 seconds to mix. Dissolve the salt and malt syrup in the warm water, and with the processor running pour the water quickly down the feed tube. Process for 30-45 seconds, until the dough forms a ball. Start a timer now so you can know when to begin retardation of the bagel rings. Remove the dough and knead by hand for 2-3 minutes. Cut into twelve equal pieces, roll out each one into a snake about ten inches long and pinch the ends together to form a ring. Dust a jellyroll pan with semolina flour, place the rings on it and cover with plastic film. When your timer shows 45 to 60 minutes from when you added liquid to the dry ingredients, put the bagels in the refrigerator and leave there for 12-18 hours to retard fermentation.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and while it is heating take a 2 qt saucepan, place in it 5 cups of water and 1 Tbsp soda, then bring to a boil. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and poach each bagel for 20 seconds, no more, poking it down repeatedly if it floats, remove, and put on a rack to drain. Arrange the bagels on a heavy baking sheet lined with parchment paper, (they will stick firmly to Teflon or almost anything else,) place on a middle rack in the oven, and spray the bottom of the oven with water before closing. Spray the bottom of the interior of the oven with water again after 5 minutes. After another 10 minutes of baking (15 minutes total at this point) rotate the sheet and turn the oven down to 400 degrees. Bake another 15 minutes (total baking time 30 minutes) to a dark reddish-brown crust, then remove the bagels and put on a rack to cool.

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