{bba} Bagels Redux

Prior to joining The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, I made the bagels from the book once before. They were quite delicious and successful. You can see my previous attempt HERE.

Baking these bagels again for the BBA Challenge has been a bit more fun. First of all there is the kinship of the group and secondly, Twitter.  The first time I made bagels I ordered my high-gluten flour (special flour that gives bagels their chewiness) from King  Arthur Flour as suggested by Peter Reinhart.

This time, although I already had  high-gluten flour I bought the last time I went to Surfas, I tried the other suggested method. This method involves throwing yourself at the mercy of a local bagel shop and asking if you could buy some of their high-gluten flour. I was doubtful about this method because there isn’t a good bagel shop in my area. I live an hour east of Los Angeles. I wasn’t going to drive to Los Angeles just to beg for flour (at least not yet).

Urged on by #bba and my Twitter friends (@kbgerth, @nancyo, @thetortefeasor )I decided to try my best at the one local bagel shop. I ended up going to East Coast Bagels, which is a Southern California chain. I periodically tweeted my status: at shop, spoke to cashier, spoke to manager, denied. It was  a big disappointment because it turns out they get  bagel dough from the ‘company’ and that they don’t have any kind of flour.

Now that I’ve made bagels three times, I have 3x the bagel baking experience as these bagel shop employees. hmmm.

Anyway, I made two different batches with two different flavors. My previous bagels were plain with different toppings. This time I experimented with mix-ins. Both flavors are based on the flavors of other breads I loved from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

The first are my Greek Celebration Bagels. I really liked the flavors of the Christopsomos  I made last week and wanted to try it again in my bagels. The second are my Multigrain Bagels Extraordinaire . Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire is a great tasting bread, but  it starts with the letter “m” and we are only on the “b”s. This is my way of tasting it again sooner. (I know I can always make it again ay time I want, but I can only eat/give away so much).

Greek Celebration Bagels

Added 5 tablespoons sugar, increased yeast to 1 teaspoon in final dough, added cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, almond extract, & orange extract in the same amounts used to make Artos. I also mixed in 2 cups of dried cranberries and chopped dried figs.

All other directions the same.

Multigrain Bagels Extraordinaire

Made a soaker the day before per the instructions for the Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire: 2 ounce mix of millet, quinoa, & amaranth ; 2 ounces of Bob Red Mill’s 5-grain cereal mix and 9-grain cereal mix (I was using odds & ends I had in my pantry); 1/2 ounce of raw wheat germ. Added water, but didn’t measure–just enough to cover the grains with a tiny bit extra.

I only had 12 ounces of high-gluten flour, so I used bread flour and 1 cup of white whole wheat. I also added vital wheat gluten.

In the bulk dough, I added the soaker, 2 ounces of cooked brown rice, and 5 tablespoons of sugar. Because of the additional liquid because of the soaker, I had to add a lot of extra flour to get the dough to ‘feel’ right. I split the dough and added cranberries to half. All other directions for bagels were the same.

The result? Although the multigrain bagels tasted great and had the right texture and chewiness, they did not of the wonderful taste of the Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire. I probably should have added brown sugar instead of white.


36 thoughts on “{bba} Bagels Redux

  1. You’re one dedicated baker! They look delicious. The multigrain extraordinaire is my favorite bread so I definitely need to try it in bagel form.

  2. Both your bagel types look fabulous! I’m surprised that the multigrain ones didn’t capture the Extraordinaire flavor; seems like you have all the elements. I just pulled my Greek Celebration bagels out of the oven! Thanks for your inspiration on the flavor and on the hg flour adventure. I might stop by my local bakery this week, since I’m out of hg flour. It’s not a chain, so I’m hopeful. Can’t live-Tweet it, though, because my cell is no frills…

  3. I’m sure you bagels taste better too! It kind of makes me sad when the stuff we buy are baked at a factory, frozen, prepacked and then reheated. Then there are the others who use mixes and because they added liquid, it’s premade..haha. At least you made the real thing!

  4. Oh you are such a star with the bagels…these look so perfect and I love the fruits in them…I may have to become a bagel fan after all. Great post. Great photos.

  5. Your bagels (all of them!) look terrific! Seeing all of these bagel posts and following your experiences on Twitter have made me really want to try bagels. Maybe next weekend…

  6. Hahaha it sounds like you’rre on quite the bagel extravaganza right now! These all look great and, the most important part is that you have had fun along the whole process of making them. I think my multigrain qould be my favourite, and I like that the have a high ring-to-hole ratio. I cannot stand hole-y bagels!

  7. I was amazed enough at how good my plain bagels were (I was amazed that I made bagels!) but these are extraordinary! Now that we know the basics I think there will a lot of extraordinary bagels on the horizon, starting here! Great job (and too funny, and sad, about the bagel flour experience).

  8. Yeah, I think you first have to at least have a decent bagel shop that actually makes bagels in your area – I don’t think we do either. All your versions look fantastic!

  9. Ciao ! Bravissima !!Your bagels are so ..real ! Mine are very ugly !! I have to try some more times because begels and english muffins are somethings I still miss !!

  10. I worked making bagels all through college and have never tried making them in my own kitchen. Yours look great though…I just may have to give it a try.

  11. These look ridiculously awesome. It’s so sad that no one’s actually MAKING bagels anymore…you’d think someone would understand and appreciate the significance. I guess we should all either quit the bitchin’ or move to New York.

  12. Sheesh – this confirms my opinion that you need to open a bakery. All those technical terms you are throwing around like it’s second nature.

    Well, it probably is.

  13. I give you a month before you ARE driving to L.A. to look for high gluten flour. I think bread baking makes us insane that way. And if you do it, I fully expect you to live Tweet all the way! These bagels look really incredible. I feel like the flavors of the Artos are tailor-made for a chewy bagel form. And I’ve heard so many great things about the multigrain bread extraordinaire — I bet the bagels were fantastic, even if they didn’t completely blow you away like the bread did. Beautiful job (and love the Brotform!)

  14. Oh my GOSH. Celebration Bagels. That’s sooooo wrong in ALL the right ways!

    I’m doing my bagels this week. I can’t decide between cinnamon-raisin and an “Everything” bagel, and now I have to think about this!? Of course, there’s nothing to keep me from divvying up the dough and making some of each!

  15. Wow! You are such a good baker, I am impressed. I just picked up a copy of BBA and look forward to seeing all the recipes you have been doing, and possibly trying my hand at them eventually. Great post!

  16. These look just great, and I love your ideas for the different flavours, even if they weren’t quite spot on- I think the ideas themselves are just brilliant. I’m loving reading about your BBA adventures!

  17. These look absolutely fantastic! Homemade bagels! What a treat! I agree that the Greek Celebration ingredients would be great in a bagel. We loved that bread!! Nice job!

  18. I’m blown away that there was no flour to be found in a bagel shop! Even at a chain, I would think that they’d kinda-sorta actually make the dough. Another good reason to make them at home!

  19. Loved all you flavour variations. I made cheddar jalapeno and they were amazing. Can’t wait to try multi-grain. I had to order high gluten flour from King Arthur and I live in Canada and they charge $25 just for shipping, so next time I may try adding vital wheat gluten to bread flour.

  20. Wow, sooo cool. I want one right now. I remember the twitter updates! 1 hour east of LA, hmmn, my parents live in West Covina and I am going down for Father’s day weekend, you live anywhere nearby?

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