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Got Bagels?

If you don’t, be sure to stop by my house because we have more than we can wrap our stomachs around. Part of it is my fault, part is due to this month Daring Bakers challenge. Our mission given by Jenny and Freya was to make Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels. They were honestly good and since I made mini ones, twice, I ended up with a bunch…

Funny thing is that I had never had a bagel prior to moving to the US. I am sure you can find them in France but my catholic provencal background probably shunned me from knowing this delicacy. I made up for lost time, believe me! I love how versatile they are. We eat ours with sweet spread sor breakfast, pile halves with pizza topping, or use mini ones with snoked slamon and mascarpone for little munchies with friends. I like having a bagel around the house even if I won’t eat all of it…it’s bumpy smooth belly brings me comfort…I know I am weird…but if you know me you kow I am also the one who makes bread like crazy just for the smell and feel of it, even if I don’t eat that much.

Toppings (I had 32 mini ones and free time so I played around), left to right, back to front:
Herbes de Provence, poppy seeds, bacon, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, coarse demerara sugar, cheddar cheese and maldon sea salt.

Our challenge was to follow it without changes so we could all compare notes. Seems like we all pretty much experienced the same things. For more reports, you can click on the side bar blog roll for Daring Bakers. All this to say that I had a blast making these and would make them again. Actually I did make them twice, just to see if the recipe would end up differently if halved. A few observations to keep in mind if you decide to try them: the dough was wickedly rising fast and high. Kneading does not take that long, about 8-10 minutes but do not skip this step. It’s good for the nerves and it really helps the texture of your bagels in the end. When the time comes to shape your bagel, divide the dough in half and refrigerate the batch that you are not working on. The recipe mentionned that the bagels would sink to the bottom of the pot and then rise and float in the water. My first batch yielded about 32 mini ones, and only 10 sank, the rest nagged me by floating their little merry way … Floaters or sinkers, they still tasted the same. I used all of the flour measurement, kneaded appropriately, respected rising times and still floaters. Same issue when I made them again a couple of weeks later and halved the recipe. I decided to go for the poke method to form them, and I had to push a rather large hole in the middle as the bagels had a tendency to swallow it back up upon their rising before their little trip in the water.

Thanks Jenny and Freya for a fun challenge. I will keep the recipe and make it again with some tweaking….I still want to make my bagels sink!

Since we eat them mostly at breakfast and since we are a mostly sweet household, these are some of the spreads we have with our bagels: mirabelles jam (yellow plums), cherry preserves, coconut honey and wildflower honey. Since I have so many bagels, I have been using them for mini sandwishes also with a spread of chive cream cheese, sprouts and some turkey slices.

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Anonymous June 27, 2007 um 2:11 pm

Great looking bagels, Helen! I like the taste of this recipe too. I will take note of your observations next time I make them.

Amanda at Little Foodies June 27, 2007 um 2:22 pm

Great looking bagels Helene! Didn’t expect anything less of course and making them twice… wonderful.

Rosa's Yummy Yums June 27, 2007 um 2:47 pm

Truely beautiful! They look nice and chewy! I love bagels and make them on a regular basis (see my blog)…

Kelly-Jane June 27, 2007 um 3:03 pm

Great baking, as always Helen! I really like your picture of the tray of bagels, it’s so inviting ๐Ÿ™‚

breadchick June 27, 2007 um 3:08 pm

Helen, your baking skills never fail to amaze me. I’m hoping the next plane down to help you with all the bagels! After I stop at Zabar’s that is!

Patricia Scarpin June 27, 2007 um 3:23 pm

I love the toppings you used, Helen – the bagels look amazing!

Karen Baking Soda June 27, 2007 um 3:25 pm

*drool* Helen, you can make any savoury recipe look like it’s made out of sheer fondant. Beauty pics!
And you managed to do the -sweet- tapas lay-out! Love it.

Mandy June 27, 2007 um 3:45 pm

those are seriously a lot of bagels! I am intrigued by your bacon version and the coconut honey! Where did you get coconut honey?

Anonymous June 27, 2007 um 3:48 pm

Beautiful bagels! It looks like you’re opening up a bagel shop there. I hope you have lots of wonderful company to help you enjoy them.

Pille June 27, 2007 um 4:05 pm

I’m tempted to make mini bagels next time, too, as the ones I got this time are way too big for nibbling upon ๐Ÿ™‚

Unknown June 27, 2007 um 4:58 pm

Lovely Helen I’m glad you didn’t notice a difference between sinkers and floaters now I don’t feel so bad about all of mine floating!

Lis June 27, 2007 um 5:10 pm

I think your bagels are just beautiful! Well I had no doubt that they wouldn’t be. ๐Ÿ˜€ You went topping crazy for sure – which is NOT a bad thing. =))

I love your spreads – especially the coconut honey, I’ve never heard of such a thing.. it sounds delish!

Beautiful pictures too, sweetie!


Ilva June 27, 2007 um 5:15 pm

They just look perfect Helene! It’s a good idea to make mini ones, mine are huge but then I always tend to exaggerate when I cook!

Meeta K. Wolff June 27, 2007 um 5:34 pm

Oh my what a lovely load of bagels Helene. I want mine to sink too so I will be making them again too. Your toppings sound great!! Congrats on a great challenge sweetie!

Peabody June 27, 2007 um 6:13 pm

Aren’t you in shock I didn’t make mini ones? I was counting on you to!
Yours turned out great. I still don’t understand why some floated and some did not. Grrrrr.

Anonymous June 27, 2007 um 6:17 pm

Can you send some over please ๐Ÿ™‚ In exchange, I will send some of my truffes in green tea that I just made today. Your bagels are so lovely. All these bagels I see online is making me itching to try making them.

Anonymous June 27, 2007 um 6:26 pm

Hi Helene, you pictures look like they could have been shot in a bagel shop! All of those wonderful varieties, and picture-perfect good looks! I’m glad you were able to get so many to 'sink'!

Alpineberry Mary June 27, 2007 um 6:48 pm

That’s a whole lotta bagels for you and B. Perfection as usual. ๐Ÿ™‚

MyKitchenInHalfCups June 27, 2007 um 7:03 pm

Hole lot a bagels there Tartelette or would that be whole lot a bagels ?? Whatever they do look beautiful. I made them twice also and now am looking at another recipe to try and see what differences might come of that. This was an excellent challenge that makes me want to make bagels again – maybe not so many and not so big.
I’m with the others "coconut honey" that sounds great!

Jerry June 27, 2007 um 7:27 pm

Ah minis! I tried making minis, but one girl cannot possibly eat 36 mini bagels!

Cheryl June 27, 2007 um 7:47 pm

What a selection of bagels with toppings. Just beautiful. Aren’t they delicious?

Anonymous June 27, 2007 um 8:05 pm

Your bagels look great! What a nice selection!

Unknown June 27, 2007 um 8:20 pm

Beautiful. So what was your favorite topping and why?

I got my second batch to sink a little, but just at the beginning. I want to try making these a different time of year to see if different humidity helps/hurts the process.

Elle June 27, 2007 um 9:11 pm

That array looks like a great bagel shop. So many choices and all of them good.Lovely photos.
The sink or float thing seems, like you said, to not make a difference in the end.

Nic June 27, 2007 um 9:17 pm

I love bagels and these look scrumptious!

Anonymous June 27, 2007 um 9:27 pm

wow Helen. Great great! I only I lived closer, I would stop by! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nora B. June 27, 2007 um 10:10 pm

Send them over to me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great looking bagels. The more tyhe merrier, I say. I think they handle freezing quite well.

Thistlemoon June 27, 2007 um 10:35 pm

Those look great Helene! Yum! I like the Herbes de Provence idea!

I added you to the Foodie Blogroll. I hadn’t gotten an email from you that you added the code…but now I have! Thanks!

Anne June 28, 2007 um 2:09 am

I am speechless with how you came up with a variety of toppings. I think of all the spreads you’ve mentioned I think coconut honey sounds good to me ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous June 28, 2007 um 2:30 am

I love your mini bagels, they are too cute! As for coming over to try some bagels with me and Phoebe, you have a free-standing invitation for whenever you like. I can throw in some quinces as well! hahaha

Lb June 28, 2007 um 3:51 am

These look awesome, and I’d love to give them a try.

On another note: I’ve looked around, and followed with much interest, but I can’t seem to find an answer or even a hint about how one can become a Daring Baker (I have noticed that the roll has gotten longer, so there must be a way…).

Any help on this? I’ll even send pics of past projects if I need to…essay questions…personal interview…background investigation…

Anonymous June 28, 2007 um 4:39 am

Hey! You got a lot of little ones just like me. I thought I was the only one.

They look adorable and very bagel-like (unlike mine). Well done, McHeleney!

Anonymous June 28, 2007 um 6:15 am

I’ve wanted to try baking bagels for a while now….yours look so yummy!!

KJ June 28, 2007 um 9:02 am

Your bagels look so good. I think you did a fabulous job.

Inne June 28, 2007 um 11:13 am

They look absolutely scrumptious Helene! I also had my first bagel on my first trip to the USA, and now getting a bagel with cream cheese and lox is on my 'to do' list for my yearly NY trip. I really like your bacon topping, very creative.

(for Sugino’s book, there is a link to the Japanese amazon on kuidaore’s latest post, you can translate the pages in English. If it doesn’t work, let me know and I will ask my Japanese friend as soon as she gets back home from her holiday)

Jenny June 28, 2007 um 12:25 pm

Your bagels look amazing! I’m so glad you liked them!

Brilynn June 28, 2007 um 1:52 pm

You’ve gone above and beyond! And hurrah for bacon!!!

Clare June 28, 2007 um 3:31 pm

Amazing bagels! You are a baking inspiration!

Susan from Food Blogga June 28, 2007 um 4:04 pm

No, I don’t have any bagels. Nut I’ll take a fennel seed and caraway, please. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous June 28, 2007 um 5:41 pm

Those bagels look fabulous! I love all the toppings you experimented with. Very cool! If I came over I would have room for one of each. ;D

Cynthia June 28, 2007 um 8:37 pm

So ship some down to me ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll have a large pot of tea waiting.

Anonymous June 28, 2007 um 8:48 pm

There’s just something really ironic about a bacon bagel.

Anyway, we ate bagels for breakfast everyday. I hate lox (I know, I’m a bad Jew), so my mom would slice it in half and put butter and shredded Parmesan on, then heat it in the oven until the cheese melted. Sooo good that way.

I’m going to give this recipe a try. Thanks!

Heather June 28, 2007 um 10:48 pm

What a great use of toppings and toppers. I would have never thought of honey on a bagel, but then I am a butter or pb fan so go figure.
It looks and sounds like you really like the recipe and I think we are all in awe that you had sinkers.

Glenna June 29, 2007 um 11:22 am

Wow! They’re beautiful, Helene! I love the pic of them all lined up in rows, just gorgeous.

Chris June 30, 2007 um 12:38 am

These are Fab! Everything about them are so great – the toppings, the spreads….you’re Fab…just Fab!

Andy V Byers July 5, 2007 um 12:49 am

Excellent blog. It has unspired me.

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