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TWD::BWJ – Bagels

All these years I thought bagels required some sort of complicated alchemy to bake at home. It turns out that I was wrong, and thankfully so, because I love the carbby-goodness of bagels and now I know that they’re easy to pull together somewhat last minute.  I took a look at the recipe expecting multiple rises, mysterious ingredients and a lot of frustration. The recipe covered a few pages, but it turns out it’s essentially one, quick rise and then (if you’ve planned right) a good rest in the refrigerator over-night is all that is needed. The ingredients? Water, sugar, yeast, salt, shortening and flour. I used a 50:50 mix of whole wheat and AP flour which gave it a good, wheaty (is that a word?) flavor without becoming too dense. I also only had two tablespoons of shortening in the house so I just added a tablespoon of butter in place of the final tablespoon of shortening.

The first batch followed the instructions pretty closely:

- Boiled for 90 seconds per side.
– Baked on a pre-heated stone for 25 minutes, then 5 in the turned-off oven with the door closed, then 5 with the door open.

That batch could qualify for use in the NHL (were they playing). Very crisp crusts, especially so on the bottom. Though the interior was tender, crusty bagels are not my kind of thing, so I made some adjustments:

- Based on comments in the P&Q post, I dropped it to a 45-60 second boil per side.
– Took the stone out and used a parchment-lined baking sheet (no worries about gluing to the pan).
– Skipped the 5 minute “rest” with the door closed and went straight to the open-door rest.


The second batch was far, far better and made a tasty turkey and swiss sandwich which I broiled for a few minutes to get good, melty cheese and a warm bagel. All in all, now I know I can add bagels to my regular weekend baking.

Make sure to check out this week’s host, Heather, of Heather’s Bytes, and for more bagel reviews head over to Tuesdays with Dorie and look for the LYL (Leave Your Link) post.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • smarkies October 16, 2012, 9:26 am

    Those are some tasty looking turkey and swiss sandwiches!

    • KateNolan October 16, 2012, 10:00 am

      Thanks! They were pretty delicious!

  • Sara October 16, 2012, 2:01 pm

    I second the tasty-looking turkey sandwich remark! I’ll have to suggest that to the husband. He’s been working his way through the bagels by lunching upon them. Turkey-swiss sounds like a combo he’d like. Those are definitely some good-looking bagels!

    • KateNolan October 16, 2012, 3:45 pm

      Thank you, Sara! Turkey and Swiss is one of my favorite combos and if you’ve got some spicy mustard and red onion to go with… All the better!
      I am, slightly, regretting turning the rest of my bagels into chips because I could go for one of those sandwiches now!

  • Inge and Gillian October 17, 2012, 2:35 pm

    Your bagel sandwich looks delicious. Even though our version is gluten free, we seem to have encountered similar problems, i.e. the bagels being too crunchy on the outside. We are still tweaking ours and hope to achieve a better result, perhaps a lower oven temperature might help too.

    • KateNolan October 17, 2012, 7:14 pm

      Hi, Inge & Gillian! Keep tweaking! I think they’re worth it. They may never replace a true bagel from a bagel-shop, but they’re definitely on my list to bake more often!

  • Cathleen October 17, 2012, 4:11 pm

    Nice looking bagels! The sandwich looks great too!

    • KateNolan October 17, 2012, 7:14 pm

      Thank you, Cathleen!

  • Elaine October 17, 2012, 9:41 pm

    Beautiful! Next time I am going to omit the extra oven time because some of my bagels were more crusty than I would like. I would love that sandwich right now.

  • Alicia October 18, 2012, 7:25 am

    Welcome, Kate! Your everything bagels look beautiful – I didn’t realize I didn’t have any shortening left in the waaaay back of my freezer and so I just used butter as well:)

  • steph (whisk/spoon) October 19, 2012, 2:14 pm

    thanks for the tips. these look great, and with a perfect interior crumb.

  • Ckay October 27, 2012, 1:14 pm

    Swiss Sandwich… ihihih, I’m Swiss and have absolutey no idea, what a Swiss Sandwich is… Sorry!
    Your bagels with and without filling looks delicious and beautiful!

    NB: I’ve clicked on the “notify me” button, just in case someone’s willing to teach me everything about the Swiss Sandwiches ;-)

    • KateNolan October 27, 2012, 1:59 pm

      Hi, there!
      They are not actual “Swiss” sandwiches, but a sandwich made with Swiss cheese (and turkey, in this case). It’s a tasty combo and maybe mostly common in the US? I haven’t run into any actual Swiss sandwiches yet, but I’ll be sure to check passports next time! ;)

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