Bagel success! Yesterday evening I switched gears and picked up Julia Child’s Cookbook and began mixing up her bagel recipe. Because it was late, I followed her instructions about refrigerating it overnight and finishing the baking this morning. I was hopeful because if a Julia Child recipe isn’t successful then there is no hope for any cook anywhere!
This morning I punched the dough down, cut it in half and each half into five pieces. I actually weighed each piece on my scale so they were close to the same size, approximately 5.2 ounces in weight. I meticulously followed her directions and pulled each ball from back to front to form a gathered area on one side of the ball. Then I placed the gathered area down on my board and mashed my thumb through the center to the other side where I introduced my index finger from my other hand and proceeded to twirl the dough around until the hole was about 2 inches in diameter. Once all had been formed, I did the hot water bath trick for two minutes on each side where they puffed up beautifully. Once removed, I brushed each one with egg white, applied sesame and poppy seeds and popped them into the oven at 500 degrees on my baking stone that promptly cracked. I tossed about 10 ice cubes into the bottom of my oven so they would get steamed a little and then I reduced the heat to 450 degrees and baked for 25 minutes, left them sitting on the stone with oven turned off for another 5 minutes and then finally five more minutes with the oven door open before moving them to a cooling rack. I still had one batch left to do so I inverted my cookie sheet and used that to bake the remaining five bagels.
They were beautiful!!! Even with all my troubles with a broken baking stone, the crust was crisp, crunchy and the crumb within was soft, chewy and moist. My idea of a perfect bagel. And big bonus, they were delicious.
Julia’s recipe is a keeper for sure and will be my go-to bagel recipe in the future.