And then there were three…


I did not have much time to complete this month’s Daring Bakers challenge having just come back from a grueling week of (cooking) boot camp. Flight cancellations also made matters worse by wasting an entire Saturday, a day I would have used to recover.

            This month’s task: Bagels! It is hosted by Jenny of All Things Edible and Freya of Writing at the Kitchen Table.

            I have never made bread before except no-knead bread which happens to be a very wet dough and not, I suspect, your typical bread dough. I made half of the bagel recipe, the flour that was required was anywhere between 3-4 cups, which should potentially yield 7 bagels. The dough looked fine up to this point although I did not know how to tell when enough flour was added. The mixture ended up quite sticky and poofy. After the first rise, I had 6 oddly-shaped disks. No problem, I thought, just let them rise a second time and stick them in the simmering water. Well, when I picked them up, they uh… stuck to the parchment paper. I had to yank them out and reshape them; this action kind of deflated the dough.  The first three turned out fine – flat, but quite together. The second batch of three morphed into a dough monster. They became gooey and expanded into each other… they almost had a mind of their own like The Blob. I had difficulty getting them out of the water, and as I laid them on the towel I knew I had casualties.

I ended up with three very flat bagels. I doubt if they even qualify as bagels. I did not have corn meal so I used flax seed meal. Despite their non-bagel-ness, they had very good flavor. They did end up very chewy the next day, so I guess they would qualify as teething bread for babies ;).

So what went wrong? Not enough flour, not enough rise and maybe not enough heat from my simmering water (especially for my second batch, I think the temperature dropped a lot after I put in the first batch). All of my bagels were floaters so that should say something about their constitution.

That said I wouldn’t mind trying this recipe again once I figure out what went wrong. I would really like to see what the other Daring Bakers ended up with and so should you (links are at the sidebar).



33 thoughts on “And then there were three…

  1. I'm glad you still tried it even though your sched is full packed 🙂 I admire you for your effort and to think you'll be making it again 🙂

  2. Sorry to hear they didn't turn out very bagel-like, but at least you liked the taste.
    Your comment "I guess they would qualify as teething bread for babies" reminded me that apparently bagels were a traditional gift to women about to give birth – supposedly they could sink their teeth into it during labour:)

  3. Don't think I'd have risen to the challenge with a schedule like that. Shame they didn't turn out. I was amazed that mine turned out so maybe you should given them another go. They were definitely the best tasting bagels I've ever had, texture wasn't perhaps as it should have been and they didn't look beautiful either but they definitely tasted great!

  4. The dough monster blob! Hilarious! Your bagels look tasty regardless. I'm a hopeless lover of anything bready. Congrats for sticking it out even though you had an excellent reason for not joining in.

  5. WOW! This month you get the "Plucky Daring Baker" award. I admire that even with your great week at CIA Bootcamp you STILL came home and made bagels for the challenge. Big fat huge WOOT!! to you.

  6. I think I would have run screaming from the blob in my kitchen! Three homemade flat bagels better than shopbought any day. I love to see them if you tried again with more time!

  7. Looks like our bagels ended up looking pretty similar except I never got the blob. But, just like you, I intend on trying again.

  8. Yeast is definately a slippery customer 🙂 I had the blob in my kitchen too, until I did the boiling it just kept on rising! Well done for managing to give it a go even in a tight time schedule.

  9. Awww sis.. we really did experience the same bagels. heee! Holy cow and right up to the super chewy/rubbery ones the next day!

    Since we do share the same brain (as proven OFTEN) this does not shock me much. =)

    I give you an A for effort and am so proud of you for squeezin' the flat ass bagels in! (ha! flat ass! I read Laura calling them that and I've been cracking up all day)


  10. I'm impressed that you did this after Boot Camp and flight delays, etc. Also glad that you will try it again. That bit about keeping the water at simmer is something I had forgotten, but I had some trouble with that too…had to turn up the heat after the first batch boiled to bring it back up to hot enough for the rest. Cute bagels even if only three.

  11. I thought about making croutons or bread pudding with the second batch, good looking or not…maybe if you have some leftover that might work. Hey! At least you made the challenge and persevered!

  12. I have never tried making bagels…although I like to eat them 🙂 Good going making them in such a hectic schedule! Yay for you! 🙂

  13. Oh, well — at least you tried — and they tasted good. I've never had the courage to attempt making bagels, but I'm having lots of fun reading about this month's exploits of the Daring Bakers.

  14. Don't you hate it when inanimate objects don't do what you want? That drives me crazy! I'm looking forward to trying the recipe again too, just to see if I can work out all the kinks from the first time!

  15. thanks for all the encouraging words everyone. The bagels were really tasty. Thanks to Jenny and Freya for the challenge.
    Lis… I love that "flat ass" remark too! ha..haa

  16. I've made bagels several times and every time they taste delicious but don't look all that great. I think bagels take a while to master. I wonder if there are any insider tips. Sadly, there are no bagel places near me to ask.

  17. About the bagels. I have tried three different recipes. All rose nicely. When it came time to plop them in the water they deflated. They went even flatter in the oven. What am I doing wrong? I used bread flour. Kneaded for 10 minutes. Got a very smooth but firm dough. Just no rise in the water.
    Thanks for the help.

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