Sunday, June 7, 2009

BBA Challenge: Bagels and Brioche

I'm doing a double post for the BBA Challenge this week since I managed to delay so long on posting my bagels! I've had them made but have been busy setting up my new computer, which finally came! Yay. So, on to bagels!

These bagels were delicious. I made two batches, one a mini test-batch with all-purpose flour and brown sugar, and one with hi-gluten flour and diastatic malt powder. The test batch actually came out better because I under-baked the final batch by a few minutes (darn!). They looked done on top, but...not quite. They were still really yummy with salami and soft cheese, or with lox and capers. Here are some photos of how I made the bagels:

Here's the sponge before (above) and after (below) rising.

And here I've added the flour...

...Only to have it explode all over my kitchen when I accidentally turned my mixer up too high!

Here are some balls of dough kneaded and ready to be shaped into rings:

And here they are as bagels!
Boiling bagels...
Here are some shots of the final product! Mmmmm, bagels...

Overall, I enjoyed making the bagels but I don't know if I'd make them again because they were an awful lot of work. The mini-batch was more manageable, so maybe I'd make a half recipe for a special occasion mixer seemed to be able to better handle a smaller amount of dough anyway.

I also made brioche. For this recipe, PR offers three options, all with different amounts of butter. Since we had another rich bread coming up (Casatiello, which I'll post about next week), I decided to go for the Poor Man's Brioche, which has the least amount of butter (thought it's still pretty rich!). I thought the bread was buttery enough to eat plain, and it was also delicious with jam or Nutella. We gobbled up both loaves in no time, and I will definitely be making this one again sometime! I would also like to see what it's like as a pie/tart crust, as PR says this is a possible use for the recipe. I didn't get any shots of the "process" for this one, but here's a photo of the finished product (the slice of bread is spread with Nutella).

I'm sending this post off to this week's YeastSpotting, a weekly round-up of yeast-y goodies. I've gotten so many great ideas from this round up...I definitely recommend checking it out! New round ups go up on Fridays.


  1. it looks like they were worth all the effort

  2. Sara, you beat me here... I still haven't tried to make my own Bagel. Sad thing is, I really love bagel ...
    love to see that picture of the sponge, look absolutely happy. Happy sponge make good bread/bagel. Well done Sara!

  3. Found you via Foodgawker, but I'm also a fellow BBA Challenger. Your bagels are lovely, and I'm sorry that I'm laughing at your flour (we've all been there, eh?)

    And the brioche with Nutella... yum!!

  4. Great work! They look perfect! I too have experienced the exploding of flour so I know how you feel :)

  5. The bagels look amazing. And I love that I'm not the only one who accidentally turns the mixer on to high speed with flour just added.

  6. Your bagels look perfect and your loaf absolutely terrific.
    Nutella? I almost bought some last week because some have mentioned it. It is a weakness of mine. I eat the whole jar in just a few days.
    Great job and nice baking along with you.

  7. Beautiful bagels! I agree with you that it was a lot of effort, but I can't get a decent bagel where I live, so I do appreciate knowing I have the option of making my own.

    And I love Nutella, I should have tried my brioche with some, but it's not the type of thing I keep around the house. Only at work!

  8. Agreed that bagels are a lot of work, but so satisfying! I wonder what were the different toppings you used? That exploded flour photo -- all too familiar! :)

  9. So nice that you are doing the Challenge with us. The bagels turned out so beautiful.

  10. No two ways about it, I have to put bagels on my list of breads to try! Yours came out scrumptious...

  11. I saw this on Foodgawker.

    Did you just use the Himalayan Salt as a finishing salt to top the bagel?

    Just curious. These look wonderful.

  12. @ Ken: Good catch! I did use Himalayan salt, but a different brand.