It's the third week of The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge and bagels are in the spotlight. I made bagels twice before, the first one about 5 years ago was a total disaster, and recently as a recipe tester for Peter Reinhart's which went great.
Although they are not as shiny as store-bought, I am very happy with the BBA bagels because they came out chewy, dense, and heavy just the way I like them. Delicious!
I made half a recipe, added 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to the bread flour, and I also used barley malt syrup both in the dough and poaching water. I should have increased the amount of baking soda for shinier bagels. The dough yield was seven 4-ounce pieces which are too big IMHO. I might reduce each ball of dough to 3.5 ounces next time. For the topping I used black and white sesame seeds, black and white poppy seeds, and salt. It is worth making these bagels, they taste superior to store-bought.
shaping the bagel
visual appeal 4
ease of preparation 3.5 (shaping is not so easy)
The BBA Challenge is hosted by Nicole of Pinch My Salt