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Bagel therapy

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I lived in NYC for 2 years and got very spoiled by the bagels you can buy at arms reach in every direction there. I now live in New Orleans and although the food here is wonderful there is not a single place I have found to get a decent bagel. I make the brunch menus where I work and would like to make NYC quality bagels but the bagels I have made are are not up to NYC standard yet. If any anyone can give me some advice that would be great.
post #2 of 10
You need NYC Water.
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post #3 of 10

He's right.  It's the water.  Can ship you bagels from my shop (Bergen County, NJ, immediately west of NYC), but won't be the fresh experience I'm sure you're looking for.  Good luck!

post #4 of 10

Diastatic malt.  Stiff dough.  Beaucoup kneading.

 

BDL

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cammando504 View Post

I lived in NYC for 2 years and got very spoiled by the bagels you can buy at arms reach in every direction there. I now live in New Orleans and although the food here is wonderful there is not a single place I have found to get a decent bagel. I make the brunch menus where I work and would like to make NYC quality bagels but the bagels I have made are are not up to NYC standard yet. If any anyone can give me some advice that would be great.


 Non-diastatic malt powder and NYC Water (next best spring water, never tap water)

The same reason NYC Pizza  can not be duplicated anywhere else.

If you are ever in NYC go to Murray's Bagels.

 

 

 http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/non-diastatic-malt-powder-16-oz
 

post #6 of 10

Since I left my hometown many years ago I have not been able to find the bagels of my youth. Many Sunday mornings I would go to the Jewish bakery with Dad to pick up the bagels for breakfast. The lady behind the counter always gave me a bagel to eat on the way home.

No other bagels have come close since.

Many companies have tried to duplicate (Bruedders, Big Apple, Einstein's, all are close, but still not the right thing.

Whenever I have guests here, I always tell them to bring bagels with them. Someday, some company will re-create my bagel.

post #7 of 10

I think aside from the water factor and anything else Florida has the worlds worst bagels .I think it is caused by humidity. I have had Einstein in other states they are passable, here they stink. The best imported bagel I have found here is a brand called RAY"S shipped frozen from NY. It has the taste and the pull of a bagel like I used to get in NY. Publix stocks them in many flavors. The worst are Lenders. When they started and before they sold company, they used to be good. Has anyone noticed some brands of prepackaged bagels are now packed 5 instead of 6 to the bag? Another big business rip-off.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 10

NYC bagels aren't the only good bagels in the world.  Montreal bagels and Los Angeles bagels are esteemed as well.  Unfortunately, it's very hard to get 'LA bagels" anymore, even in LA.  Gresham's Law seemingly applying to dough of all types, they've been driven out by the chains making faux NY style,

 

NYC's bagel bakeries were among the first unionized shops in the city and remain unionized today.  There's some speculation that this has "institutionalized" bagel making knowledge, and kept it so consistent over the years while other localities give in to shortcutting.  Of course, once any bakery becomes a large chain or goes national as a packager, quality gives in to price.       

 

Although everyone else here is singing its praises.  I don't believe NY water is all that big a deal.  As long as you live somewhere with decent water, it's influence will be subtle at best.  If you don't have good water, something like a Brita filter should do the trick; otherwise you'll have to use bottled water. 

 

To my mind, a bigger issue with water is avoiding over-hydration.  Bagel dough should be stiff -- about 60% - 66% -- and well but not too well kneaded.  

 

You can use malt syrup or malt powder.  It doesn't matter which.  In fact, regular barley malt syrup -- the kind you can get at almost health-food store will work well; and for that matter so will honey.  The idea is to get some depth along with the sweetness.  LA bagels are slightly sweeter than NYC bagels.  

 

A poolish or biga isn't going to hurt anything.  If you like tang in your bagels -- why not?

 

You don't need to autolyze, but as long as you keep it down to 10 to 20 minutes between resting and kneading, what could it hurt?  If you do multiple autolyses over a long period of time you'll mess with the texture.

 

Don't use too much yeast or do anything else to hasten the rise(s).  3/4 tsp commercial type instant yeast is more than enough for 3-1/2 cups (13.5 oz) flour. 

 

For my own water bagels, a double recipe calls for a poolish made from 1/4 tsp yeast, 1 cup flour and 1 cup water; then 6 more cups flour, malt, salt, and another  tsp yeast,  As you can see, I use a little yeast to do a lot of work.  It doesn't mean there aren't as many spoors it just changes the way they get there.  Making them run through their reproductive cycle an extra time or two changes the taste of the yeast so the bagels don't taste quite as raw as they do from the chains. 

 

A good bagel dough takes its own time.  It's best to keep the first rise after kneading "retarded" by holding the dough for at least four hours (or preferably overnight) in the refrigerator.  This allows some flavor to develop.

 

After kneading and rest comes formation.  After formation comes the second rise.  Again, you want to retard.  And again, if you can spare the time for an overnight rise, it will pay dividends.  I realize that if you're using a poolish, you could spend 3 days messing around with this dough which is absolutely ridiculous.  If you're only going to retard one rise, make it this last one after formation.

 

Use some baking soda along with table salt in the water you use to boil the bagels befor baking.

 

Just my two sheklot,

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/14/10 at 8:48am
post #9 of 10

I'm not sure about the water thing though I agree with the malt. Bagels should be simple so overcomplicating it will only make a poor product. I made bagels in the Cayman Islands for  a few years and they were just as good as NY bagels. We sold wholesale to all the hotels and restaurants at the time to the tune of 50-60 dozen a day and recieved MANY compliments regarding their taste so it can be done. This in in conditions that are about as worse as you can get, somedays 90+ degrees in the shop and 90+% humidity. We had to put all the flour and water prescaled in the walk in overnight to get the final dough temps right, we even added straight ice to the mix when we had to. By the time we got 200 lbs of dough through the machine it was rising all over the place.

If you would like a commercial recipe PM me I would be happy to share.

Fluctuat nec mergitur
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Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #10 of 10

Never said they were the best , but a lot better then others I have had.Milwaukee and New York were always known for good water . Thats why most of the breweries were there years ago before the use of chemical softeners. Also as BDL states in order to make bagels you had to be in union and in order to be in union you had to work in bagel bakery,, figure that one out.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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