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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/21 2:21 p.m.

So, I grew up in Ottawa. This meant I had access to Montreal style bagels, which are the superior style of bagel to the disappointing New York blob. A few blocks from our house was a bakery that made proper bagels 24 hours a day. I have actually been told to wait for a minute because "those are an hour old, we have more in the oven right now". Every time I visit Ottawa, I grab a dozen on the way to the airport so that we can have decent bagels in Colorado. I have had an airport security guard in Ottawa threaten to confiscate them because they smelled too good.

Anyhow. The two defining characteristics are honey in the water (which gives a tan crust) and a wood fired oven. Janel pointed out that we have a smoker and "wouldn't that work"?

We are now in possession of the best bagels in Grand Junction and possibly Colorado. I still have some things to learn about rolling them out (I wasn't aggressive enough, you can manhandle this dough) but boy oh boy was this a success. Crunchy on the outside, chewy inside. So good. 

They were cooked on a pizza stone in the smoker set to 475. At that temp there isn't much smoke so you just get a little wood flavor instead of a strong aftertaste. Having sesame seeds on both sides kept them from sticking to the stone, when I put them in without seeds on the bottom it was less successful. I used a recipe from the CBC (natch) and I might tweak it a little but overall it's mostly me developing my skills. Fairly quick bake - 30 minute rest after kneading, 30 minute rise after shaping, 2-3 minutes in the water and 20 minutes in the smoker.

This is the first batch, the second spent a little less time in the oven. I think I need to split the difference.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
2/25/21 3:30 p.m.

What's a good start point for someone in breadmaking guys? I have a pan and some Saf-instant yeasts but I don't have any machine.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/21 3:43 p.m.

You don't need a machine to make good bread. You need a good recipe and time. Some of it is developing a feel for kneading, or you can use one of the no-knead styles that have a long slow rise instead.

Start by figuring out what kind of bread you like, then start looking for how to make it :) Seems obvious, but that's all it is. Expect to have some failures and to get flour everywhere.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
2/25/21 4:12 p.m.

You need patience.  I don't have the patience for bread.  My backup plan is to figure out where Keith lives and steal Canada bagels when he isn't looking.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/21 4:23 p.m.

I think we will call these Canada bagels from now on.

The recipe I'm working with at the moment: https://www.cbc.ca/life/greatcanadianbakingshow/recipe-montreal-bagels-1.5051491

A surprisingly informative morning TV show spot about how my local bagel shop makes them. Bagelmaking starts at 1:00. They do all the rolling and baking right out in front of the customers, it's mesmerizing.

 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/25/21 4:40 p.m.

Nice to see this thread still going. Thanks for your latest update, Keith. Canada bagels it is!

 

I'm going to make a version of the King Arthur Flour sourdough butter biscuits tonight. Recipe link
 

I use 2/3 whole wheat, 1/3 all purpose or bread flour. I had a series of failures by trying to use Clabber Girl baking powder. Threw that E36 M3ty stuff out and bought some Bob's Red Mill, solved the problem. 
 

Since we don't use them for sandwiches, I make them a smaller size. 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
2/26/21 10:45 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

You don't need a machine to make good bread. You need a good recipe and time. Some of it is developing a feel for kneading, or you can use one of the no-knead styles that have a long slow rise instead.

Start by figuring out what kind of bread you like, then start looking for how to make it :) Seems obvious, but that's all it is. Expect to have some failures and to get flour everywhere.

Hm, not sure on what "kind" of breads I want specifically; i've actually gone years without eating any for my diets.

Think just a good, stock white bread would be best to start out with? I can't really think of any I dont like, so any recipe you think is good for a beginner would be great.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/26/21 1:13 p.m.

Paul Hollywood's "bloomer" is fairly straightforward but will teach you a number of things. His "floury baps" recipe is very similar and makes good buns. That's what I started with. It may not be the best choice, but it's one I can recommend from experience :) Note for reading British recipes: "strong flour" is bread flour.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
2/26/21 1:24 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

I'll second the floury baps. It's simple, it's delicious, it's a great platform to build and experiment from.

 

RossD
RossD MegaDork
3/2/21 6:21 a.m.

I made a video with my daughter on how I am currently making bread.

CJ (FS)
CJ (FS) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/2/21 11:49 a.m.

I've done these sourdough bagels a couple of times.  To get them to work right, the dough has to be so stiff that our Kitchenaid stand mixer really doesn't like it.  I'm thinking that I might 'need' to upgrade to the pro 600 series.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/2/21 11:58 a.m.

Bagel dough is weird stuff compared to bread dough. It's really stiff. It doesn't take long to knead by hand though.

I did let half a batch sit in the fridge for a few days so I could cook a half dozen at a time. It continued to rise and got all bubbly which I had to knock back, but it also got sticky. Made it a little more difficult to work and it picked up an odd surface texture after boiling but the taste was still there. That CBC recipe I posted earlier is supposedly for 16, but it works better if you make a dozen out it it.

I may have gone a little overboard on the sesame seeds.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
3/9/21 9:21 p.m.

A buddy gave my wife and i a sourdough starter late last year and we stayed making bagels, until we got pretty good.

Today I finished making/baking a Caramelized onion/Sage sourdough bread, as the first bread bake! No bread flour in this one, although there can/should be (read that note after combining everything).

Looks dense but came out really nicely textured and lots of oniony flavor coming through!

Edit: Link

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/10/21 7:12 a.m.

Thanks again for keeping this thread going. I'm always looking for new ideas and recipes. 
 

My biggest problem is my gas oven. Setting it on 315 may have it stabilize at around 350, but it frequently will heat up to over 700 if you have opened the door to check the food.
 

I don't know how high it would go, I have a thermometer with an alarm so I can shut it off when it runs away. 
 

I've had the thermostat replaced twice, and the entire circuit board once, so I don't think it can be repaired.  No budget for replacement right now. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/8/21 11:31 p.m.

Well, I made a grave error. I'd been trying to get a decent white bread from my bread maker. Finally made one today, by bastardizing a recipe I found online... and not writing down what I did. 

 

think this is pretty close to it: 

  • 1 1/3 cups cold water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

 

I'll try that again tomorrow or Saturday and see how that goes. 
 

 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/9/21 12:14 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

You don't need a machine to make good bread. You need a good recipe and time. Some of it is developing a feel for kneading, or you can use one of the no-knead styles that have a long slow rise instead.

Start by figuring out what kind of bread you like, then start looking for how to make it :) Seems obvious, but that's all it is. Expect to have some failures and to get flour everywhere.

 

ProDarwin said:

You need patience.  I don't have the patience for bread.  My backup plan is to figure out where Keith lives and steal Canada bagels when he isn't looking.

 

This is where the bread maker is so awesome. Literally as simple as measuring ingredients and putting them in the pan, hitting the button, and walking back in 5 hours to a loaf of bread. I've spent time making bread myself, kneading, waiting, etc., but the bread maker is so easy if you're disorganized or busy.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/9/21 9:48 a.m.

I have never been able to achieve a loaf I really liked from a bread machine. Partly because I like a nice strong crust and partly because I obviously never found the right recipe. 

To me, it's more about organization than actual time spent. I rarely have to spend more than a few minutes on each step (other than some knead time for certain doughs), I just have to set a timer for when to do the next step. Working from home makes this a lot easier, I can pop into the kitchen for a moment and then back to the computer. It's more effort than just setting a timer on a machine but it's about on par with smoking ribs and not onerous. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/11/21 7:08 p.m.

Ok, same recipe as above, mixed and kneaded and first rise done in the bread machine. I think the recipe needs more flour - next time I make it for a load of bread, I'll add another 1/4 cup. Anyway, I mentioned that the kneading and first rise were done in the bread machine. The second rise was done as rolls in a 8x8 pan greased with olive oil. Trying again overnight for rolls in the morning, more rolls done smaller. 
 


mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/12/21 3:20 p.m.

Did the same thing as above, but I think instead of more flour, less water. And also don't let it rise overnight. Too much - or, if I do, a bigger pan to cook them in. Still good though. I shouldn't make these, I end up eating almost all of them myself.

 

Ultimately, the second batch was not as good as the first. I'm also suspect of the flour, but I have no clue what kind or brand it is/was. For all I know it could even be self rising, or 5 years old, or both - my wife doesn't recall when she put it in the jar. So, a lot of variables here I need to mess with. 

 

 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/12/21 4:50 p.m.

I've figured out another of my problems. I use glass loaf pans. From a recent article in the Washington Post:

In baking especially, which material you use can have a significant impact on the results. Ask just about any serious or professional baker whether they prefer glass or metal, and the answer is almost always steer, well, clear of glass.

Simply put, says pastry chef and cookbook author Lauren Chattman, “It’s terrible for baking.”

“We avoid glass at all costs in a professional kitchen,” says Joanne Chang, cookbook author and chef behind the Boston-area Flour Bakery + Cafe.

I don't use metal pans since I don't use any non-stick products. My last batch of bread, I baked at a lower temperature to give it time to penetrate through to the center, and that worked better, although the challenge of having the oven randomly start running away without shutting down still remains. I need to find some plain steel pans, maybe from a commercial supply store or website.

Right now, I'm about to finish the first rise on an apple cranberry sourdough bread.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
6/25/21 4:27 p.m.

Has anyone made their own sourdough starter from nothing?

My purchased one grew real mold and got tossed because Dana isn't a sourdough fan, but I still haven't made a loaf I'm happy with.

Easy button is obviously just buy another, but how hard could getting one started be?

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/13/21 7:37 a.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

Nice to see this thread still going. Thanks for your latest update, Keith. Canada bagels it is!

 

I'm going to make a version of the King Arthur Flour sourdough butter biscuits tonight. Recipe link
 

I use 2/3 whole wheat, 1/3 all purpose or bread flour. I had a series of failures by trying to use Clabber Girl baking powder. Threw that E36 M3ty stuff out and bought some Bob's Red Mill, solved the problem. 
 

Since we don't use them for sandwiches, I make them a smaller size. 

Revisiting this, since I made these biscuits last night. Changed to 100%whole wheat for the dry ingredients  

daeman
daeman Dork
9/13/21 4:42 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

Yes, I have in the past, and will do again. It's simple and really only a step or two extra past keeping a purchased starter alive (best bit is you don't cry as bad if you kill a starter you didn't pay god money for)

I got my recipe from river cottage, it's a UK program that I enjoy immensely.

Here's a video link that's all about bread, they start on sourdough about 12 minutes in. He uses spelt flour, but you could easily use wholemeal, rye or similar as a substitute.

I'll include a link to their written recipe too just in case videos aren't your style.

https://www.rivercottage.net/news/river-cottage-sourdough

Folgers
Folgers New Reader
9/13/21 5:03 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

I believe sourdoughs are an elaborate scheme by flour companies, to waste the product.

I make bread every week. I’ve tried probably ten times to make sourdough, never with success. I also haven’t bought a starter. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze. Your mileage may very. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/21 3:57 p.m.

I need to do this again with a better microphone, but here's the noise a fresh crusty loaf makes when it comes out of the oven. This one was particularly noisy.

Don't mind the burnt bagel in the background, I was experimenting with placement in the smoker and it got a little close to the inlet. The near loaf was proofed in a wicker proofing basket, the far loaf was done in a stainless bowl - and yes, it's made with less dough because I had a smaller dutch oven for it.

 

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