Baking with Julia – Bagels

Things I Learned While Making These Bagels (Pros & Cons):

Pro = I love making bagels! It’s really fun and they taste AMAZING! Like so amazing that I can’t believe I ate those refrigerator bagels my entire life amazing!

Con = they were kind of time-consuming and made my morning at work feel a little hectic.

Pro = watching the video of Julia making these with Lauren Groveman was really fun and helpful and I felt like I understood the directions in the book much better for having watched them in action (especially the shaping part).

Con = My bagels are nowhere near as pretty as Lauren’s. I mean they’re crusty and awesome but they are certainly not going to win any beauty contests. I mean, look at this one!

My first sesame bagel was the definition of YIKES! When I slid them all off of the peel onto the quarry stones they kind of stuck so I had to be….shall we say forceful?? and this guy slid off the back of the tiles onto the rack of the oven. Whoops!

Con = It is not a good idea to stop at Menard’s to buy quarry tiles when you have to be at work in 20 minutes. Even if you called the night before to make sure they have them and you feel like it’s going to be a quick trip.

Pro = I gave the bagels out to our mailman Dave, our UPS guy Byron, my boss and her husband and her mother, two of my co-workers, and the owner of the shop next door. Plus I took two home for Tristan and I. This recipe is like the gift that keeps on giving! And I really liked how I could make so many different flavors from one batch without changing the dough at all. I did sesame seed, poppy seed, and cinnamon-sugar and they were all super-delicious!

Okay that’s enough of this list business. It feels too constrictive. I mixed up the dough yesterday on a rainy Sunday at work and I was really impressed with the consistency. I used the stand mixer but I think next time I will do it by hand like Lauren and Julia. It looked really fun.

The dough was really pliable and elastic and I feel like I could have made it at home in my smaller Artisan mixer without tasking the motor too much. After I let it rise for about 2 hours it looked like this:

I tried to imitate Julia and punch it down just like she did in the video but I know I did not get the same pow that she did. She was a powerful lady! This morning I took the dough out and set my tiles up in the oven to preheat. I had to buy six 6×6 tiles to get the surface area I was looking for. I suppose I could have just bought myself a pizza stone but I paid $2.75 for my baking surface vs over $30 for a baking stone (and that takes into account my discount!) so I think it’s fine. I used a cast-iron skillet on the bottom rack of our oven for the steam bath because I didn’t feel like it was smart to throw ice water directly on the heating element. Just a hunch..

Here’s my little bagel baby pre-boil:

And here are a few just bubbling away together in their little hot tub:

I would definitely say that the first batch was more photogenic than the second. I don’t really know why. Maybe I was just in a rush to get done by the time I got around the the second ones. Who knows? What I do know is that I will definitely make these again.

And you should definitely try it.

I mean it.

No joke.

Not kidding around here. If you got the message (and I do hope you did, I mean seriously, I took A LOT of pictures of these bagels!), visit Heather over at Heather’s Bytes for the recipe – you won’t be sorry!

20 thoughts on “Baking with Julia – Bagels

  1. Maggie, such a fun post with great pictures, I love the color of your bagels and the different toppings, they look delightful. It is nice to read that you had so much fun baking these! Love the picture of the five “bagels in a row” on that wooden board!

  2. Hi Maggie- Great job! My mouth is watering!
    It is 5 am out here and I just finished time cards and I need to get ready for work.
    Talk to you soon.
    Love Dad

  3. I am so glad you liked them! They are a lot of work, but they pay off big time. I love the crusty look of your bagels and you’re right about the quarry tile thing. I did that for years until someone gave me their pizza stone. It seems odd to pay so much for something that is really cheap to make.

  4. How did you like baking with tiles – was it any different than using a sheet pan? You have made so many people happy with your bagels! Thanks for posting the link to the video.

    • I liked how they got really crispy and I think that might be due to the stones. I haven’t tried them on a baking sheet though so I don’t know what the difference would be. I just really wanted to do it like the video so that’s why I bought the tiles. Kitchen experiments! 🙂

  5. I loved making them too and also took lots of pictures! It was fun! I think yours turned out great and you are right…I loved that you can make all different types with the same dough!

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