The daily to-do: Friday July 8

Just finished baking the new batch of bagels, and I must say, these are looking much better. I did a bunch of things differently (smaller, didn’t try to make such big holes, no float test, less handling overall, less time proofing, more time retarding in the refrigerator). If things still don’t go that well (if they still don’t have much taste, or if the texture is weird), I will let the sponge ferment for even less time, and I will let them proof and retard longer (according to the dough man from my link yesterday, the longer the yeast is actively converting the flour to CO2 and..the other thing…the more the flavor develops). I want to work on developing that flavor. I think I will take a picture and upload it here, to document my success (on the bagels not collapsing). *Update below.


On the work front, I spent a long time yesterday on my website concept redesign. I sent it to the one person, and her response….well, it indicates that she still really has no idea that I’m trying to urge them to restructure the web content from the ground up. They just want to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic, as the saying goes. Whatever. I give up (for now). (And yeah, I am super annoyed, but at least I tried, right?)

It’s raining again today. >.< sooo annoying. I wanted to mow today…:

  • work on web copy (NGO)
  • research more on bagel baking
  • walk Cosmo
  • feed Cadenza
  • run/ work out (might take today off)
  • do other stuff from my weekly to-do


* These bagels were so much better. The texture was amaaaazing. Regarding their shape: I want to be sure to make them into super-round balls when I divide the dough, before I shape them into bagels. I left them lopsided this time, and as a result some of them are weird shaped. The flavor was okay, not bad, but nothing super special. I definitely want to work on improving the flavor. I think this time I used too little salt, so I need to be careful to follow the recommended measurement exactly (imagine that). I am going to continue to use more malt powder than the recipe recommends (I used double this time), and I will continue to use malt syrup in the boiling stage, or maybe baking soda… (I am not sure which of those has more impact on the final flavor). I also want to research a little to find out if there is more I can do to improve the flavor, in addition to letting the yeast develop longer. (Something I have been wondering, and researched: what is the best temperature to retard the dough at? More. Another question: should I retard the sponge; is that considered the “initial rising”? More thoughts on sponge: less yeast and more sponge fermentation time? Is this a good plan for a bagel sponge? This is fascinating; I know, it’s probably not the time for me to switch to an entirely new recipe (been sticking with the Peter Reinhart recipe for a few years now)…but this one has a long sponge ferment, and almost no shaped dough rising, and no retardation. o.O And if I am considering a recipe replacement, according to one of the links above, this book (Hamelman’s Bread) has an excellent bagel recipe.) Also…I have been using the bread machine to mix and knead. I suppose I ought to be doing this by hand…but ugh. That headache might cause me to forego making my own bagels entirely.  Regarding the baking: I put some butter spray down on the parchment paper below the bagels, and there were absolutely no issues with sticking. Also, they seemed to get a little crispy (in that good, buttery way). I still did use corn meal, but I used a lot less, and it was much better.

Listening to: “More than this” by Roxy Music (Favorite Songs in the Whole World playlist on Spotify)


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