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Brothers Bagel via Video Phone Call

Steuart is making Paul Hollywood’s Bagels and Steuart’s brother is making Mark Bittman’s recipe. We were all happy with the taste and the chewiness of the outside texture. Andrew wished his had puffed up a little more and was looking to order some fast-acting yeast. Many types were not available and then, he noted, there is the price gouging. $18 for a 3-pack -21g – for a product under $2 in normal times.

Steuart thinks his might have been more airy – though they were pretty good -if they had more time to rise before dipping. The exterior texture was good for shine and the chew, but some were wrinkled. Might it also have been smoother with more proving? Or should we have used simmering water not a boiling water bath?

The Ingredients: bagel making

  • 500 g. white organic flour
  • 7 g. salt
  • 1 T.  turbinado sugar (recipe called for brown, but we’re sheltering at home)
  • 7 g.  yeast (Dr. Oekter Leavure)
  • 320 mL of water

For the boiling pot:

  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 2 T molasses


Jump start the yeast in a little warm water with a pinch of sugar. Weigh the flour in a large mixing bowl, add salt, sugar, and the yeast. Add the water on the scale – each mL is a gram. Mix with a sturdy wooden spoon or dough hook until it comes together in a smooth ball. Let rest for about an hour. If you’re in a hurry – like you have somewhere to go outside of your home – you could knead it at this point for 10 minutes and leave to rise until doubled in size.  I wait and let the dough relax and the yeast incorporate and find it is easier to knead.

When its doubled in bulk, divide into rounds about 80 grams each and form into rings. Let rise again for about 30 minutes. In a dry climate like ours, Steuart covered them with a damp cloth and sprayed them with water while in this stage.

Drop into a large pot of boiling water to which has been added 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 2 T of molasses. Boil till they float, flip and let cook on the opposite side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Top with seeds, herbs, or whatever you wish while they are wet.

Bake for 25 minutes at 425°F.

Next week, the Bremner Brothers will be making English Muffins. Let’s compare some recipes to make sure that in this time of pandemic we have everything we need.

Jamie Oliver

  • 300 ml milk , plus extra
  • 1 x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
  • 25 g white caster sugar
  • 50 g shortening or lard
  • 425 g plain flour, plus extra
  • 20 g polenta, optional
  • unsalted butter


The Kitchn:

For the dough starter:
  • 3/4 cup(3 1/3 ounces) all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 1/2 cupwater
  • 1/2 teaspoonactive dry or instant yeast (or 2 tablespoons active sourdough starter)
For the English muffin dough:
  • 1 cup milk, whole or 2%
  • 1 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups(13 1/2 to 14 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • Cornmeal for dusting
  • Butter for the skillet

Food Network: Alton Brown

  • 1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • Non-stick vegetable spray

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