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Outdoor bagels


Making homemade bagels may seem daunting, but it really isn’t. It had been ages since I’d made bagels. Then it occurred to me that bagels would be excellent candidates for finishing off in a gas grill.

You can read various theories on what defines a bagel, including the use of barley malt in the boiling water. But, as far as I’m concerned, what defines a bagel is that they’re boiled before they’re baked. This boiling of the dough until the dough sets is what gives the bagel’s crust its “pull.”

Today’s bagels were a mixture of sourdough and yeast. The flour was about a third stone-ground whole wheat and two-thirds unbleached white flour. There are many recipes on the web (as well as YouTube videos) on making bagels, so I’d suggest starting with some Googling if you want to try it.

I really don’t think bagels are prone to failure. What happens when the dough hits boiling water is really more predictable than what happens when dough goes into an oven. Plus, bagel dough is not a delicate affair. A strong, less wet dough (which is easier to deal with) is fine for bagels. If the dough were too soft, you’d risk having it fall apart in the boiling water.

Managing them on the grill is a challenge, though. No spot on my grill seems to be exactly the same, so uniformity is a problem. I found myself frequently moving the bagels around to try to equalize their baking. Given that I had to shuffle things so much, getting perfect grill marks was out of the question.

The bagels were delicious. The crust was better than any bagel crust I ever had in San Francisco (which is not the best bagel city in the world). No one in his or her right mind would claim the ability to compete with New York bagels.

The rising is done, and they’re ready to boil

A bagel in boiling water

Brunch today was low carb — roasted onions and cabbage and a slice of vegan baloney — to help make up for bagels at supper.

One Comment

  1. Henry wrote:

    I love Bagels…but only eat them with butter or gefilte fish and a dap of mustard
    The idea of adding onions, of any sort, gags me immensely


    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

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