Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Lecithin, bagels
I was making bagels today, and I can never get them to come out just right. I read up on dough conditioners, and added an egg (no access to lecithin powder in my area). So far so good, but I was wondering why you guys opt to use the powder rather than just add an egg?
Also, can you give any tips for forming the bagels? Mine come out a little....lumpy and oddly shaped. Tasty, but not pretty. I'd love any suggestions!
Granulated lecithin vs. adding eggs:
Breads made with eggs tend to get dry more quickly. (Challah has lots of eggs and tastes delicious when fresh but is notoriously dry the next day, making it a great candidate for Challah French toast!) The granulated lecithin seems to do best for providing a uniform texture and softness. (Also, see Joshua's article about natural dough conditioners -- maybe a sprinkle of ginger, a pinch of citric acid/ascorbic acid, or some additional gluten would help!)
The two ways I have formed bagels have been to either roll a "log" and connect the ends, or form a ball and poke a hole in the middle and stretch it out. The ball/hole method is my favorite, since it seems easier and quicker. My bagels look lumpy after they're boiled, but as they rise more and then during baking -- they rise even more -- they even out.
In my experience, when I've had bread that stayed "lumpy" rather than smooth, it could be due to not having enough flour in the dough (too wet/sticky) or not having the gluten developed properly (either not enough gluten in the dough, or not enough kneading time). What kind of flour do you use?
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