We were looking for a bagel optimized for a sandwich. What we found was even better.
Why This Recipe Works
We absolutely love bagels, with their dense but soft interiors surrounded by chewy exteriors. But we don't love that they don't fit in some toasters and don't lend themselves well to sandwich making. Given those drawbacks, we were after a sliceable (and toastable) bread loaf with the signature chewy exterior and dense but soft interior of a fresh bagel. After poking around online, we landed on bagel bread. To develop our version, we started with a basic bagel dough made with high-protein bread flour. We kneaded this dough for a full 10 minutes in a stand mixer to develop gluten and ensure a chewy texture. Then came the odd part: Boiling the risen, not-yet-baked loaf in a solution of water, baking soda, and corn syrup helped the bread achieve a lovely brown crust and gently set its exterior so that when the dough continued to rise in the oven, it had a tight, chewy crumb. Making slashes across the top of the dough allowed steam to escape as it baked and expanded, and coating the dough with a homemade “everything” topping brought it to a place of bagel-like bliss.