Sunday, June 10, 2007

It Doesn't Always Work

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose...

And a whole bunch of other cliches that are definitely true.

I tried making bagels today, and failed miserably. I don't know if they didn't raise enough, or if the boiling stage was too hot or not hot enough, or maybe the baking wasn't hot enough or whatever. But it didn't work. I ended up with things that looked like pancakes with the consistency of shoe leather.


Well, one thing's for sure. When I fail, I dig in and research and learn until I figure out how to do it right. If anyone out there has any insights into bagel baking, let me know, 'cause I could sure use it now.

However, the night wasn't a total waste. I also made a Dr Pepper dump cake that I've been reading about on a dutch oven yahoogroup. Up until a few weeks ago, dump cakes and cobblers were, like, been there done that. Peaches and yellow cake. Ho hum... But this group started showing me all kinds of different cakes and fillings to use. They're really fun and experimental people.

Here's the one I did, along with my own ideas:

For a 12” DO:
7 coals below
12 coals above

Pour 2 cans of cherry pie filling in the bottom of the oven, and spread it around

Sprinkle on some chopped pecans and brown sugar. I have no idea how much. Pour on a can of Dr Pepper (not diet).

Pour one dry chocoalate cake mix over the fruit mixture. Quarter a cube of butter and scatter those over the top of the cake mix.

Pop on the coals and b
ake it for 40 to 50 minutes.

The amazing thing about a dump cake is that you don't mix the cake mix. You just pour it on top. The boiling of the liquids will convection mix the powder and create a unique tasting, delicious cake. You dump everything in the pot and bake it, hence the name.

You can try this with virtually any cake, filling, and soda. Mine turned out kinda "Black Foresty" with the cherries and the chocolate. Yummy. If I were to adjust it, tho, I'd probably not do the brown sugar. It's plenty sweet with the cake, the cherries and the DP.

So, I'll keep you posted if I try the bagel thing again. I am a little disappointed, but I'm not in despair or anything. I know there's tricks to making bagels, and I'll just have to keep trying. It took me three tries to make bread, and two to make a half decent pie. My general pattern is to go back to doing things that I know pretty well for a while and then tackle it again.


  1. Hi Mark,

    Peter Reinhart is the best at breads. I high recommend many of his books including American Pie considered by many to be the best book on pizza ever. The above web site is Peter's recipe for bagels. The recipe is in The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. Your local library should have some of his books.

    AKA DOC Opa

  2. Wow! Thanks millions. This is a VERY thorough article.




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