If you've been following my posts, you've seen tons of bagel photos. I learned how to make sourdough bagels last year & make them nearly every week for my spouse.
Something I realized today was that it's even more important to know *why* & *how* something is supposed to work so you can troubleshoot & correct when it doesn't.
I didn't have the lovely fresh milled flour I've been using both to feed the starter and to bake with, so I had to use the commercial bread flour.
Well, the starter was sluggish, so I gave it an extra feeding and delayed baking a day.
Then the dough was slow to rise, even though I had added a bit of yeast to goose it along.
So I wrapped the bowl and put it under a warming light.
It still didn't rise as much I prefer, but I also didn't want it to over proof, so I decided to shape the individual rounds with some extra kneading and give them more time to rest before making the holes & finishing the process.
And voila, another dozen bagels.
This process isn't just for baking, though. Having instructions is a good first step for any activity, but understanding the why/how is the only way to make the bagels work.