Just a short note to update on the final 3 recipes.
1. Licorice is coming along well. I have both fruity and black varieties to the point of tasting great and having a decent texture... but they lose their shape within hours. Going to be tinkering with the flour types and sugar temperature some more.
2. Bagels are on hold until I perfect pretzels.
3. I have a batch of soft pretzel dough proofing right now. It SMELLS like pretzel dough, and it's the first batch to have the dough smell, look and feel right at this stage! Very promising. Now, I need to wait.
These three recipes are not only the most difficult to develop out of any cookbook I've ever done they're also infuriating because of the wait time. For the pretzels, there's a few hours of wait, between slow proofing and baking. For the licorice, it's a few DAYS - the licorice needs to "cure" a bit to obtain the right texture!
... it's a far cry from most recipes, where I know if I'm on the right track very quickly!
That's all for now - keep your fingers crossed !