Baking the World's Biggest Bagel

The recipe: Take 660 pounds of flour, half a pound of dry yeast, 53 pounds of malt and 121/2 pounds of salt. Mix, boil in 900 gallons of water for 30 minutes, bake at 300 degrees for 10 hours.

The hoped-for result: the world's biggest bagel.

The 2004 New York State Fair (search) was the backdrop Friday as bakers for Bruegger's Bagels (search) popped out a nearly half-ton bagel in search of a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The giant bagel weighed 868 pounds, measured 6 feet in diameter and required a small crane to hoist it out of its custom-built oven.

"We wanted to do something big, something different, something outside the box," project coordinator Tory Gaesser said.

Until Guinness officially certifies the achievement as the new world record — a process expected to take eight to 10 weeks — the record remains with rival Lender's Bagels (search) and its 714-pound blueberry bagel baked in Mattoon, Ill., on July 23, 1998.

Bruegger's hired an engineering company from Webster, N.Y., Madco Mechanical Co., to design and build a special cooking kettle.

The 8-foot-square, 4-foot-high machine allowed chefs to boil the bagel in 900 gallons of water for 30 minutes, then, after draining the tank, to bake it at 300 degrees for just over 10 hours, said Dave Williams, Madco's project manager.