SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – The recipe: 660 pounds of flour, 900 gallons of water, half a pound of dry yeast, 53 pounds of malt and 12½ pounds of salt.

The apparent result: the world’s biggest bagel.

The 2004 New York State Fair was the backdrop Friday as bakers from Bruegger’s Bagels produced a nearly half-ton bagel – sans the cream cheese – to likely gain a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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

Until Guinness officially certifies Bruegger’s achievement as the new world record – a process expected to take between eight to 10 weeks – the record will remain with rival Lender’s Bagels, which produced a 714-pound blueberry bagel in Mattoon, Ill., on July 23, 1998.

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

After it came out of the oven and cooled for an hour, Bruegger’s sold pieces of the copious bagel – along with a souvenir T-shirt that said “I saw history in the baking” – for $5. All the money will be turned over to food pantries in Syracuse, Rochester and Albany, he said. Bruegger’s Marketing Director Manuela Eckert said the Burlington, Vt.-based company would donate a minimum of $5,000.

To make the bagel, 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 the chefs to first boil the bagel in 900 gallons of water for 30 minutes, then after draining the tank, bake it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for just over 10 hours, said Dave Williams, Madco’s project manager.

Gaesser said his crew conducted 10 trial bakes to test which recipe worked best and how long it would need to bake. The first four bagels – although big – were not edible, he said. The record required that the bagel could be eaten, he said.

The baking crew hoped to top 1,000 pounds with its colossal creation, but was at the mercy of the baking process.

“It all depends on how much water it retains. No one has ever made one this big, so we don’t know,” Gaesser said.

To affirm the record-setting size, Bruegger’s had to bring in state officials to calibrate its scale and certify it was accurate, Gaesser said.

The company submitted that information, along with seven pages of signed documentation, to Guinness, which considers approximately 65,000 record attempts each year, according to its Web site.

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