The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gooey Bagels

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Bagelboy's picture
Bagelboy

Gooey Bagels

Hey everyone, I tried out Mark Strausman's YouTube bagel recipe (slightly modified version of Jeffery Hammelman's).  I followed it twice, exactly and the bagels are scorched from the stone and undercooked in the middle.  In fact, I can't get the bagels to brown on the sides and top before the bottoms get too brown.   I'm using bagel boards for the first 4 minutes.  Also live in SLC so the elevation should further help the situation. But it does not.  Can it be my oven reading is off?  Or something in the poolish and retard phases?  I see many differrant baking temps for bagels.  Is there an optimum temp?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I bake a 450 F for8 minutes on a stone and then flip to bake 8 more then test one for 205 F in the center.  They are almost always perfectly done.  I  take them out of the water and let them sit, rounded side up on a kitchen cotton towel for a few seconds before  overturning them onto what ever seed or topping they are going to get and then turn over onto parchment on a peel bottom side down (flat side) - seed side up.  That way the bottom is fairly dry and no need for boards. I believe this is the Stan Ginsberg method for his favorite home bagels.  The key is flipping them on to their tops half way through the bake.

baybakin's picture
baybakin

I bake my (60g) bagels on stone (on a parchment sheet), at 450F for 15 mins, rotated half way through (front to back).  They usually come out a roasted hazelnut color on top, and not gooey at all.  Recipe is a fully-sourdough adaptation of the Nancy Silverton's bagel recipe (Breads from the La Brea Bakery).

LindyD's picture
LindyD

LOL, more than just "slightly modified."   Mr. Hamelman has never used a poolish or any other type preferment in his bagel formula from Bread.  Peter Reinhart uses a sponge in his BBA formula.  Perhaps Mr. Strausman got his authors mixed up?

No matter.  Mr. Hamelman's formula is simple and fool proof:  mix the ingredients: high gluten flour (not bread flour), diastatic malt powder, water, yeast, and salt.  Bulk ferment for an hour, shape the dough into 13 four-0unce bagels, and refrigerate overnight.  I place the formed bagels on sheet pans covered with lightly oiled parchment, enclose them in plastic bags, then into the refrigerator they go till the next morning.  The next day the cold bagels are boiled in water containing malt syrup, iced, then baked at 500F for 15 to 18 minutes.  

Are you using an oven thermometer to make sure your actual oven temperature corresponds to what it was programmed?   Preheating for 45 minutes to an hour?

Misjan's picture
Misjan

I have been making bagels for quite some time and have never had gooey centers.  I almost always use a poolish made the night before.  After the initial rise, I divide the dough and roll into balls, let rest for 30 minutes covered with oiled plastic wrap.  Then I form the bagels and boil for 2 minutes on the bottom side, turn over and boil another minute (1 T of non-diastalic malt in the water).  Then I bake at 425 degrees for 23 minutes, rotating pans half-way through.  These bagels are full proof and get rave reviews from family and coworkers.

Bagelboy's picture
Bagelboy

Thanks for everyone's great responses!

It looks like i need to get an overnight thermometer and check out the oven's accuracy.

Also, I'm using diastatic malt powder.  There seems to be two schools of on this.  Diastatic or non-diastatic malt powder.  Any thoughts?

 

-BB

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I use diastatic malt powder in my dough because I retard the bagels overnight and the enzymes benefit the fermenting dough.    

Barley malt syrup, which is non-diastatic, goes into the boiling water to provide the lovely shiny crust.

grind's picture
grind

Also, I'm using diastatic malt powder.  There seems to be two schools of on this.  Diastatic or non-diastatic malt powder.  Any thoughts?


Too much diastatic malt could very easily result in gooey bagels.  You can try cutting it back.  I usually go by increments of between .1 - .2% of the flour weight, especially if it's full strength.  That stuff is powerful.  Even low diastatic malt is strong but a little more forgiving.  In either case, it's all about getting a balance between the flour's own diastatic strength and the added diastatic malt, all other things being equal.  Also, don't assume that all barley malt syrup is non diastatic.  Good luck.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I've never come across a barley malt syrup that was diastatic.   Everything I've come across is labeled as nondiastatic.   I'd be interested in finding one.  Can you recommend a source or brand?

grind's picture
grind

The stuff I had was from a u brew place.  It was poured from a realy big drum.  I asked the clerk and he said the malt syrup was diastatic (but I didn't believe him).  But when I tried it at home, he was correct.   I got gooey bread because I used too much, thinking it wasn't diastatic.  Also, bakeries can purchase diastatic liquid barley malt.  I've seen buckets of it but I can't remember the name on the label atm.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to help break down the carbs and starch  to sugars the yeast can eat to make more alcohol and co2 gas like bread bakers use it - for the same thing only wanting  more of the gas. Non diastatic is for color, taste and keeping qualities in bread  - but it doesn't work for beer.

copyu's picture
copyu

I realize that this is not really useful information for you, but I managed to find some diastatic malt syrup in Japan

It's an Australian-made product in a 100g (approx. 3oz) squeeze bottle. There's no information about the manufacturer readable on the label—only the Japanese importer's website URL. It's labeled in Japanese as 'Malt Extract'. The directions for use say: 0.5%-1.5% for bread doughs; 1.0%-5% for cookies/biscuits. It's a bit denser than the honeys that I buy. (Cheap Chinese stuff for sauces and marinades and the ultra-expensive Acacia or Manuka for real flavor and enjoyment...)

The diastatic malt powder I bought from the same store in Tokyo suggests 1-2g per kg of bread flour—i.e., 0.1-0.2%. The ratios sound about right, considering the liquid content of the syrup...I've only used the syrup a few times, because it's so much harder to handle small quantities of a syrup than a powder, but it had the desired enzymatic effect each time...It's well-past its "USE-BY" date now and hasn't been stored very carefully, so it's ready for the garbage-can

Anyway, the stuff's definitely out there—Go find it, Girl!

Best of luck,

Adam

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hope that's the right word to say "thanks" - if not, I'll blame Google.  ;-)

Appreciate the information.   In what type of store was it sold?   I know I'd never find it in my area, but will be in Chicago in a few weeks so it might be fun to do a little ingredient exploring there.

Good point you made about the difficulty in measuring, though.  

Thanks again.

Lindy

copyu's picture
copyu

Your Japanese (and your googling) is very good! I bought my stuff from a chain of 'lifestyle stores' called "Tokyu Hands" here in Japan.

They sell ALL manner of machines and tools; basic laboratory equipment; sports gear; art, craft and hobby materials (metals, plastics, resins, clays, imported timber in small sheets and blocks); fabulous stationery; 'unusual' furniture, storage items and soft furnishings; amazing novelties, games, costumes, etc; health and beauty products; cooking, baking and sausage-making gear; some 'exotic' foods (Kefir, herbs/spices, black cocoa powder, diastatic malt, German rye flour, etc...) They're one of the most expensive places to shop in Tokyo, however [about 20% above the local Japanese retail prices for the same goods...]

I've never come across a store quite like this in Australia, the USA or Hong Kong...they may exist, but I certainly don't know where to find them, I'm sorry to say!

Best wishes,

Adam

 

RebelBakingCompany's picture
RebelBakingCompany

This is not the first time I've heard people "flipping" their bagels...although, I've heard others say to NEVER do this because it will destroy the top dome.

So you literally turn them upside down for the second half??

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

weird too before I saw Stan Ginsberg post his favorite bagel recipe on TFL and his method calls for it.  Been doing it ever since and the bagels are real NY bagels - just the best.  No wonder he and Norm wrote Inside the Jewish Bakery.    But the videos I have seen of folks using bagel boards, they use them to flip the bagels over on their top too so this is not at all unusual in the professional bagel world.   Who knew?

Misjan's picture
Misjan

I flip the bagels in the boiling water but never when they are baking.  Mine always have a beautiful dome.  I have to be honest and say that the bagels made with my overnight poolish have a much better flavor than the ones I make a bake right away and I also think they tend to raise a little more.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

from Stan Ginsberg in Janualry about flipping bagels.

Baking on a board gives the bottoms a chance to spring and set into a nicely semicircular shape; the flipping allows the same thing for the top surface. The wet fabric keeps the tops flexible while the bottoms set.  You can bake bagels without flipping, but you'll get more of a semicircular or triangular cross-section, with one decidedly flat side. At the end of the day, it's a matter of esthetics and, to a certain extent, even baking. As my mother used to say, "It all looks the same in your stomach."

Stan Ginsberg www.nybakers.com

Check out this video at the 2:05 mark or so  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0TRO1LcAgs&feature=related

Also found this LindyD post

Immediately after boiling the bagels, place the bagels on bagel boards.  You can use wooden or aluminum boards covered in burlap.  If you are making seeded bagels, remember to layer the board with seeds prior to placing the bagels on the board.   Additionally, once the bagels are on the board, you can add seeds onto the top of the bagels.  You can now place the bagels in the oven.  In a revolving oven with 3 shelves, after 2 rotations, flip the bagels over.  In a five shelf oven, you should flip the bagels after one rotation.  The ideal temperature for your oven is 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit.

Quoted from A&S Bagels.