Bagel Experiment: Proof in Fridge with Parchment Paper and Without / Sticking Problem Still Continues
Hello. Based on the suggestions I got from the thread I posted about the massive-sticking problem with my bagel production lately, I did a little experiment with my next batch of bagels.
Prologue: I'm using Peter Reinhart's recipe.
When I set the bagels to proof, instead of resting them on my baking pan in the fridge, I lined the pan with parchment paper. This proved to make a major difference in the appearance and rise of the bagels.
This photo shows the bagels after boiling. As you can see, there's a marked difference between two of the bagels on the upper right and the rest of the batch. Those two bagels were proofed in the fridge directly on the baking pan, while the rest were proofed on parchment paper.
The bagels proofed on parchment paper looked better already, even before baking!
This is how the bagels looked after baking (about a minute too long!):
The bagels proofed on the parchment paper had a much better rise, and overall look better. The ones proofed directly on the baking sheet look more blistered and were a bit flatter.
Then the problem with sticking came up again. I blotted/dried the bottom of each bagel after their boiling on a thick piece of paper towel. While the sticking wasn't as bad as before, it was still not ideal by any means:
I am guessing that two things caused this:
1. The bagels were still a bit wet after the water bath, despite blotting the majority of the water off the bottom.
2. I need to use something like a Silpat or grease the bottom of the pan.
One thing I realized was that when I took the bagels out halfway into baking to detach them from the bottom of the pan before they could fully lodge themselves, they didn't end up sticking after they were done baking. It's kind of a pain in the ass to do this, though.
Despite all of this, the texture and bounce of the bagels were magnificent! I'm glad I did this experiment. Now I know to proof on parchment!
Here's one of the bagels used to make a breakfast sandwich this morning:
Many thanks in advance for any additional thoughts or suggestions.