The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bumpy Bagels

bobku's picture
bobku

Bumpy Bagels

I have been making bagels for a while, I have noticed that the sufrace of the bagels are comming out for lack of a better term bumpy, the surface is not smooth but thay taste great no one complains, just wondering if this is from not enough surface tension (I shape them into a ball and poke thumb thru the middle) or is this from not kneading enough. or just the nature of homemade bagels, they seem to be like that before even before they are boiled. My loal bagel shop makes them from scratch but they have a smooth surface.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Bobku,


I cut the dough into four ounce pieces, then roll each piece into a 10-inch log with blunt ends.  The "log" is then wrapped around my hand with the ends overlapping and rolled to seal the seam. This creates the needed surface tension.


The result is a smooth surface.  I've tried the method you are using and prefer the results with this technique, which is from Hamelman's "Bread."

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I get bumpy bagels when I overproof them. Are they bumpy just after you shape them, after proofing, or after boiling?


--Pamela

bobku's picture
bobku

They seem to be like that almost from the start. This recipie only calls for 20 minute rest of the dough after it is kneaded then the bagels are shaped and  rest another 20 minute then place in the simmering water. Everything else is fine taste, texture etc.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Did they always come out like this? I.e., since you have been using this recipe?


--Pamela

sephiepoo's picture
sephiepoo

What does your recipe and method look like? Are you by any chance using the BBA bagel recipe?


I don't know why, but every time I make that one, the bagels always have that bumpy surface you're talking about, or they fail completely.  I've baked the Baby Bagels recipe from the KAF website several times and they are always smooth on top and have wonderful taste and texture.


The two recipes are close (57%H and 60%H if you include the sponge in the percentages), but the methods are completely different.  I find that steaming is a much better method for me, and I always get a 100% product that I can eat, instead of the unpredictable boiling.  Even when I steamed the BBA bagels, I still got the bumpy top, so I'm wondering if it's just your recipe.  I also prefer the poke the ball method vs the rope, only because it's easier and simpler for me, and have not had a problem with surface tension.

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

I did a step-by-step demo on my blog and decided to make both Pokeys and Ropeys to see what the difference was. 


http://yumarama.com/blog/2009/05/bba-challenge-no-3-bagels-redux/


You can see the two kinds side-by-side about 2/3 of the way through. The Pokeys were decidedly less "smooth" surfaced, the Ropeys (my personal preference) had a smoother, tighter surface.


Otherwise, they seemed the same inside and taste/texture-wise. 


You can see that the Pokeys were cooking a little more on their 'lumps', getting little brown baked spots, where the smoother Ropeys seemed to bake a little more evenly.



Once sliced and slathered in jam or cream cheese, however, it doesn't really seem to make much difference either way, both taste wonderful. I happen to like the somewhat more interesting look of the Ropey style and prefer the forming technique, it just seems more satisfying than poking.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Think you're right about the style. Who cares as long as it tastes good! Whatever is easiest to fashion sounds good to me.


--Pamela

bobku's picture
bobku

Don't know if it's my imagination but it seems to have gotton worse . I think I might have shortened up on the time I spend kneading to dough and possibly have been shaping them a little to rushed instead of making sure the ball of dough is streched tight and smooth before poking hole. I have been making them so much I'm a little on auto pilot, next batch I'll slow down and compare results

xaipete's picture
xaipete

If you're not kneading the dough enough to make it smooth and shiny, that could definitely be the problem.


--Pamela

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Here's an interesting article by Peter Reinhart on bagels.  


I do disagree about using bread flour in place of high-gluten flour.  I've tried the bread flour and it just doesn't live up to a bagel made with high-gluten flour.  I have no idea why PR thinks high-gluten flour isn't available to home bakers.   It is (King Arthur's Sir Lancelot flour).


Hamelman's recipe is quite easy: high gluten flour, yeast, diastatic malt powder, salt, and water.  Mix on first speed for three minutes, then on second speed for five or six more minutes, bulk ferment for an hour, then shape and refrigerate overnight.  Get the oven hot and water (containing barley malt syrup) boiling the next morning, then pop in the boiling water, ice down, and bake.  The bagels stay in the cooler until you're ready to give them the hot water bath.  


An easy recipe to bake midweek and the results are wonderful.  



 

SulaBlue's picture
SulaBlue

Especially if it's only for a bag or two of flour. I haven't really seen much in the way of High-Gluten flour around here, including KA's Sir Lancelot. Sir Lancelot is $6.95 for a 3 pound bag - PLUS shipping. I can buy KA's bread flour for $3.09 for a 5 pound bag locally. The price difference per pound just doesn't make it a viable option. What is a viable option is for me to buy the KA Bread Flour and add a little vital wheat gluten to up the protein level, and I'm very curious why that option wasn't presented. It's something I've found in the bulk section of many of my local groceries.


You can't even buy 10lbs. bag of flour around here anymore, but suddenly little 2lbs. bags have started showing up. Who the heck needs 2lbs. bags? BAKE OR GO HOME, I say!


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I've noticed the same thing about the growing supply of 2 pound bags. Fortunately a lot of the stuff including high-gluten flour is available in the bulk section. I never thought I would be buying bulk flour, but I find myself doing that more and more these days.


--Pamela

AllenCohn's picture
AllenCohn

I made the BBA recipe for bagels with GM Better For Bread flour and with Guisto's high gluten flour. I couldn't tell the difference.


Allen
SHB
San Francisco

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Gold Medal BFB: 12.2-12.7% protein


Guisto's high gluten: 13-13.5% protein


KA's Sir Lancelot: 14.2% protein.


I'm using the KA 14.2% protein flour, which is why I do taste a big difference.  I just wish I could buy it in a 25# bag,


 


 

AllenCohn's picture
AllenCohn

I was using Giusto's High Performer, listed at 14% protein.


Allen

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I couldn't find a 14% flour on the Giusto's site and wonder if different numbers are used on the bag.


I am now wondering if adding vital wheat gluten to my bread flour will make a difference.  Certainly worth a try, from an economic standpoint.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Wild Yeast's sourdough bagel formula does allow substituting the H-G flour with the bread+gluten flour: 


 


High-gluten flour (about 14% protein) can be ordered from King Arthur Flour, but if you don't have it, you can substitute 675 g of your regular bread flour plus 18 g of vital wheat gluten, available in most natural food stores.


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/08/12/sourdough-bagels/


 


If you can figure out the % of each flour to use for your bagel recipe, it's worth a try. 


Yippee

LindyD's picture
LindyD

That's the same flour Guisto's describes as:





  • Giusto's High Performer High Gluten Unbleached Wheat Flour

  •     (High gluten unbleached wheat flour, 13-13.5% protein.)

     



    From Cooking for Engineers:



    High gluten flour and bread flour is produced from hard wheat. High gluten flour has a gluten percentage of about 12-14% while bread flour contains about 10-13% gluten. Both flours are almost completely made of hard wheat, but some high gluten flours are treated to reduce starch content, raising the gluten content to around 14%. These flours are generally used for making breads. High gluten flour is reserved for breads that are extra elastic such as bagels and pizza. 



    Now, that makes me wonder if the KA Sir Lancelot is treated, since it is rated as 14.2%.  I'll have to ask over at KA.

    xaipete's picture
    xaipete

    The main thing I was pointing out, Lindy, is that this seems to be the flour that indicated by Allen's post. I'm not sure why he indicated the protein level is 14%. The math doesn't say that to me.


    --Pamela

    AllenCohn's picture
    AllenCohn

    I said 14% because I have a document in my hand from them that describes it as such.


    Allen

    Yippee's picture
    Yippee

    and therefore confirmed the protein % with the company directly. This way I know that  I'll be using the right flours for the jobs.  Here's what I found out:


    Baker's Choice - just like David mentioned, 11 - 11.5%


    Peak Performance - 12 - 12.5 %


    Ultimate Performance - unbleached - 13.5 - 14%


                                   - whole wheat - 13 - 14%


    High Performance - according to the sales rep, it's around 13 - 13.5%. 


    When asked about the difference between High and Ultimate, "They are about the same.  Ultimate is organic."


    Yippee

    AllenCohn's picture
    AllenCohn

    Well, maybe they changed their formulation. My document is a few years old. But then again, so was my experiment with High Performer.


    I heard the same, that Ultimate Performer was just an organic version of High Performer. But my document lists Ultimate at 13.5%. That's why I searched out High Performer, just for this bagel test.


    I do see that they are now both listed on the web site as 13-13.5% protein in the 5# bags. I'm looking at the specs for the 50 lbs. bags. It is just barely conceivable that the formulations are different for the consumer bags vs. the commercial bags.


    Finally, there might be another reason for the bumpiness: I retard the shaped bagels over night in the fridge, just like the BBA recipe directs. Mine end up bumpy, too...but I always assumed it was caused by the acidity in the dough, just like how sourdough rolls get blistered if they are retarded in shaped form.


    Allen

    xaipete's picture
    xaipete

    You might be right, Allen. The consumer bags could very well have different specs than the commercial.


    --Pamela

    Yippee's picture
    Yippee

    bobku:


    This just came across my mind. Have you used H-G flour in your bagel recipe? If you have been using bread flour, try switching to H-G flour once to see if there's any difference. 


    Yippee

    roundthetable's picture
    roundthetable

    Are you talking about little surface bubble-type bumps or shaping bumps?  If it's the surface bubble-type, I found that the baking soda BBA calls for in the boiling water bath produced those for me when I made plain bagels.  When I skip the baking soda in the bath, the bumps don't happen.  You can see those bumps here:


    http://roundthetable.net/2009/03/25/just-right-bagels/


    If it's more of a shape-type bump, I prefer the shaping method I found here:


    http://sum.ptuo.us/roller/ks/entry/how_to_make_cinnamon_raisin


    I've used KA high-gluten flour (and prefer it for bagels) and Giustos ultimate performance flour, both with the BBA recipe/method, and the different flours did not affect the bumpiness at all.  Oddly enough, the BBA recipe for cinnamon raisin bagels did not cause the surface bubble bumps for me, even with baking soda in the boiling water bath.  Weird, huh?


    - Janice

    Yumarama's picture
    Yumarama

    is what those first types of bumps or little blisters are called, according to Mike Avery. They happen when a dough is fermented, shaped then refrigerated for a long period. Those little blisters happen on the dough's tight skin. You can see them on my "ropey" bagels here:


     



    The second link to the raisin bagels is an interesting technique, I'll have to give that a whack sometime.