The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBA Bagels

SulaBlue's picture

BBA Bagels

So, I finished my Christopsomos with flying colors. It turned out wondefully - now, to just not pig out on it! This is truly the loaf that ate Manhattan. It's HUGE! It's only a 1-pound loaf, but it's bigger than any of my plates, and tall, too! You can see my Christopsomos at

The next bread on the list is the bagels. Has anyone got any tips on these? I'm worried that my KA might keel over and die with this dough. It did great with Nancy Silverton's sourdough pretzels, just a tiny bit of bucking the bowl, which I came to realize meant it wasn't latched properly at the back of the bowl. I have the Pro 600 Bowl-Lift model, which is supposed to be their toughest/strongest model. It's new, and I really haven't put it through its full paces yet, so I'm a bit paranoid about this!


Any advice/tips welcome! I know I don't have the strength to knead this dough by hand!

xrelaht's picture

I've made bagels in my KA Pro 600 a few times.  No problems at all.  That mixer is a monster.

The main things are kneading for a long time and not being scared of the boil step.  If you under boil, the crust won't come out right.  The other thing I suggest is forming the dough into balls and punching out the hole in the middle rather than rolling it into a cylinder and trying to reattach it.  In my experience, bagel dough is too dry for that to work well.

raidar's picture

I completed this recipe for the challenge with my 325 watt aritsan KA and it didn't like it at all. I ended up pulling some out and combing the mixer and hand power. I don't see your very powerful Pro 600 having to blink an eye.

mredwood's picture

 I have a KA pro also and have tried several different bagel recipes. The mixer does well with them all and more. Rarely gets warm.


SulaBlue's picture

I'm a bit like Golem and his "precious" when it comes to my KA still. I haven't yet put it through the paces I'm sure it's more than capable of.

Husband-type-person is already drooling at the thought of bagels and the Christopsomos isn't even half done. Talk about a huge loaf - I had problems finding a plate to support it while taking a picture. It just hung off the sides of even my largest dinner plate!

pancakes's picture

I make this recipe by hand, takes about 20 min. of hand kneading.  It's more fun (for me at least) that way. 

ceo's picture

I've made the BBA bagels in my KA 600 Pro several times (and been complimented on them by self-described NYC bagel snobs), and I've found that sometimes the dough benefits from a minute or so of hand-kneading at the end.

(I was confused when I first read this post until I remembered that KA stands for two different things around here.)

SulaBlue's picture

It was, to say the least, a bumpy ride. While the KitchenAid didn't seem to strain too much, except on a couple of instances were the dough got turned so a HUGE lump of it got in the way, it did "buck" the bowl.

I was perhaps overly cautious and kept one hand on the bowl handle to keep it from bucking, and one hand atop the mixer head to keep a feel for overheating. My mixer is still new enough that it gets that "new mixer smell" that they warn about in the owner's manual. Once I smelled it, though, I decided that better safe than sorry, and turned off the KA for a minute, let it rest, then started again.

Perhaps it was my changes to the formula, using white whole wheat for about half the flour and compensating with vital wheat gluten, but I had to add about 1-2 ounces more water to get all the flour to incorporate. Once I did, and it got to be kneaded, it was surprisingly supple though very, very smooth and satiny. It was about the same texture as pretzel dough.

My test bagel floated almost immediately. Hopefully that's not a sign of over-proofing?

SulaBlue's picture
Yippee's picture


Could you please explain the reason behind dropping the bagel in water and wait for it to float withing 10 seconds before refrigerating it? To make sure it has enough air inside or it has fermented to a certain stage? Thanks.


SulaBlue's picture

Not for certain, anyway. It was just part of the instructions that Peter Reinhart gives. I don't remember doing this the last time I made bagels a couple of decades ago. Then again, that could have been why they were such a disaster that time!

I suspect that it is as you say - checking to see if the bread has proofed enough by "seeing if it has enough air inside." I would think that an underproofed bread, which hadn't had time to let the gas inside percolate and form air holes would sink like a rock.

LindyD's picture

I was curious after reading Yippee's post, so I checked the BBA.

PR's recipe calls for a "float test" to check if the bagels are ready to be retarded.  You're supposed to drop each bagel into a bowl of cool water and if it floats within ten seconds, you then dry off the bagel and return it to your pan for overnight retarding.   If it doesn't float, you wait and try again.

There's no bulk fermentation (unless you count the 20 minute rest period after shaping), which is why he has you take that step.