The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Red Miso Bagels with Furikake toppings help needed

La Mesa Bob's picture
La Mesa Bob

Red Miso Bagels with Furikake toppings help needed


I am trying to get rise from a bagel with Red Miso paste in the dough. The flavor is great with miso and Furikake--- and the green color and taste of the toppings does not burn after dipping the bagels (after the bath) into Furikake mix (seaweed, sesame seeds, and bonito micro-flakes). I like pacific salmon and am making these for salmon sandwiches with cream cheese and fresh ground wasabi root, onion and spinach leaves but want the bagels to be better shaped. I may go to just mixing miso into the cream cheese as a spread but am hoping someone has experience using miso paste  with any type of bread, had any similar problems and more importantly-any solutions to using the paste.

I am making Bagels following the recipe found in Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice but reducing salt by 1 ¾ teaspoon and 1 oz of water from the sponge adding 1 heading tablespoon of Red Miso (which worked well in one of Morimoto's recipes for Red Miso Soufflé) at the point I combine sponge and dough I am adding the miso and wondering what or why this ingredient is causing my bagel to go flatted than desired.

The bagel dough mix felt firm when I kneaded it, but after a day in the refrigerator it became a bit softer than normal- puffed up correctly in the boiling water bath, but never provided desired rise once in the oven (and these were added directly to a stone at 550, steamed, and reduced to 450 for 20 minutes.

LindyD's picture

Hi La Mesa Bob,

 (and these were added directly to a stone at 550, steamed, and reduced to 450 for 20 minutes.

I'm curious why you are steaming bagels.  Reinhart's bagel formula doesn't call for steaming, nor do Hamelman or DiMuzio in their books.  I've never seen a recipe that suggests bagels be steamed.  

Are you using an ice water bath immediately after boiling?  Check out this comment by Dan DiMuzio about the ice bath.

Your recipe sounds interesting.


La Mesa Bob's picture
La Mesa Bob


Regarding Steam? I will try an ice bath-- I always just let them cool of for about 30 seconds-1 minute so that I could handle them and dip in toppings.

The use of steam is mentioned in some cases as a replacement for boiling on the East Coast as alternative process. Some baking sites also make reference to this such as :

Also Rachel in Fresh Loaf said it made crispier crust. Steam is now used in some commercial bagel production products-- but maybe I need to try one or the other and not both. The last time I made these I did not steam and they came out regular size (though I added the Miso at the very last couple of minutes kneading vs. at the beginning. I thought steam helped all breads rise so tried this in an effort to help 'lift' my sad bagel dough which, after being in the fridge, was softer than before and also not as puffy or not as proofed as I was hoping.... maybe I should take the proving for true on its own--- if they didn't rise well by that point perhaps I inadvertently killed my yeasty friends :(

You are right about steaming not being mentioned-- -it was my desperate act to try and save them. Thanks for your reply!! I will try the ice approach and also try either steam or boiling alone as wlel as skipping the miso--- maybe I can just add miso to the cheese OR to the boiling water and reuse the bagel broth as soup :)

RobynNZ's picture

Hi La Mesa Bob

There is a possibility the salty miso is delaying fermentation.  Generally it is difficult to determine how much salt is present in a particular miso.  I note that you have reduced the salt level in your formula, but wondered how you had determined the substitution ratio. It might be better to use weights rather than volume when working this out. If your scales don't weigh small quantities, weigh a larger volume to get an idea of the volume:weight ratios for both your salt and your miso. (I weighed some of my miso, a level 15 ml tablespoon of it weighs 15 gram, my scales are accurate to 1 gram)

I took a look at a number of Japanese bread recipes incorporating miso. Most of them include miso around the 10% baker's % mark (that is for every 100 grams of flour, 10 grams of miso), the highest I found was at 12.5%. I don't have BBA so can't check to see approx what baker's percent of miso you have used in your formula.

Here's one such recipe, while for baguette not bagels, the photo should provide encouragement!:

Note this particular recipe contains by baker's percent 1.4% dry yeast (and indicates the optional use of 0.8% malt powder)

Must admit I'd incorporate the miso in the cream cheese, much easier to add gradually while tasting to get exactly the flavour profile you seek.

Cheers, Robyn

La Mesa Bob's picture
La Mesa Bob

Thank you for the bakers specifcs and the link to the Miso Walnut Baguette recipe--- That truly looks like good Ja-Pan  :)