The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flat bagel problem

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Carl Bergensis's picture
Carl Bergensis

Flat bagel problem

I've been using Peter Reinhart's recipe witth pleasantly tasty, chewy results, but they tend to flatten during the boiling. Ruth Levy Beranbaum's behaved similarly but got a lot of oven spring. The latest batch looked really great pre-boiling so it was kind of disappointing. I could go back to RLB's recipe but I recall it was more complicated -- but  maybe that's the answer.


 


 

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

The bagel dough may have too much moisture.  Bagel dough must be quite stiff, in order for it to maintain it's shape during the boil.  


Also, I tend to shape my bagels with lots of tension, to help assure a nice spring when they hit the oven.


Hope this helps. :) 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Carl,


Keep the bagels in the cooler until your water is boiling. Don't take them out and allow them to warm up.  The flatness sounds like they are getting overproofed.


Boil the bagels for no more than 45 seconds, then immediately place them in a bowl of ice water until they've cooled.  Move them to a rack until all the bagels from your batch are boiled and iced, then get them into the oven.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

the pros baked the bagels on planks until the bottoms set and then flipped them to finish baking. bagels that are put onto a baking surface and not turned will end up with flat bottoms, no matter how conscientious your efforts are; it's just the nature of dough to obey the laws of gravity.

i think Hamelman's ice water bath is absurd and unnecessary. no one did it during the Golden Age of handmade bagels and there's no point in doing it now.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

LindyD's picture
LindyD

We're home bakers.  At least, I am.


Dan DiMuzio set forth good reasons for using the ice water bath during a previous discussion on bagel boards.


I don't work at the speed of light, so I follow the advice of Hamelman and DiMuzio and use the ice bath.  It works.

Carl Bergensis's picture
Carl Bergensis

I think moistness may be the problem; I added more flour than the recipe called for, but they still felt like raised doughnuts going into the water.