The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bagels Sticking

RedDogs2's picture

Bagels Sticking

(I just found this forum. It's my new home!  It's different to navigate than other forums I'm on, so forgive any confusion...)


My recent obsession has been making bagels.   But every time, every recipe, every modificaiton, I have the same problem.  They stick to the pan, meaning torn up bagels and a huge mess to clean up.

I read a few of the bagel threads and didn't see anything about this.

What I've tried:

- Flouring the surface well.

- Cornmealing the surface (...ew).

- Using cooking spray (...I did half a tray this and half flour)

- Using olive oil.

- Setting the bagels on a drainer-tool for 5-10 minutes after the boiling.


But somehow the boiling and then into the oven results in a sticky mess.   Is the only answer parchment paper? Will they stick there too?  Thanks!


yy's picture

Welcome to TFL! Could you type the recipe for us, along with the procedure you use? That would be very helpful in answering your question.

LindyD's picture

Place a sheet of parchment on your peel, place the bagels on the parchment, then slide into the oven to your preheated baking stone.  

Here's the technique I use weekly.  

yy's picture

the problem may be that your dough hydration level is too high.  For instance, take the hupages recipe. Say your flour weight is approximately 500 grams at 125g per cup of flour, and you use 355g water (1.5 cups). That puts you at about 70% hydration (355/500), which is too wet for a bagel dough.

here's a link to Jeffrey Hamelman's bagel recipe from his book Bread. It's gotten a lot of positive reviews from TFL members. Notice that the hydration level in his formula is around 58% (18.6 oz/ 32 oz). If you don't have high gluten flour on hand, try decreasing the amount of water by a little bit to compensate for lowered water absorption due to lower protein content of the flour. The dough should be quite stiff.

in general, recipes given in weights rather than volumes are much more helpful for producing consistent and predictable results.


Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Super Parchment.  Amazon has it (though I got it for $7 at a local Kitchenware store compared to about $10-$11 at Amazon)

There's another version of the same thing that's just called "reusable parchment", google either term and you should find tons of sources.

Kaiserware reusable parchment 16x19

Super Parchment 13x17

Regency reusable cookie sheet liner 13x17  (also $5.89 + shipping)

Check local kitchenware shops for a better price.  I don't know why these aren't more widely used.  I love mine - I hated the silicon mat style liners I've tried to use before.  Those gummed up almost immediately and had to be thrown away.  I've been using the Super Parchment for over 6 months now and it's as good as new.  Simple to take care of, just wipe it off with a soapy wet sponge and rinse.  Don't fold to store.  I hang to dry over the curtain rod I have mounted over my sink (tension rod).  Roll it up and secure with a rubber band or hair tie, stores in very little space.

You cut them to size.  I've used mine for everything from pizza to bread.  I'm planning on getting more, for all my pans and cake pans.

Yolandat's picture

Hi RedDogs2

I have been experimenting with bagels as well for awhile now and i agree with yy. Your hydration is too high. Your dough should be quite firm and pliable not tacky. I usually form mine and put them on slightly oiled  parchment an  leave them on the counter for about 20 mins then slip them into the fridge overnight. The next morning I take them from the fridge into the boiling water then back onto the parchement. I put the bagels on the parchment onto my per heated stone using a pizza peal. I have never had problems with sticking that way and it makes it much easier to get in and out of the oven. Good luck nothing is better than fresh bagel for breakfast. 


JOELL's picture

Hello--I am having a problem with my bagels turning out flat, I have used a couple of different recipes, so it must be something I am or am not doing. I have to use a bread machine to make the dough because of some arm problems. Any help would be very much appreciated.

 Thank you