The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bulk Bagels

mrosen814's picture

Bulk Bagels

Hi all -- I've been making bagels for a while, in small batches. I am hosting a rather large brunch and would like to make bagels, in bulk. I haven't made any breads in bulk before. Is there anything I should keep in mind when doing this? I'll most likely be using Reinhart's formula. 

Also -- do you prefer using malt syrup or diastatic malt powder inside the bagel dough?



LindyD's picture

Hi Michael.

PR's formula in the BBA claims it will make 24 mini bagels or 12 large ones.  I've only made them once, and that was several years ago.

I do know that Hamelman's formula will make 13 four-0unce bagels, so you would get 26 two-ouncers if you went with mini-bagels.

Not sure how many you need in total.   If you need double the standard formula amounts, your biggest challenge may be fitting four sheet pans with the formed bagels in your refrigerator for the overnight retard.  

Unless you have a professional mixer, probably best to mix in two batches as four pounds of low hydration dough would bring an everyday stand mixer to a hot, screetching melt-down.

Diastatic malt powder should be mixed with the flour, water, salt and yeast.  Its active amylase enzymes will convert more starch into sugar during the overnight fermentation, which is nice for the flavor profile.

Malt syrup is added to the boiling water (before it comes to a boil) to provide a nice color and shine to the bagels.

Your luncheon guests will be indeed fortunate to have freshly baked bagels on the menu! 

TastefulLee's picture
TastefulLee Artisan Bread Every Day is easier than the one in BBA, because it eliminates the step of making the this recipe (which is widely shared across the internet) from ABED, the dough itself is prefermented by a nice overnight rise in the fridge. I've been making a dozen weekly since I happened upon this recipe, to the delight of all who taste them.

I personally use barley malt syrup in both the dough and the boiling pot, for two reasons: 1) ABED recipe calls for it and b) if I have it on hand anyway for boiling I may as well put it to another use.

Here's a link to the ABED bagel recipe: This is the link I use on my Touchpad when making my bagels, although I've done it so many times now I can do it from memory.

The recipe is delicious, yeilding bagels with a crisp, chewy crust and a nice chewy interior. They smell heavenly and have wonderful flavor. My family is ruined on our favorite bagel shop forever LOL.

It's also a very forgiving recipe - I've accidentally added too much water, and adjusted with extra flour with good results. I've made dough that's slightly too soft and everything was fine. Other errors turned out well too - I've never ever made a batch that wasn't gobbled up.

You could easily make 24 mini bagels with this recipe. I make mine about 4 1/4 oz. and I get a nice dozen.

The best advice I can give from experience is keep the shaped bagels refrigerated until you are ready to boil AND bake them. For example, I can bake 2 pans at a time in my oven, so if I have a double batch with four pans I only boil and bake 2 at a time.

One final thought is that I find that water doesn't cut it when attempting to add toppings - they fall off immediately upon removal from the oven. One egg white mixed with 1 T water does the trick for me.

Happy baking and have a wonderful brunch - you have lucky friends!

wally's picture

You can always choose to mix up several batches of bagels, shape them, and allow them to proof for about 30-45 minutes and then freeze them.  Once frozen they can be stacked in a container to conserve space.  The night before baking them, you need to place them on sheetpans in the fridge to thaw (at this point, space could be an issue).

Take them out of the refrigerator on the day of the bake and in doable batches boil and bake them (they can stay in the fridge until you are ready to boil each batch).


mrosen814's picture

Thanks for all of the advice! This helps a lot.

vtsteve's picture

Hamelman's shaping for bagels (in Bread) is a little involved, but it gives the bagel great structure and texture. Instead of just rolling a doughball into a 'snake', or pushing your thumb through the doughball, you flatten the dough, roll it into a tight cylinder, elongate it and seal the ends together to form the bagel. Whenever I try to skip the flatten & roll step, I can feel the dough tearing and forming a void down the center while elongating. I'll admit that I've never made them with the 'poke' method (I don't think they'd be chewy enough for me).

mrosen814's picture

Right. I always try and get as much surface tension on the dough strands prioring to shaping the bagel.