The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with Hydration of Dough with Addition of Peppers

TastefulLee's picture

Help with Hydration of Dough with Addition of Peppers

Hi, all.  I have been baking bagels for my family successfully for about 6 months now by adapting a recipe based on one by Peter Reinhart. It’s a very forgiving recipe that’s easy and consistent, and my children in particular can’t get enough.

I’ve been experimenting with flavors, and had great success with sundried tomato basil (to which I also added some lemon zest)  and blueberry (to which I also added a little cinnamon and lemon zest). I'm guessing that because the tomatoes and berries are dried there's no alteration to the hydration of the recipe there. I also tried a cheddar jalapeno version which although delicious turned out more like a roll than a bagel, which I attribute to the water in the peppers which resulted in higher hydration dough.  The cheese may be contributing to the higher hydration as well, but I’m really not sure of that.

I wonder if anyone else has tried this and if so, knows how to reduce the liquid in the recipe to compensate for the water in the peppers. If there’s a table or chart somewhere relating to this I’d love to know about it.

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions. Oh – the formula I’m using follows:


880 g      King Arthur Bread Flour  

  28 g      vital wheat gluten             

  42 g      Barley malt syrup              

  21 g      Kosher salt

7 ½ g      ADY

510 g      water (about 94 degrees F)

5-6          large jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeds and membranes removed)

8 oz.       sharp cheddar cheese, shredded



Place water in Bosch mixer bowl. Add barley malt syrup and allow to dissolve. Add yeast and salt to liquids in bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, VWG, peppers and cheese. Add to liquids and mix just until all flour is moistened.

Allow to rest for 3 minutes. Use mixer to knead for about 5 minutes, or until dough is tacky but not sticky, smooth and pliable.

Place in lightly oiled container and cover. Allow to rise for 1 hour.

After dough has risen, remove from container and divide into 12 equal portions and shape bagels. Place on greased sheet pans, (6 can fit on a pan), or line sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly mist with oil.

Rest bagels overnight or up to 3 days in the refrigerator.


To bake bagels:


Preheat oven to 500 F. Add 1 T baking soda and 1 T barley malt syrup to a wide pot of boiling water. Boil bagels (I do 3 at a time) 1 minute on first side and then flip – boil 30 seconds. Remove bagels back to cookie sheets, brush with egg wash.

Place bagels in oven, add steam and reduce temp to 450 F. Bake for about 15 minutes with 2 90 degree rotations of the pans.

(Of course you could flip the bagels after the first 3-4 minutes ala Hammelman but my family has never complained about the flat side of these and so if it ain’t broke…J


Thanks in advance for any suggestions.