The Fresh Loaf

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Bagels: Tough Tops

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mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

Bagels: Tough Tops

Hi all, 

I just made a batch of Hamelman's bagels and I think they turned out well. I am an U.S. expat here in Australia and I have yet to find a decent bagel! I have also been unable to source high-gluten flour, though, I can get bread flour and I add some vital wheat gluten to that. 

I have noticed that with these bagels (and others I have made), the tops are very tough/hard. They're also too thick, I think. Could this be an oven issue? Too long in the boiling water? Flour type?

Thanks, 

Michael

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

look awful nice to me.  Blistered and Brown - the double B's can't be beat!.  Crumb looks good too.  How long are you boiling and baking them.  What temp is your oven at?   Are you steaming?  Are you flipping them half way through?

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

Thanks. 

I boiled them for about 45 seconds. The oven was set at 500 for the entire bake. I started them top side down and flipped 4 minutes into the bake. Total bake time was about 22 minutes.

Hmmm...perhaps the residual water from the ice bath created steam, thus making the tops harder?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I bring the liquid to a boil then turn it down till it stops boiling and then do 1 minute flipping them at the 30 second mark to get 30 seconds on each side. 

I preheat the oven to 450 F with 2 of Sylvia's steaming pans.  They bake a total of 16 minutes.  Starting them upside down, seeded side down (round side) for 4 minutes and then flipping them is fine.  At the 8 minute mark take the steam out and turn the oven down to 425 F Convection this time.  No convection - no worries.  The will still be done in 16 minutes.  This is for 125 g  shaped bagel.

Too high too long sounds like your problem.

Hopes this helps.

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

I agree. Too long in the oven and too high a heat. Thanks for the feedback.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

IMO, your oven is too hot.  5 minutes at 450 with a 180 degree turn of the baking sheet for a final 5 minutes (or 'till they're as brown as you want them) is what I'd recommend.  That's for bagels at 4 - 4 1/2 ounces each.  Tru cooling them on the pan for the first 5 - 10 minutes, then on a cooling rack until they're just slightly warm, then inside a paper bag to finish cooling.

I know a couple of dozen people who would kill to get the crumb you're getting in your bagels.  They look great.

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

Thanks. I can never seem to fully bake my bagels under 15-18 minutes. I will give it another shot though, and try out your cooling technique.

wally's picture
wally

For what it's worth, i never flip my bagels. I suspect that in a small oven, cranking it to 500 degrees and starting the tops of your bagels on the hearth may lead to a tough bagel.  Try reducing your heat to 450, baking time to 15-18 minutes, and forego flipping the bagels - leave them topside up.

Good luck!

Larry