The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bagels

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Bruce J's picture
Bruce J

Bagels

I am trying different bagel recipes and all have the same problem.  They expand nicely in the water bath but will contract far too much during baking.  I am assuming  the problem is a lack of gluten.  I am using King Arthur bread flour since I don't have access to high gluten flour.  Do you think adding vital wheat gluten to the bread flour will take care of the probmem.  Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

proth5's picture
proth5

that high gluten flour is required to make authentic bagels, but in a pinch I've used KA Bread flour and have not experienced any problems.  So I'm not sure it is the flour that is the culprit here.

You will probably need to be more descriptive as to your formula and technique (most likely your technique if this happens with different formulas) to get a good answer to your problem.

Hope this is at least somewhat helpful...

mini_maggie's picture
mini_maggie

What are you doing for your water bath?  Boiling or just warm water?  How long?  Any added sugar? 

Are you maybe boiling too long?   How hot is the oven they're going into?  All will help figure out what's going on.

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

It sounds like maybe your dough has insufficient development and the structure is collapsing during the bake when the gas formed in the dough when boiling dissipates. Tell us something about how you are preparing and mixing your dough.  Bread flour, which is probably around 12% g protein, should have sufficient gluten to form a bagel.  One thing that may be counterintuitive is that doughs made from high gluten flour actually need more kneading and dough development than those made with AP flour.  You'd think that since there was more gluten, you wouldn't have to work as hard, but the opposite is true.

-Brad

 

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

The very thing you mention has happened to me -- they look great after the boil, and then they just collapse flat when baked. (Still taste great, though!) I found I had to work longer with the high gluten flour to develop it better. 

Amna Fraz's picture
Amna Fraz

I'm new to bread baking- have made innumerable batches of bagels over the past couple of weeks, tried every recipe i could lay my hands on. Made Peter Reinheart, Michael Ruhlman, also a recipe I found on Chef Talk by Jim Berman- using the correct flour, did the windowpane taste, float test etc everything's great so far. They look plump and delicious in the bath, Boil them a minute either side- unfortunately soon as they come out of the bath they begin to deflate and never recover that great look, even after the baking. Oven is at 500. Get a lovely golden colour but no shine and definitely no blister. Crust is not crisp- unless toasted before eating. Clueless as to where I'm going wrong!

Please help!!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Try getting them out of the bath much sooner. 30 seconds per side. 1 minute total max bath time. If they still collapse, you might then try immersing them in a cold/ice water bath immediately after boiling.

If they still collapse, you will probably need to decrease the yeast and/or the time they are allowed to ferment(proof) outside of the refrigerator.

Good luck.

Amna Fraz's picture
Amna Fraz

Thanks a million- will try all options out and see how it goes.

If possible, could you please clarify a point for me- how would decresing the yeast help? Not quite sure how yeast works but i was actually thinking of incresing yeast quantity a bit to prevent the collapse

Thanks!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I will only say(maybe someone else will give a more thorough explanation), but when dough rises according to plan and then falls unexpectedly, before or during baking, too little yeast is not likely the issue. It's actually quite the opposite, all things considered, although I can understand how this may seem couter-intuitive, in a way, for some.

Assuming the recipe is proven though, the quantity of yeast is likely not the issue. Other factors are likely the cause of the overproofing. It's usually a matter of time and/or temperature, etc, which are essentially addressed by the other suggested possible solutions.

Good luck.

Amna Fraz's picture
Amna Fraz

Many thanks, much appreciated - will try your suggestions out and see how it goes