The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Massive Sticking on Bottom of Bagels

DulceBHbc's picture

Massive Sticking on Bottom of Bagels

Following Peter Reinhart's recipe. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. The tops of the bagels look good, but the bottoms keep sticking to the pan. I'm even coating the pan with vegetable oil. I've tried a nonstick sheet before, but the stuck bagels came off, but took the nonstick coating with them!

I'm baking at 450 degrees. The bottoms of the bagels are pretty wet when I put them in the oven, as I'm taking them right out of the boiling-water bath and putting them onto the baking sheet. Perhaps this is the problem.

Has anyone else run into this? If so, what was your solution?

Here's a picture of my oven. The bagels go on the top rack. As you can see, it's pretty high in the oven, so it's not like the bottoms are cooking too close to the heat source.



mrfrost's picture

I think most would advise baking on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or baking sheet fitted with silicone baking mat. Even with parchment, I believe I have still seen it advised to use a non stick spray, etc, for bagels, at some point in the process. You can usually find Reynolds parchment paper at the grocery store, near the waxed paper, aluminum foil, etc. Costs about $3 for a 24 ft roll. Even less with $1 off printable coupon at the Reynolds web site. It is highly reusable(depending on use).

In lieu of the above, a baking sheet nicely dusted with semolina, maybe lightly greased to hold the semolina in place, onto which the well drained bagels are placed.

Good luck.

MisterTT's picture

I used oiled parchment paper, because bagels are wont to really latch on if you put them on the sheet straight after coming out of the pot.

Dragonbones's picture

When you pull them out of the water with a slotted spoon or slotted spatula, put them on a cooling rack atop a baking pan first, to drip a bit. Once all are out of the water, wait one minute, then transfer them to a semolina- or cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet (parchment) atop your baking pan, and I'm sure you won't ever have a problem with sticking again. You're just transfering way too much water to your baking pan as is.

DulceBHbc's picture

they stuck way less. In fact, I didn't even have to rip them off the pan! I think I just have to let them dry for 10 minutes before slipping them on to the baking sheet.

I've tried parchment paper before, and all I got was parchment paper–lined bottom of bagels. :)

dabrownman's picture

go from the simmering water to the hot oven as soon as possible and not let them sit around for 10 minutes - they won't spring as well.  I do this by taking them out of the water with a slotted spoon and put them bottom side down om a clean kitchen towel for 1 second and then flip them over topside into the seeds, cheese, onions or what ever topping and them flip them onto a semolina coated parchment paper that is on a baking sheet, and then right into the oven.  i can only boil 3 at a time but with only 25 seconds a side by the time the first ones 3 come out of the water  until the 2nd batch of3 are coated and on the parchment is only 3 minutes.

You can use a Silpat too in place of the parchment paper, if you bake at 450 F.  

DulceBHbc's picture

I did an experiment of letting the bagels rest a bit after simmering in water, and it didn't adversely affect the spring of the baked bagel.

I want to try the Silpat, but is it safe? The idea of putting a plastic-like object in a 450° oven doesn't sound like it'd be a good idea, but perhaps those with experience with Silpat can attest to the hardiness of the mat?

mrfrost's picture

I don't know where you are, but these seem to be common here in America. I believe they were developed by a European firm, so are probably very common there also.

They seem to have been around a long time. It is not plastic. It is made of silicone, which is typically "rubber like". Silicone typically is very heat resistant. They are typically the size of common pans and baking/cookie sheet pans, and are used to line said pans. That is how most people seem to use them.

The original Silpats used to be relatively expensive, and been in use for a long time. I'm sure they are considered safe, but of course there are always extremists for/against virtually anything.

I have a cheap, $5 Aldi store brand knock off("seasonal item") that I have been using once, or twice a week at around that temp for about three years. As I use, as described above, it seems to be holding up well and will probably go for another three years. Most of these are reinforced with a fiberglass mesh, and that may, or may not, keep it from lasting forever. There is a strand or two of the fibers that are starting to fray on the edges of mine. Expect to pay 2 -3 times that(or more) for the real deal though.

As stated, have been baking breads(mostly rolls, but several batches of bagels also) for three years, and have never had anything "stick"(as to be a serious issue). But I also never had sticking "issues" when doing bagels on oiled, cormeal/semolina dusted parchment paper. I followed all precautions though.

Good luck.

JoPi's picture

When I make bagels, after taking them out of the water, I transfer them to a towel just to drain them off for a few seconds while I put the next batch into the water.  Then I transfer the bagels from the towel to a cornmeal sprinkled, lightly sprayed with oil parchment paper.  They have never stuck.  Good luck!

theprudenttart's picture

I've been able to easily remove my bagels in using a silpat lined sheet (generic silpat is pretty inexpensive at places like Amazon.)

What temperature were you baking the bagels at? is it possible your parchment paper wasn't graded to the temperature you used?

I just pt up a blog post on bagels, here's the link in case the step-by-step is helpful: