The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help shaping Bagels

Gpats's picture

Help shaping Bagels

Hi Guys

Long time lurker first time poster. I've been really getting into baking bread the last 9 months and have been experimenting with some bagels and other breads the last few weeks.  

Been getting really good taste and chewy textures but am just struggling a bit getting a nice smooth round shape. I've tried rolling out the dough and re-joining it in a circle shape but they generally aren't a consistent size the whole way round. I have also tried rolling it into a ball and punching a hole through the middle however when I let it do a short 2nd proof the holes partially close over.

The other issue I have is the bagels deflating and losing their shape when transferring them to the boiling water after the second proof.

Any advice would be appreciate

Thanks in advance.

bikeprof's picture

I like the poke-a-hole method, but they likely need two rounds of stretching: poke, put the first finger from each hand through the hole from opposite sides and spin/stretch them out...and after you finish (and they have had a rest), go back and do it again, going for a larger hole than you want in the finished bagels.

BethJ's picture

I use the ball-and-punch method.  My holes close over, and I haven't really minded, but I might try bikeprof's method and see what happens. 

My proof is long and overnight in the fridge.  I find if I bring them too close to room temp after that proof - and before boiling - they deflate and become mis-shaped during the boiling process, as you describe.  I prefer to bring them out of the fridge no more than 10-12 minutes before boiling.  Much easier to handle cold.

Janetmv's picture

I use the same method as bikeprof, and it works well for me. I also proof overnight in the fridge and put them straight into the water bath. They are very easy to handle that way.

HansB's picture

To add to the good advice above, I proof overnight on semolina dusted parchment. They seem to release easy with less chance of deflating/deforming.

MontBaybaker's picture

for shaping.  Overnight  fridge proof on lightly cornmeal-dusted silicone mats on sheet trays.  If I empty half a fridge & and use a tall baking rack, I can stack 2 large pans and do a double batch.  I learned the hard way to not remove from the fridge (and only 1 pan at a time) until the water is close to boiling.   They don't rise much in the fridge so I place them fairly close together.  On silicone (and cold) they easily come off and hold their shape.

I must make some this weekend after a horrid "bagel" today from a bagel shop I'd never been to.  Hungry while waiting for an appointment.  I liked the oatmeal date concept, but this had the texture & flavor of a cheap hamburger bun.  Nothing close to a bagel.  

dabrownman's picture