The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bagel baking help needed

Vishnu96's picture

Bagel baking help needed

Hey there,

I'm new to this forum, but I have seen other posts to get some help baking bread. 

The attached picture is what the bagels made today looked like. The one on the plate (and another which I ate) were pretty good for a first attempt. The ones on the foil though were far from perfect.

This was the recipe I followed (the change I made was halving everything to make a batch of 6)

There were 3 points at which I knew I could've made a big mistake.

1. Portioning: clearly some bagels look bigger than others and I don't think I did a good job making even portions 

2. Proofing + Broiling: the proofing process went well and I wanted to broil them like the recipe suggested. One thing that felt instantly wrong was when I went to flip them over to broil. I might have knocked out all the proofing and handled them too roughly.

3 Boiling: I feel that I overcrowded my boiling pot and that would have made a big difference if I boiled them in groups of 2 or 3.

Any advice/tips would be helpful. 

Thanks in advance! 


FloridaShark's picture

Looking at the recipe the raising time is way off from any bagel recipe I have ever made, 35 minutes total raising time is just not enough, When I don't make a sourdough recipe, I use this one and have never ever had a fail. Try it out as the recipe says it's simple.

A Dozen Simple Bagels


JeremyCherfas's picture

It looks like the inner dough of those on the foil is barely risen or barely cooked. Was it gummy?

My suspicion is that the boiling was a problem. I use my biggest pot, at a good rolling boil, and do three at a time. If I am lucky they float to the surface before two minutes is up. If they are stuck to the bottom I gently lift them off and remove them.

MontBaybaker's picture

I get consistent results every time with Hamelman's recipe, even when I play with flours or add a soaker,  raisins, etc.  I bulk proof I hour, shape by weight (111-113 gm, often getting a half-size "tester" bagel.  On Silpat in fridge overnight.  Start heating water, and boil 2-3 at a time once they've warmed up slightly and pass the float test.  Lacking bagel boards, I use a wet old bread towel on a sheet pan for 4 min., then flip over onto the stone.