The Fresh Loaf

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My first bagel turned out hard, wondering why

pearlofeu's picture
pearlofeu

My first bagel turned out hard, wondering why

Dear experts,

I love bagels. I remember the times I purchased them in NYC, they were crunchy outside (but not tooth breaking crunchy), soft but still chewey inside. I also have had bagels in bags from grocery stores, these are not the ones I prefer eating.

When I tried to recreate the texture and the taste, compering to the above descibed my bagels turned out, well not bad but not that great either. Appered OK. 

Outside: blisters developed after baking, color was nice but texture too hard/crunchy I think. I don't remember blisters on NYC bagel thus.

Inside: chewey but kind of hard, dense.

I used Epicurious's recipe here. Note, that I made a short sponge, left for about 30 mins to rise. After using kitchenaid for approx. 10 mins on level 1-2, I let it sit for 10 mins, kneading again for about 15-20 mins because the ball formed already and the texture was smooth, not sticky. Let it sit for more than 1 hour. Formed balls, made the bagels by the pinching method -have to admit, I firts tried to combine the traditional rope method by the pinching one: pinched the hole, put my hand in and tried to roll them to nice bagels. They became very ugly looking. I also made a few with just pinching and stretching. (On the end products, it didnt make a big difference n the baked bagels.) Put them to the fridge covered for 12 hours - I didn't have more time. Put syrup and soda to water, boiled them 30 sec on each side, topped them and put the 8 bagels into the air circ. oven for abt. 20 mins on 450F. Used regular pan and oil greased parchment. 

 

What do you think went wrong and what should I do to get softer bagels?

Also, anyone of you knows how they make that cream cheese lax or any fish schmear in the bagel stores? 

thanks. 

 

dmg's picture
dmg

 I've had very good luck with this recipe: https://justonebiteplease.com/?s=bagels&submit=

Good hard crust and chewy crumb. 

The bubbles are probably from overproofing. Syrup should go int dough during initial autolyze. 

ds99303's picture
ds99303

Regarding the Epicurious recipe:  I thought you only put baking soda in the water if you were making pretzels.

pearlofeu's picture
pearlofeu

Thanks for both of you.

I used syrup in the dough as well. I've read many recipes about making bagels, the vast majority called for syrup in the water, too. In my case I missed salt as my dough became a bit saltier as I tasted. 

Thanks for the idea of over proofing. Wondering how that happened when a lot of recipe suggest more raising time and still I felt I was shy with mine. Bagel size on the other hand wasn't as big or full as I wanted, none of them looked like bagels on Epi's pic or on the site dmg suggested. 

dmg's picture
dmg

Aside from possible over proofing, maybe you're boiling them too long. I only boil them about 8-10 sec per side. I also boiled them longer when I first started but found that a minute of boiling cooks them and stops the yeast, thus preventing any oven spring. In fact, they sometimes collapsed slightly. If your bagels are undersized, this may be the problem. As I understand it, the boiling is to convert the surface starch and give them an alkaline coating from the baking soda, not to actually cook them.

pearlofeu's picture
pearlofeu

Thanks.

So you are saying overproofing...Other recipes required more time and a lot more bathing than 30 sec a time.

Next time I'll probably let it rise for half an hour, make the bagels and let rise again for 30 mins in hope to get fuller bagels. Put them to fridge only after this time period. Minimal bath and then bake.

 

thanks