The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Commercial Bagel Proofing

Bagelboy0521's picture

Commercial Bagel Proofing

Hi everyone, I wouldn’t consider myself a professional baker, but would greatly appreciate a professional baker’s advice.

On my quest to have the best bagels, I’m trying to increase the length of time of my slow fermentation. I currently do an overnight proof in my walk-in, but my in store business, along with catering increases have made it nearly impossible for my team members to fit without constantly bumping into each other.

My thought was to start making bagels as my store closes (around 4 pm), and retard my bagels for roughly 32 hours (we start at midnight).

My question long would you recommend proofing my bagels after they’re formed, before I place them in the cooler for their slow fermentation? Or, would one recommend placing bagels directly into the cooler since they will be slow fermenting for so long. **i currently use ice water (12 lbs for 50 lb bag of flour) to make the dough more consistent through the former, but also slows down the proofing process).

any thoughts and/or opinions would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!


thebagelguys's picture

Hey bagelboy! Are they yeasted or sourdough? What is your current process from mix to bake?

Vladimir's picture

I used to make bagels in a professional bakery with overnight (about 20 hours) fermentation. We allowed very little bulk fermentation (about 30 minutes in a walk-in refrigerator), then shaped them as quickly as possible, and returned to the walk-in for overnight storage or froze for later use. Pretty much all proofing was happening just before boiling/baking.

From the physics point of view that process made sense, because dough with gas bubbles will not cool as fast or as evenly as degassed dough.