The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Value of "Bagel Boards"

gerryp123's picture

Value of "Bagel Boards"

Several sites recommend the use of "bagel boards" to heat and dry the bottoms of bagels during the first few minutes of baking.  The idea (I think) is that bagels, when flipped over (bottom-side down) will be well baked on all surfaces and not stick to the baking surface.   Makes sense for a commercial operation baking hundreds of bagels an hour.  Its the way it's always been done!

When I bake bagels its usually 8-12 at a time.  I bake them on a stone covered with parchment paper that is sprinkled with corn meal, resulting in bagels with well baked bottoms, that never stick.  Bagel boards are easy to make and use, but wondering if they would add any value to my home-baking procedure.

Any opinions?


headdown's picture

Hi Gerry,
I have just begun making bagels in a brick oven, and at first wondered the same thing. What are the bagels boards  for?
For a brick oven, I think if one side of the bagels were on the hot hearth for the entire bake, they would burn. The boards let me flip them part way through the bake, 5 or 6 at a time, from outside the hot oven. Otherwise I would have to be trying to flip them individually with tongs or peels...not very easy. I so far have only done sesame seed bagels, and they don't stick to the bare wooden boards. I soak the boards in water before using. I do 5 minutes on the boards, then flip them off onto the hearth for 10 more minutes. But I'm not sure how relevant this is if you are baking in a home oven.

ciabatta's picture

Isolation Baking Show has an episode on bagels and Hamelman uses a plank and some other makeshift items as bagel boards.  He also goes into some history of bagel making.  the audio on that one episode was poor though.

he explains the bagel board at around 23 mins in.