The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBA Bagel Question

Zarco's picture

BBA Bagel Question

I recently tried the bagel recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. At the end of two hours, the sponge did not double in size, nor did it look foamy or bubbly. In fact, it took about 12 hours to become foamy and double in size. Also, it seemed much thicker and stickier than pancake batter after mixing. It did achive a pancake batter-like consistency after the 12 hours, however. What could be causing it to take so much longer than two hours? I weighed my ingredients and room temperature is about 70° F. I used King Arthur bread flour and Fleischman's bread machine yeast. Thanks in advance for any advice.

shimpiphany's picture

i've had the same issue with the sponge - but the bagels always seem to turn out great.  i'm using instant yeast, and at about the same temp.

holds99's picture

I use Reinhart's recipe for bagels frequenstly and have not had any problems.  I have never used bread machine yeast but if it's the same as active dry yeast it will, according to King Arthur's Baker's Companion, take longer to kick in: "active dry yeast is a little slower off the mark than instant, as far as dough rising goes, but in a long (2 to 3 hour) rise, the  active dry yeast catches up".  So, if bread machine yeast is active dry yeast that might account for the slow reaction and longer fermentation time for the sponge.  You might try switching over to instant yeast the next time you make the recipe and see if that makes a difference in the time required for the sponge.  Other factors that affect rising times are room temperature, barometric pressure and numerous other factors.  As long as your sponge was active, bubbling and doubled, regardless of the time it took to get there, it shouldn't matter which type yeast you used.

Accuracy, as to ingredients, is really important in all recipes.  Bagels are low hydration dough and really require a lot of muscle if you're mixing by hand.  This dough gives my K.A. mixer a real workout.  Anyway, those are some thoughts.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL