The Fresh Loaf

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Bagel question

Baker007's picture

Bagel question


I have just attempted baking bagels following the recipe from Bread Bakers Apprentice.

The problem I had was that as soon as I put the bagels into boiling water they completely deflated. I've never had this problem using other bagel recipes.

The only step I missed was doing the float test before putting the bagels into the fridge overnight to retard. Before putting in the fridge though they sat on the counter for around 15 mins.

In the end I baked the bagels without boiling them otherwise I would have wasted a whole heap of effort and at least now they are still edible.

Has anyone else had this issue or do you have any clue as to where I went wrong? Other recipes I've tried did not call for the float test and did not deflate when I boiled them.


Thanks for your help.




Elagins's picture

interesting that the bagels "deflated," since most of the time when i make bagels, including when I've used the BBA recipe, there's been very little expansion during retardation. so your comment suggests that they inflated significantly while you had them in the fridge.

the only reasons i can think of for a retarded dough to deflate are (a) overproofing because of too much yeast (and i've made this mistake) -- in this case, where the shock of the boiling water causes the trapped CO2 to expand rapidly so

that the dough literally explodes and collapses; or (b) using a relatively low-gluten flour like AP that simply doesn't have the strength to hold the CO2. 

a useful guideline for bagels is to use the highest-gluten flour you can find, like All Trumps or Sir Lancelot, and no more than 0.2% instant yeast and cold retard for at least 12 hours.

Stan Ginsberg

cady's picture

I have used the BBA recipe many times.  I have had some deflation.  From my experience it is from over proofing.  Usually they have grown little while retarding.  However, even if they deflate I have just put them in the oven.  I get a lot of oven spring.  They usually end up fine.

I will admit, it always causes anxiety when they deflate. 



KenK's picture

One of these days I'm going to have to try the overnight retarding thing.  I use a 12-16 hour old preferment but after I mix the final dough they go in the oven within about two hours.

I think they are pretty good.