The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

My 3 B's of Bagels- Build, Boil, Bake....2nd and 3rd B

tattooedtonka's picture

My 3 B's of Bagels- Build, Boil, Bake....2nd and 3rd B

After leaving the bagels in cold storage for the day, I start prepping for the Boil and Bake portions of my Bagels.

I begin with a 20 quart Aluminum Stock Pot about 3/4 filled with water to which I then add 3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda.

While this is heating up I preheat my oven up to 500'f.

Once water is at a boil I will add in bagels, in batches of 6.  Now following BBA you would boil for 1-2 minutes per side.  I was doing this for 2 minutes per side for a long time.  Recently though I read Mike Avery (whom I have a lot of respect for), mention that anything over 30 seconds per side will end up putting wrinkles on your bagels.  Well I had wrinkles on every batch, so I did this batch for only 30 seconds per side.

While these boiled I prepped a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper for the bake. My 3/4 sheet pans are too tight in the oven.

Once boiled I baked them at 500' for 5 minutes, then rotate pan 180' and bake for another 5 minutes.

Again, BBA will say to drop oven temp to 450' after rotating pan.  I do not though because I'm doing multiple batches.  Its just much easier than changing temps back and forth.

After the bake, here is what they look like.

And the bottom..

And the crumb...

LOL, and yes before anyone mentions...I know that without the big center hole these look more like a Bialy than a Bagel, but that is intentional.  I like a more closed up center, its easier for me to load up with cream cheese or to make a sammie out of. 

I also can make them darker, but again, I like the chewy better than crusty.  My regular bagels are a couple shades darker then these SD bagels but still pretty light color overall. 

Im good with it though.....



weavershouse's picture

I can't wait to finally give these a try. I'm glad you said they are chewy. Most bagels in the stores have turned into just a bagel shaped plain roll, nothing like a real bagel.


Do you ever add anything to them, like a little whole grain or seeds?


Thanks for your post. I look forward to see what else comes out of your oven.


tattooedtonka's picture

I do sometimes add toppings.  I usually do some that are topped with Sea Salt, and others with an Onion and herb combo, or Poppy seeds.  My problem with this though isnt the taste, its in the storage. 

I have tried zip-lock baggies, Tupperware, Paper lunch sacks, etc.

I've tried leaving out on counter and kept in a fridge.

Any of my bagels with toppings usually get a little soggie after the first day.  The Sea Salt ones really get bad.  The salt starts to dissolve into the crust and makes them kinda wet feeling.  For the onion and herb ones, the onion starts getting kinda soggy on top of the bagel causing same end results, a creepy feeling bagel.

In my kitchen my bagels last best if stored in brown paper lunch sacks, on the counter at room temp.  My sourdoughs last longer than my regular yeast bagels, as far as days go before becoming hard.  But since I made these on a Sunday night they will not be all devoured before my work week gets going, so I just made all plain.  When I make them on a Sat. morning or a friday night I will make some that are topped because they wont make it through the weekend before consumption.

And as for chewy, I am a huge chewy fan.  My wife and kids are not really into my SD breads because they just dont appreciate the sour.  But they all love these bagels, they are not really sour, just a mild hint of it.



Eli's picture

with some lox, cream cheese and capers! Mine get the wrinkles too, learned something new. Also, I agree with you about the center. My stuffings/toppings just fall through! Great work!


tattooedtonka's picture

I hate having my butter or cream cheese fall into some big cavernous hole in the center of my bagel.  Or worse having it squish out of it when I bite into the bagel.  Since I put the two halves back together and eat it like a sandwich, when there is a big hole I end up wearing a combo of melted butter and cream cheese down the front of my shirt..

As for the lox, oh yes, my wife has gotten me hooked on it, I have not tried capers yet though.  Right now I just have regular cream cheese, and a herb and chives cream cheese spread.



ehanner's picture

Function over form any day I say. Nice looking chewy Bagels.


mrfrost's picture

Why didn't you let them brown(more)? I thought that was what the soda was for. Never mind. I see you spoke to that already.

I also prefer making my bagels as primarily sandwich devices. For that reason also, I don't like them super chewey. Soft and slippery items tend to get squished out the sides.

Those do look good. Makes me want to try them. I just returned BBA to the library, but recorded most of the formulas.

Mama Geri's picture
Mama Geri

Just thought you could make some bagel chips with the ones that are not ready for prime time eating! Great with cream cheese too just like the fresh ones. Love this site want to put more time into baking breads. So unhappy with store bought even from bakeries in town. Can you suggest a recipe I could try for a beginner bagel maker. Thanks in advance.

mrfrost's picture

(IMO)For the most foolproof yeast bread recipes, especially for beginners(like myself), start at KAF( Most of their myriad recipes are tested for repeated reproducibility, and there's no question about the quantity of ingredients(howmuch flour in a cup?, etc.).

Be advised that most of their bread recipes call for KA AP flour(King Arthur All purpose), which is 11.7% protein. This is equivalent to most other brands bread flour. Just realize that you don't have to use their flour, but if you don't, you should use other flour of equivalent protein levels to get similar results.

They also have great blogs with pictures of the recipes as they are being made.

King Arthur bagel recipes:

I've only been baking for nine months or so, and I did quite well on their Mini Bagels, Water Bagels, and whole wheat bagels. This was only after I had baked for 2 or 3 months or so.

Baby bagels blog:

Dozen simple bagels blog: 

 The recipe in this thread is also a very popular recipe(they all seem to be pretty similar) and also shows the way many people prefer to shape their bagels. King Arthur may use the poke-a-hole method.

Mama Geri's picture
Mama Geri

Mr. Frost:

Appreciate your quick reply, I'm anxious to gather my ingredients and try your suggested recipes and links etc. I know after I get my hands into it I'll stop being fearful of the unknown. See you after my first batch! Thanks again