The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Problem - Bagel Bread Curst Pigment

dseminsky's picture

Problem - Bagel Bread Curst Pigment

Hi Everyone,

I'm hoping someone out there has the answer to a problem I'm having.  When baking bagels I'm getting this strange pigment in some areas on my bagel crust.  The bagel in the picture attached has not been glazed with any solution and you can see the strange discolorment on the side of the bagel.  I been told that its due to my oven temp being different temperatures in different areas.  But before going out an buying a new oven I want to make sure this is this cause.   


Please help. Your Bagel Friend :-)

Isand66's picture

Have you baked a loaf in your oven with similar results?  Are you using an steam when baking the bagels?

I would also buy a cheap oven thermometer and put it in different spots in your oven and see if that really has anything to do with it.

Try adding steam when baking if you are not doing that already.  I have seen similar results with peoples breads when they don't use steam.

Yerffej's picture

Do not go and buy a new oven but do post your recipe with complete what and how details.


drogon's picture

I have 3 ovens - one has a classing top to bottom temperature gradient (range cooker, no fan) The 2nd is an electric fan oven - basic domestic model and that has hot spots at the back (where the hot air is blasted out) - so when making bread I turn the trays round after 11 minutes and it comes out perfect. Oven No. 3 is an "entry level" commercial oven with 2 heating elements and 2 fans - that's better than oven no. 2, but even then, I've started to find hot spots, so the trays get turned again.

So maybe that's all you need - turn the trays after 10 minutes and see what happens...

But the real question - were the bagels good to eat???


dseminsky's picture

Hi All.  Wow thank you for your replies.  I have only baked bagels in this oven and I have not tried using steam.  But I will definitely try in the coming days.  When using the steam do i just use it in the beginning or several times throughout? 

The bagels are made at a factory, where they are shaped then placed in a refrigerator for 10 hours then immediately flash chilled.  They are delivered to my bakery in a temperature controlled van.  Prior to baking they are pulled out of the freezer and placed into a refrigerator where they thaw till morning.  I boil the bagels, if they are to be given toppings I glaze them with egg wash.  

I do not have a lot of experience baking.  The baker who provides these to us mentioned is a problem with the oven. 

I do turn them at 12 minutes and then let them bake for another 4 minutes.  Shall I try a different interval?

@Gordon - the bagels are amazing.  The discolouration does not have any impact on the flavor but given that I'm selling them in my cafe I want them to look the part ;-)  

Thank you all for replying!  Much appreciated :-)

Yerffej's picture

"When baking bagels I'm getting this strange pigment in some areas on my bagel crust."

This is a result of the refrigeration that the bagels undergo prior to coming to you.


nmygarden's picture

Sort of a 'freezer burn' effect? I was thinking along those lines, too. Are they sealed well when you get them? Any of their other customers reporting similar experiences?


WoodenSpoon's picture

not a big gaping hole but just a slight separation of that very thin skin layer. can you pick the layer off/crunch it if you push on it?

dseminsky's picture

I ran more test based on your feedback over the past several days.  It definitnely does not have anything to do with my oven.  I noticed some discolorment prior to boiling the bagels which becomes more apparent after boiling them and then develops into this patchy pigment after being baked.  For now we are able to seperate the bagels that do not have this issue and bake them as our plain bagels and toppings are used for the bagels with the discolorment. I'm working with the supplier now to see if the issue occurs during the refrigeration or flash freezing or post freezing.  I'm thinking it is freeezer burn.  Again thank you alll for your feedback and support.