The Fresh Loaf

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Divider rounder for bagels + stretch-fold

Headly's picture

Divider rounder for bagels + stretch-fold


i have been running a small cottage industry business making sourdough bagels. Getting ready to open a retail shop when combining my expected business to the wholesale business I have lined up the labor time (it is primarily me with some help but I can’t spend the entire day making bagels) is not going to work well. These are all hand formed bagels and to date I mix small batches, stretch and fold about 3 hours, weigh portions appropriately, roll them by hand in a ball, rest, then poke a hole in the middle, retard for the night, boil, bake. 

my questions 

I will have a heavy duty spiral mixer with breaking bar — I’ll have to test but wondering if I can build the gluten well with that eliminating / drastically reducing the stretch and fold time

— do not have but wondering about a divider rounder to proportion and round the dough balls, important to have a tight skinned and fully closed ball here…some of the videos look okay but no one ever shows the bottom ( is it closed), many of the videos the dough looks like hockey pucks not rounded balls but I assume that has something to do with the settings / size. This is a sizable investment to “try” so welcoming your thoughts about this

these are sourdough bagels about 52-54% hydration 

also wondering if the divider-rounder works would it work better with cold dough…perhaps I could bulk retard the dough the divide / round early in the morning giving them a couple of hours to then proof before boil


appreciate your any thoughts


MichaelLily's picture

Divider/rounders appear to be designed for fast proofing dough that doesn't need much bulk rising time at all. From my experience using a 36-piece divider, the maximum weight of risen dough to use is 80 g per portion. Companies that make a lot of buns etc. are turning out very small pieces of dough that rise much. In my opinion, you would benefit greatly from a divider, and the rounding option may or may not work for you. I don't have much success in rounding, however the rounder does separate the pieces for me along the cuts. They are putzy to clean but it sounds well worth the time savings for you. I have an extra rounder in storage that I don't really need depending on where you are. DM me if you are interested; chances are it will be much cheaper than what you are looking at.