The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Bagels: overnight proofing and condensation issues

Fishbutter's picture

Bagels: overnight proofing and condensation issues

Hello! I am hoping someone can help me with a problem I have been having. I have been making bagels at work and they have been turning out exactly how I want them to. However, I recently changed one part of my process and things are going wrong.

I had been storing my shaped bagels in the fridge overnight on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and wrapped in plastic wrap. But when I started increasing the number of bagels I’m making, I decided to get some dough proofing trays to help store them more efficiently in my fridge. I’m running into a problem where there is a lot of condensation in the dough trays in the morning, and the bagels have overproofed. 
I reduced the amount of yeast I was using, left the lids of the trays slightly ajar, and placed towels over the bagels and while it has made the issue a lot better, I’m wondering if anybody has any other tips. 
Here are my ratios for the bagels:

hydration 53%
yeast 0.013%
salt 0.025%

thank you!


pmccool's picture

but it sounds as though your refrigerator may not be able to chill the increased quantity of bagels fast enough to prevent the overproofing.  That may be exacerbated even more if “more efficiently” means that the trays are packed more densely, with less space for the air to circulate between them.  

I suppose that it is also possible that slower cooling could lead to more condensation by virtue of allowing fermentation to proceed further. 


Fishbutter's picture

Thank you! This makes sense. I am beginning to think maybe these plastic dough trays were not as good an idea as I thought. They stack together so there is definitely less air circulating. 

rondayvous's picture

What temperature is the water you are using? temp of your final dough? If you lower those you can mitigate the problem of more bagels taking longer to cool.

As Forkish says: Temperature is an ingredient too.

Fishbutter's picture

I use cold water but the dough gets very warm while mixing. I let it sit out while I shape the bagels but maybe I should let it cool for longer before it goes in the fridge! I’ll start monitoring the temperature of the dough. 

suminandi's picture

And also prechill the trays, perhaps?

Fishbutter's picture

I love these ideas, thank you! 

Dcleon's picture

I do a lot of bagels as well and swear by my sheet pans for this application. The polyethylene (or similar) proofing trays aren’t going to conduct heat nearly as efficiently as metal sheet pans. Especially when stacked so airflow is limited. So, why not just stick with the sheet pans (plus lids)? Seems like the greatly improved heat conduction would help prevent over proofing and also reduce variability between trays. 

Fishbutter's picture

My only problem with the sheet pans is that I don’t have a lot of storage space in my reach in fridge, and I can only accommodate 2 full sheet pans of bagels. If I want to expand the number of bagels I’m making I would need to figure out how to store another sheet pan or two. My landlord wants to start ordering a dozen bagels every week so I’m feeling the pressure to find a solution where I can make another dozen or two bagels! Right now I can only store 3 dozen comfortably and we sell out within a few hours. I’m leaning towards sticking to the sheet pans though, my bagels were close to perfect just a few Weeks ago! Maybe I can borrow some room in the produce department’s fridges. 

suave's picture

I don't proof directly on pans, instead I put them on 12x16 plastic pads and then stretch them to size before boiling.

MichaelLily's picture

Get lids for the sheet pans. It could be this easy.