Bagel making gone bad...

I just attempted to make bagels for the first's what happened-
1) dough stuck to parchment (maybe I should have oiled it?) during the 2nd rise (after I shaped them)
2) once I put them into the baking soda bath they got HUGE
3) final result-half cooked dough that didn't really taste like a bagel.

I had the same problem when I made pretzels. They came out the exact same way as the bagels. I used AP flour (some recipes called for AP and some bread flour so I didn't think it was a huge deal. I also use vital wheat gluten and active dry yeast. Any idea what went wrong? I can make a mean pizza and bread dough....

Madame Sel


Leah K. May 13, 2014
Hi Madame Sel - I would definitely oil or flour the parchment next time to prevent sticking. As for flavor, I always use bread flour and typically add barley malt syrup to my dough, which gives them a nice, yeasty tang. And they only need about 30 seconds per side in the water (not sure how long you had them in there for...) Good luck!
Sam1148 May 12, 2014
Ditch the bagel make pretzels. Make some bun sized pretzels to cut up and use for hot dogs. See the above thread about lye--and using baked baking soda for the alkaline dip/boil. Lye can be pretty scary to use for the proper 'dip' gram weight scales, glasses, etc..etc.
sfmiller May 12, 2014
I can't offer advice based on experience (my one attempt at bagel-making, years ago, was a dismal failure), but there was a piece by David Hagedorn in the Washington Post food section a couple weeks ago with a bunch of what looked like helpful tips.
boulangere May 12, 2014
Bagels are my most very favorite thing to make ever. Ever, in the history of ever. Here is some information that may help you:
dinner A. May 12, 2014
The pretzel and bagel recipes I use call for instant yeast, not active dry, and I think the difference is important. I used active dry yeast in the bagels once, and they didn't turn out very well.
I do also oil the parchment I set the shaped bagels out on, as well as the bagels themselves. In the recipe I've used (Peter Reinharts's: they get an overnight rise, which is a lot of time to adhere as well as to dry out, and the oil helps with both.
For pretzels, I recommend getting some food grade lye (as in this recipe I like: to dip the pretzels in instead of baking soda -- as it is a stronger base, it will give you a much better pretzel flavor and appearance.
Hope this helps!
savorthis May 12, 2014
I only tried bagel making once and the recipe said to hold them down in the water with a pot lid...mine sunk right to the bottom. They were like leaden dog treats. Now I am tempted to try again!
boulangere May 12, 2014
Oh, please! They're very doable.
Maedl May 12, 2014
The bagels do inflate quite a bit in the water, so perhaps you need to make them smaller when you shape them.
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