Bagel making gone bad...

I just attempted to make bagels for the first time...here'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....

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Maedl
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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savorthis
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!

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boulangere
boulangere May 12, 2014

Oh, please! They're very doable.

dinner at ten
dinner at ten 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: http://articles.latimes...) 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: http://www.nytimes.com...) 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!

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boulangere
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:
http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/lets-bake-bagels-part-1/
http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/lets-bake-bagels-part-2/
http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/lets-bake-bagels-the-reveal/

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sfmiller
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.

http://www.washingtonpost...

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Sam1148
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.

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Leah Koenig
Leah Koenig 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!

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