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Bagels too chewy

ayukwardhanie's picture

Bagels too chewy

hi, i'm indonesian so bagels are not very popular here in my country. we rarely find some (even starbucks didn't have it regularly). so today was my 3rd time making bagels, my 1st and 2nd ended up with both unpleasant exterior look but tastes good anyway. it has that right saltiness and enough chewiness (altho i'm not sure t'was the right texture for bagels tho). today i kneaded by hand, used the exact same recipe and boiled the same way as it was yesterday, surprisingly i has that gorgeous "clean" look, enough brownish on it's crust but with VERY VERY CHEWY even my teeth couldn't cut it off instantly like you eat regular bread. it become super rubbery, you need efforts even to just tearing it off (by hand), not to mention by teeth. question is, am i REALLY doing it wrong? what kind of "chewy" texture it supposed to be like. fyi, since i kneaded by hand, i know the dough was rather tough (you know, not that kind of "regular" bread dough") maybe it needs more water hence it was TOO CHEWY? boiled one side for 2 minutes and 1 min on the other side. am i boiling too long?

Danni3ll3's picture

very chewy and just like you described. It definitely is not a soft bread. Try cutting them in half and toasting them. It helps with the chewiness factor. 

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken



Bagels, #8, The Most Perfect Recipe


Source:   stu borken


Description: This is the best recipe for bagels.  Unfortunately it only makes 8.




1 medium size nesting/rising bowl, weigh it and record it's weight

1/2 Tablespoon evoo for rising bowl, oil it after mixing dry ingredients in it

2-Cup Pyrex measuring cup to proof the yeast

1 Kitchen Aid Pro 600 Heavy duty stand mixer with lift bowl and rubber edged paddle attachment

1 dough hook attachment for kneading dough AFTER the paddle used

1 Can non-stick spray, regular, not for baking kind

9.1 oz  spring water no chlorine or fluoride in the water

1 rimmed baking sheet, thick bottomed, 17" X 13.5" which holds 8 ~ 3/2 ounce raw bagels

1 Sheet parchment paper cut to fit the baking sheet, lightly sprayed with non-stick spray

1 large pot to hold 3 quarts water bath and to hold and flip bagels

1 Chinese skimmer or cheese curd skimmer to flip the boiling bagels and to lift and drain them to a cake rack prior to placing them on the parchment on which they will bake

1 set tongs to lift baked bagels from baking tray to cooling rack

1 cake cooling rack large enough to hold the 8 baked bagels after removing from oven

2 whisks 1 large to mix dry ingredients and 1 smaller to dissolve yeast in warm water

1 good kitchen scale

1       bench scraper



                         WET INGREDIENTS

9.1 Ounce spring water brought to 110 degrees, no chlorine or fluoride, not distilled water

1 Teaspoon barley malt syrup mixed into the above warm water

1 Teaspoon Instant Yeast dissolved into the warm water plus barley malt syrup



                      DRY INGREDIENTS

16 ounces King Arthur Sir Lancelot Flour

1 Teaspoon diastatic malt powder from King Arthur

2 1/2 Teaspoon Morton's Kosher salt, not pickling salt



3 Quart sink water

2 Tablespoon Barley malt syrup (this is what a bagel making company, “Rise Bagels”, uses in their boiling water bath, only this alone is what they told me, I use the next two ingredients in my boiling solution)

1 Tablespoon Non-diastic malt powder

1 Tablespoon Baking soda 







Makes 8 bagels, ~3.2 ounce dough balls, 2.9 ounce baked bagels.

Use a scale to weigh water, flour & raw dough segments to make equal size bagels.   

Shaping the bagels; 2 techniques may be used; 

1) make a ball and push a finger into the center all the way to the other side then twirl it around 2-3 fingers stretching the hole.  

2) If you watch uTube videos of bagel making you will learn how to make a rope and wrap it around 3 fingers of your hand with an inch of dough overlapping in your palm, then rolling the overlapping ends on a bread board, which will seal the ends together.  



Weigh & notate the weight of a medium size nesting proofing mixing bowl.

Set up a~17” X~13.5” baking sheet with parchment.  Lightly spray with non-stick spray.


In 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup place the 9.1 ounces of spring water and the 1 tsp of barely malt syrup, then bring to 110-degrees in a microwave.

Add yeast to the 110-degree water and stir with small whisk.

When yeast foams, it’s alive.  If dead, start again with fresh spring water, syrup and proof the yeast.  If alive, mix with the small whisk and then pour it into the bowl of the stand mixer.


In medium bowl on a scale, weigh out 16 ounces of Sir Lancelot flour.  

Add the diastatic malt powder and the 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.

Mix these dry ingredients well with large whisk or spoon.


Pour flour mixture into bowl of stand mixer with the yeast-liquid.

Attach the paddle.  

Turn on the KitchenAid to setting #2 and let it mix until ALL the flour is wetted.  Remove the paddle and attach the dough hook.  Again, set the motor to setting #2 and allow it to knead the dough for 7 minutes.  Wash out the flour inside the measuring bowl, dry it well then oil it with oil.  

The bagel dough will be soft and not tacky.  Remove the dough to a bread board (use flour on the board if needed) using a bench scraper. Knead it a few times which will help do something with the gluten strands, then you shape the dough mass into a ball.  Place the dough top side down into the oiled bowl move it around then flip it over and cover bowl with plastic wrap tight across top of the bowl and not touching the dough.

Place the dough into a warm, proofing oven for 1 hour, the dough will rises to double in size.


Weigh the bowl with the dough in it.  Subtract the weight of the bowl which you measured at the start of the recipe.  You now have the correct weight of the dough.  Divide this weight by 8 and you will have the correct weight of each raw dough pieces with which you will make equal size bagels.  The weight of each piece will be about 3.1 to 3.3 ounces.  You are not to cut the dough as yet…keep reading….


Have wet/damp paper towels or wet dish towel handy to cover the main dough mass and the dough segments so they should not dry out during the weighing and shaping.  


Remove the dough from the bowl to a cutting board (do not knead) and cut into half, then into 4ths then into 8ths.  Keep covered with wet towels.  Place each piece onto the scale to get the correct weight, cutting off some if too heavy or borrowing from another piece if too light.  Do this to get all 8 of equal weight of ~ 3.2 ounces.  You will have exactly 8 equal weight dough pieces.


Shaping the bagels:  Remember, there are two ways to shape.  

Put one piece at a time onto the bread board with the “skin” side or outer side down and the pointy side up just slightly pat it into a crude disk (skin side down) then gather up the 4 sides and pinch together.  Turn over so the skin side is now facing up, and with the sides of your hands pinch the bottom to make a nice ball.  Cup your hand over the ball and move it against the board for about 5 seconds in a circular motion to close the bottom seams.

Using your thumb or finger, press down in the ball center all the way down to the board.  Lift the ball with your thumb still in place and with your other thumb break thru the hole and twirl it with 2 or 3 of your fingers in the hole to open the hole pretty large.  Place the bagel onto the parchment.  To this for all 8 pieces.  I then pick up each one and spread the hole one more time with twirling 3 fingers.  Spray lightly with nonstick spray and cover with wet/damp paper towel then with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 8-24 hours.  

Remove from the refrigerator and let sit in a warm rising oven or warm room, still covered for 45 minutes.  

(If you forget to use the spray on the raw bagel dough, then the paper towel will stick to the dough and NOT come off which will tear the bagels and deflate them and spoil the dough.  If you happen to have forgotten the spray and you do deflate the cold bagels, you can save them by putting the dough all together again into one mass, and, re-cut and re-weigh and re-shape and let rise for 1/2 hour, then do the boil).

Make your poaching liquid.

When you remove the cold bagels from the refrigerator set the oven to 498 degrees (500 if you can).


To Boil:

Bring the poaching solution to a boil in a large enough pot to hold 2-3 bagels at a time.

When the dough has had a chance to warm and rise for 45 min then, using two hands, gently lift the bagels (if the dough is tacky then you wet your hands from the tap and then pick up the raw bagels) from the parchment (they should come off easily) gently transfer one at a time, gently into the boiling liquid and let them poach 30 seconds then using the strainer, flip over for 30 seconds then flip back to right side up and remove with strainer to the cake rack to drain then to parchment paper on the baking pan.  Do this for all 8 bagels.  This is the place where you may sprinkle some poppy seeds, sesame seeds or rehydrated chopped dried onions onto the surface of the wet bagels.  I don’t use any, they just make a mess when you try to cut the bagels.


The Baking:

Preheat your baking oven to 500-degrees.  

Place bagels into the 500-degree hot oven, upper rack for 8 minutes.

Pull the pan out and rotate it around 180 degrees, front to back, also flip the bagels over.  Place them back into the same oven for 6 minutes. Remove the tray of bagels and flip them over once again, right side up.  Look at them, they may need another 2-3 minutes at 450 or on convection at 425 to get nicely browned and crispy. I like my bagels nicely browned just shy of a char, if they are not browned as yet, I let them bake longer.  

Remove with tongs to cake cooling-rack and allow to cool completely.  


To Serve:

The plain bagel gives you a great bagel flavor and chew.  Or, you may cut it in half and toast it.  The way I do it, is, I cut the bagel in half, I leave the two halves together, not separated, and toast the bagel in a toaster oven long enough to put a browned crust on the surface.  That way the outside gets real crispy and the center is soft and moist.  Most people like to separate the two halves and toast each half.  Serve with butter, jam, or classically, cream cheese, lox, a slice of tomato, capers and chopped or very thinly sliced purple onion.



Serves: 8

Serving Size: 1

Yields: 8

Prep Time: 30 min

Idle Time: 10-24 hours

Cook Time: 20-25 min

Total Time: 24 hours