Help with small bagel business and over proofing issues
Hello all! Im New to this group and I'm really hoping you guys can help me out. I’ve very recently started an at home bagel business. I live in Israel which doesn’t have any decent bagels.so I’ve been getting relatively large orders. At the moment I only have a conventional double wide fridge with a power cool feature to slow proof my bagels. I try and give them at least 12 hrs if not more. But recently it doesn’t seem to matter if I put in 24 or 124 bagels they keep over proofing. It’s of course especially problematic when I have more bagels. The fridge tempt doesn’t seem to go above 3 degrees C though.
my recipe is
100 g water for slury
322 g luke warm water
50 g barley Malt
7 g dry active yeast
673 bread flour
17g kosher salt
2 litres 200ml water to 3 grams lye
I will knead the dough in a stand mixer until I get a window pain. Then let it rise for an hr and a half which seems to be enough time to double in size. I used to them shape them into a bagel shape cover with cling film and put it in the fridge. Since my proofing issues I’ve started shaping them into balls and just placing those in the fridge.
when I’m ready to bake. I used to take the cold bagels and put them directly into the water. Boil for 30 seconds in the water and lye solution on each side (Recently I’ve started adding a little barley malt powder to the water in addition to the lye) I then take out let rest for 30 seconds cover with topping put them face down on my hottest given setting on an aluminum try with a non stick mat. I bake for 12 minutes face down and then another 8ish minutes right side up.
now though because of the over proofing I’m having to take the dough balls out of the fridge bring them to room temp. Shape them into bagels then let them rest again. Then I’m boiling them. I’m not happy with this for a number of reasons. It’s not consistent enough. Because of change temps in my kitchen they can either begin over proofing again or are under proofed. They often burst in the oven even after a long rest time. Which I think is unattractive and shouldn’t happen with a bagel. It also adds a lot of valuable time to the baking end. Do you guys have any thoughts. I’m not using a any kind of preferment like a poolish or something. Do you think it could be a yeast issue?
they just aren’t round in the way they should be. Thanks I’m advance for the advice!
So i'll leave all suggestions to those with more experience. However i've seen some beautiful bakes from people following Hamelman's Bagel recipe. They all look so professional. Everyone loves a Hamelman recipe. Perhaps you can try another batch following his method?
Where do I find that recipe?
Give me some time to find it written down or i'll write it up. In the meantime this is what i'm talking about. Such a good bake and professional looking bagels.
It's from his book "Bread".
P.s. might be worth investing in the book. The recipes are geared for a bakery too. There's also a recipe for Bialys which would go down a treat in a kosher bakery.
Thanks! Although I’m super skeptical of most recipes. As I’m sure most people on here know. About 99 percent of “bagel” recipes are just boiled bread. They look awesome but they aren’t real bagels which is a bummer.
The only difference between a "real" bagel and the other 99% of bagels is the boiling in a lye solution. Otherwise it is a bread dough. I suppose you could always change whatever solution is used into a lye solution and i'm sure it'll turn out as good or better. I'll take a look soon. Do you want the recipe either way?
It’s not just the lye it’s also the barley malt and the long slow proof. I tried like 20 different recipes before I got to this one and I had to import the barley malt because I couldn’t find it here. And many places in NYC actually boil in barley malt. As do Montreal bagels they tend to boil in a honey solution. But lye is the most traditional. But it’s honestly the slow proof and the barley malt that make a bagel and bagel. It gives it that special crumb and an almost sweetish umami flavor. It’s night and day between a bagel prepared that way the just using a sugar or a honey. Although I’ve heard a bitter honey can be a good sub. And for my gluten free bagels I use a mix of rice malt and Molasses. It’s not as good but it’s close 😃
the bottom bagels are my everything bagels
and the top pic are my gluten free bagels
I was wondering if you would notice a quality difference if you leave out the fridge? It might just make the process simpler and more manageable.
Sure the fridge adds complexity to the flavours, but it isn't absolutely required. My idea of a bagel is that it is not sour in any case.
In fact, I think that in the utopia bagels from NY video from the other day that he explicitly mentioned that his competitors do not use the fridge.
The difference between fridge and no fridge is so different it’s crazy. The bagels don’t sour in the fridge the just seem to develop that lovely flavor. Ideally I’d leave them for 24 hrs but because of the proofing problem I’m having it seems risky. I’m really looking for help figuring out how to make the fridge work. As in adjusting moisture or yeast. I’m wondering if anyone as any ideas on how much yeast is necessary to get a good rise. Or if I lower the moisture content will the bagels be denser and have less chance to over develop.
thanks for the comment though! 😊
But it's also by Hamelman. Bagels with Pâte fermentée. You get the long ferment with the Pâte fermentée, building up flavour, and no fridge time so best of both worlds. https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/bagels-with-pate-fermentee-recipe
This looks awesome. I’ll totally give this a shot. I wonder how the flavors stand up with the short development with the barley malt. But I love the idea of a slow ferment and then a controlled rise the next day
(Yet Another Bagel Recipe.)
Have you tried Stan Ginsberg's and Norm Berg's recipe from "Inside the Jewish Bakery"? Norm, now deceased, was a genuine Jewish baker in NYC from back in the 70's or thereabouts.
Here's the Kindle ebook, section by section:
Errata file for ITJB:
Be sure to get the errata file if you download any sections of ITJB !
The ebook of the bagels/bialys section is $2.99. The physical book is out of print and used copies are outrageously priced.
You can get the ITJB water bagel recipe for free at:
But there are further explanations in the ebook. For instance the flour should be high protein at 14 to 14.5%
In ITJB, Stan is of the opinion that malt syrup in the boil water is as good as lye.
Are you able to source a 14-14.5% protein flour (as measured by the US system on a 14% moisture basis, not the EU system as measured on a dry matter basis) ?
14% protein on a 14% moisture basis (US) would be 16.2% protein on a dry basis (EU).
This is pretty much exactly what I do! Which is awesome and validating. The issue is just the scaling up in my home fridge. I don’t know what to do about it. The bottom bagels over proof. I’ve tried elevating the trays higher until the bagels reach a cold enough temp to stop the fermentation. We’ll see if that helps
The easiest way to slow down proofing in your situation is reduce the amount of yeast. Three grams is plenty for 600 grams of flour overnight.
That’s exactly what I needed to know!!! Thank you so much. I’ll give it a try today