Edit: thanks for all the advice! I worked these half as much, and made sure to let them cool. Great, round results!!


To start, I'm using this recipe: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bagels-366757

My first try I used AP flour and honey (both in the dough and the poaching liquid). Resulted in bready bagels that didn't have any of that chew on the inside, or the outside.

Second, I switched to diastatic malt powder on the dough, and bread flour instead of AP. I also increased the cooking time to 12 minutes per rotation (because after 8 and 8 they weren't golden brown).

The second resulted in almost crispy outsides (probably a little long in the oven, and the use of a dark pan, causing this), but gummy insides, and flat bagels. There was almost no rise at all, and cutting them resulted in most of the insides ending up on the knife.

Is this a proofing issue? Are the bagels not being allowed to come up to temp long enough outside of the fridge (they are passing the float test after 60 minutes)? Am I over-working the bagels (I'm doing 3 minutes per round, with a 5 minute break in the middle, on a pro series kitchenaid stand mixer with the dough hook).

Which step results in an underbaked-tasting gummy inside? What do I need to do to get a more tender (albeit chewy) interior and a good rise?

Attaching three photos. You can see the lack of rise in two of them (flat bagels, and holes that don't seem like they closed up very much). You can also see the knife in the background, with the gummy insides all over it. Last one is the dark bottom (again, I think this is pan related).

Bagels with unclosed holes

crispy bottoms

flat, no rise, gummy knife

  • 1
    Did you do the float test recommended in the recipe? Did you allow the bagels to cool completely before slicing? The recipe says at least 30 minutes, but my experience suggests longer might be needed: if you slice too early you'll get a gummy inside (it's still saturated with water vapour) rather than the chewy texture you want. Apr 4, 2020 at 15:16
  • Mark - I did do the float test - but that's an interesting point. I did not allow them to cool. I didn't realize that was an integral part of this. They're still quite flat, but now that they have cooled I will cut and report back.
    – jimmy0x52
    Apr 4, 2020 at 15:41
  • Happy to report that you were right on the cooling, Mark. I just cut into one that's been sitting since I made them this morning and the inside is much more like I'd expect. They're still quite flat, but the inside has the proper texture. Thanks for pointing that out!
    – jimmy0x52
    Apr 4, 2020 at 15:46
  • 1
    You're welcome. I'll post my comment as an answer in a moment. Apr 4, 2020 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


It is essential to allow the bagels to cool completely before slicing. The recipe says at least 30 minutes, but my experience suggests longer might be needed: if you slice too early you'll get a gummy inside, since it's still saturated with water vapour, rather than the chewy texture you want.

  • Thanks again Mark. Another question: My Brooklyn bagel shop pulls bagels out of the oven and slices them right away, and they're amazing inside. How do you think they're pulling off this magic trick?
    – jimmy0x52
    Apr 4, 2020 at 16:00
  • My guess is that they are using the oven to reheat already cooked bagels. Generally just-baked bread is in a unique, highly humid state, to which it will never return. Reheating bread in an oven only dries it out further, so there's no problem slicing it immediately. Apr 5, 2020 at 10:27

I would suggest you knead them less if you are using a higher gluten flour.

  • I'm doing to recipe's prescribed amount of kneading, with the flour the recipe calls for.
    – jimmy0x52
    Apr 4, 2020 at 15:47

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