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Making Bagels Softer on the Outside

I made my first batch of bagels. They came out great on the inside (soft and chewy), but a little hard on the outside. From the recipe below, how can I modify it to make the outside softer? Thanks.

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Recipe (makes 8 bagels)

  • 4 cups of bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1.25 to 1.50 cups of warm water

Mix all in a bowl, knead for 10 minutes, cut into 8 balls. Let rest for 10 - 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425. Roll balls into bagel shape. Rest bagels for 20 minutes. Boil bagels for one minute on each side. Dry for one minute. Bake 10 minutes each side. Cool at least 20 minutes.

Thank you.

By John from Saint Augustine, FL

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
November 16, 20090 found this helpful

I suggest to steam them just before you serve them. Heat some water in a pan,put a rack over it.

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Place bagels on rack covered with a clean cloth. Let steam a few minutes, until soft. Good luck.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 138 Feedbacks
November 16, 20090 found this helpful

A good authentic bagel is supposed to be a bit hard or chewy. If you insist on a softer bagel, try baking at a lower temperature like 375.

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November 17, 20090 found this helpful

The reason that you boil them is to make the outside harder and the inside chewy. If you don't want then hard on the outside then don't boil them but then they will be more like a roll.

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You could try to boil for a smaller amount of time but like OliveOyl said authentic bagels are supposed to be hard on the outside and soft on the inside.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
November 17, 20090 found this helpful

Placing them in the microwave for 10 seconds before serving moistens the crust which makes it softer ;-) I do this one at a time (because I live alone) so you'll have to experiment with the length of time for more.

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