Why Bagels Are Boiled
What sets bagels apart from other breads? Why, it’s their chewy exterior shell of course! Here at the Bagel Bakery we boil and bake our bagels in our shop, so you’re never getting frozen bagels.
The reason we boil the dough first is so that the outside crust sets before it goes in the oven. We generally let the dough boil for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, but the longer you let it boil, the thicker and chewier the crust.
The amount of time the bagel is boiling also affects its interior texture. A longer boil gives a dense interior, while a shorter boil gives a softer and tenderer interior.
Barley malt extract, lye or baking soda is sometimes added to the boiling water. This is what gives the crust it’s golden color and adds flavor to the bagel.