by - December 08, 2018

Chewy Bagels

Chewy Bagel

Several years ago, I tried to bake bagels using a straight dough method.  Unfortunately, it was not very successful as the texture was very dry the next day.   I haven't attempted bagels again since.  

Lately, I discovered this recipe from Serious Eats using the Yukone method (also know as tangzhong).  As I researched online, Yukone in Japanese means adding a separately-prepared gelatinised dough to the remaining dough mixture during the dough-making process.  The resulting texture of this bagel is chewy, moist and it stays good for a few days. Bagel supposed to be chewy.

It is advisable to read the below general notes before starting baking.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring.
Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Chewy and Moist Bagel (Yukone Method)

Yields: 8 bagels



100g bread flour
170g water

Main Dough:

355g bread flour
1 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
25g brown sugar
2 tsp salt
170g water (original recipe used 100g. The bread flour I used absorb a lot of water)


30g white sesame seeds
10g black sesame seeds
20g flaxseed
10g poppy seeds


How to make Yukone:
  1. In a sauce pan, combine flour and water.  Mix with whisk or spatula until no lumps. 
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently until the mixture becomes thicker.  The dough will be very sticky and thick.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl to let it cool to room temperature.
For the main dough:
  1. In a bowl of stand mixer, combine bread flour, yeast, sugar and yeast.  Add water and Yukone dough. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead until the dough comes together, become elastic and tacky but not sticky. Tacky dough behaves sort of like a Post-it note, sticking to a surface but peeling off easily. It takes around 12 - 15 minutes at medium speed.  
  2. Let it rise in a warm place for 75 minutes or until double in size in the same mixing bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel. 
  3. Punch down the dough and divide into 8 portions.  Roll each portion into a ball.  Cover with kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes to relax.
  4. Make a hole in the center of each ball using finger.  Stretch the hole with your fingers to make it larger.  Place into a lined baking pan with parchment paper.  Let it proof for another 45 minutes or until double in size.
  5. Combine all the seeds and keep aside.
  6. Boil a pot of water and bring to simmer.  One by one, blanch the bagels for 30 seconds on each side.  Dish out the bagel and drain on a wire rack. Immediately coat one side of the bagels with seeds.  Place back on the lined baking tray.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven (190 C) for 20 - 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.  Just toast it before eating after the next day.
Preparing Yukone

Preparing the main dough

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  1. Hi, I have been making bagel with only one proofing, and yours is 2 time proofing I notice. Mine turn out is chewy also without using tang zhong. I trying to understand more whether need to do 2nd proofing

    1. Hi, thank you for reading my recipe and your question.

      It is better to stick to your method if work for you. Mine recipe is a bit complicated. I have tried baked using straight dough method. But, by next day the bagel turned a bit dry. This was mine experience and could be the recipe I tried was not that good. I found with Tangzhong method the Bagel stay fresh longer. However, this is my own experiment. It may not work for you.

      Cheers :)