Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Lecithin, bagels

Steph asks:

I was making bagels today, and I can never get them to come out just right. I read up on dough conditioners, and added an egg (no access to lecithin powder in my area). So far so good, but I was wondering why you guys opt to use the powder rather than just add an egg?

Also, can you give any tips for forming the bagels? Mine come out a little....lumpy and oddly shaped. Tasty, but not pretty. I'd love any suggestions!

Granulated lecithin vs. adding eggs:

Breads made with eggs tend to get dry more quickly. (Challah has lots of eggs and tastes delicious when fresh but is notoriously dry the next day, making it a great candidate for Challah French toast!) The granulated lecithin seems to do best for providing a uniform texture and softness. (Also, see Joshua's article about natural dough conditioners -- maybe a sprinkle of ginger, a pinch of citric acid/ascorbic acid, or some additional gluten would help!)

Lumpy-shaped bagels:

The two ways I have formed bagels have been to either roll a "log" and connect the ends, or form a ball and poke a hole in the middle and stretch it out. The ball/hole method is my favorite, since it seems easier and quicker. My bagels look lumpy after they're boiled, but as they rise more and then during baking -- they rise even more -- they even out.

In my experience, when I've had bread that stayed "lumpy" rather than smooth, it could be due to not having enough flour in the dough (too wet/sticky) or not having the gluten developed properly (either not enough gluten in the dough, or not enough kneading time). What kind of flour do you use?

To participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Post a kitchen tip in your blog, with a link to this post. Then come here and add your name, tip subject, and URL to this post! Links must be family friendly, as always. If you don't have a blog but would still like to share a tip, just leave a comment here with your tip! Everyone's ideas are appreciated. :) Note: Please link to your individual post, not your blog's main/front page! Ask me if you have questions; links that don't go to an individual post will be deleted. Please, no giveaways since they "expire" and this is for timeless kitchen secrets! ;) Thanks for participating! :)


When I make my bagels I always use the same recipe, using: flour, sugar, salt, butter, and yeast. I then roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick, and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. I form each piece into a ball and punch a hole in the center with my finger and stretch the dough until the hole is 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Thanks for the tips and hosting!

I tried out doing some mini bread loaves after reading your post from a while ago and I shared my success today for kitchen tips. :)


Hi Tammy...I know there is a link to a blog I read that has made bagels, but I can't remember whose it was...I want to try making them as well.

I have found lecithin powder at Winco (they have one in federal way, not sure where else up there), also try Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Again, not sure exactly which town you are in so you'd probably have to google them.

Okay, I just noticed that it wasn't you asking the questions about bagels, but a reader...disregard my comment (C:

Hi Tammy,

Thanks for posting all these wonderful tips. I'm going blog hopping now :) This is my first time participating.

Fred Meyer or Kroger
Whole Foods

Tammy, this is sort of off topic here, but I wanted to try your recipe for spreadable butter. It says to use canola oil. Would vegetable oil work as well, is canola supposed to be better for you than vegetable oil? thanks.

You can use either vegetable or canola oil; the health benefits of either are up for debate! haha :) I've heard conflicting info, so... whatever you prefer. :)

Hi Tammy! Thanks for posting my question, I feel like a little celebrity over here :)

I use Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour for just about everything, including the bagels. I find that other wheat flours tend to be a bit too grainy, and I need the softness so I can use the flour in everything (chocolate chip cookies, waffles, seriously everything!).

When you do the log and cut method for your bagels, how do you get the ends to join? I've tried rolling and hole punching, but my poor bagels are still very unfortunate. Once they are shaped, am I supposed to let them rise again?

Oh the joys of baking!

Homemade bagels sound delicious. Yet one more recipe I must try :)

thanks for hosting I love to get the tips

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