Bagels – Sponge vs retardation

Bagels – Sponge vs retardation

I have a question on retardation.  My first and very recent bagel adventure was the very simple KAF recipe – no sponge.  I’m a poolish guy in just about everything I do, but I stuck to the KAF method for simplicity – I was more focused on the now laughable concern over boiling.  What took me so long.  The KAF was a four cup that turned to 4.5 cups.  I should have made ten smaller bagels instead of the prescribed 8.  Darn tasty bagels but not where I want to be yet.

So, round two I followed Floyd M’s approach and did a sponge/poolish, and made bagels the next day.  They were better than round 1 KAFs, but I’m still not quite there.  

Rather than just an overnight starter/sponge, I want to make the dough and cold ferment it overnight.  The question I have is whether to form the bagel dough as individual balls and refrigerate, or to form the bagels and refrigerate.  I know – a minor detail, but I’m curious about shaping/handling after the cold ferment versus pre-shaping before refrigerating.  Frigde space is at a premium.  

Any thoughts?  Always appreciated.  



Source: Fresh Loaf