Bake Bagels Without Tray Liner

Can you bake the bagel on the tray without liner?

Baking is a culinary art that often involves a myriad of techniques and tools and one common dilemma that home bakers face is whether or not to use a liner when placing items on a baking tray.

Specifically, when it comes to bagels, a popular breakfast and snack item, the question arises: Can you bake a bagel on a tray without a liner?

In this discussion, we will delve into the advantages and potential pitfalls of skipping the liner, exploring the effects on texture, ease of preparation and overall baking experience.

By the end, you will have a clearer understanding of whether it’s a wise choice to forgo the liner when baking your favorite doughy delights.

Bake Bagel Without Tray Liner

Yes, you can indeed bake a bagel on a tray without a liner. However, it’s important to note that there could be some potential challenges when opting for this method. The absence of a liner can lead to the bagels sticking onto the tray if not properly monitored. This can be mitigated by lightly greasing the tray before placing the bagels onto it.

On the upside, baking without a liner can impart a slightly crispier bottom to the bagels, which some bakers may prefer. Therefore, the choice to bake bagels without a liner comes down to personal preference and being aware of the potential trade-offs.

Factors to consider before baking a bagel without liner

Before deciding to bake your bagels without a liner, here are a few factors that you should take into consideration:

  • Type of baking tray: Some baking trays may have non-stick properties or be made from materials that make it easier for the bagels to come off without sticking. In this case, using a liner may not be necessary.
  • Dough consistency: The type of dough you are using can also play a role in whether or not it will stick to the tray. A more hydrated dough may be more likely to stick, while a drier dough may be easier to remove from the tray.
  • Oven temperature: The higher the oven temperature, the greater the risk of the bagels sticking onto the tray. So if you plan on baking your bagels at a higher temperature, it may be safer to use a liner.
  • Time constraints: Skipping the liner means you’ll need to spend some extra time greasing and monitoring the bagels as they bake. If you’re short on time, using a liner may be a more efficient option.

It’s also important to note that using a liner can make clean-up easier and reduce the chances of burning the bottom of the bagels. So if you’re a beginner or don’t want to deal with potential sticking, using a liner may be the way to go.

How to bake the bagel without a liner?

Baking bagels without a liner is a relatively simple process but it does require some extra steps to ensure that the bagels don’t stick onto the tray.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven and prepare your baking tray: Start by preheating your oven to the desired temperature for baking the bagels. Then, lightly grease your baking tray with oil or butter.
  2. Prepare your bagel dough: Shape your bagel dough into the desired size and shape, making sure to smoothen out any surface imperfections that could potentially cause sticking.
  3. Place the bagels onto the prepared tray: Once your baking tray is greased, place the bagels on it with enough space between them to allow for expansion during baking.
  4. Bake the bagels: Place the tray into the preheated oven and bake for the recommended time, checking regularly to make sure they don’t stick to the tray.
  5. Monitor and rotate if necessary: As the bagels bake, keep an eye on them and rotate the tray if needed to ensure even browning. If you notice any sticking, gently loosen the bagels with a spatula or tongs.
  6. Remove and cool: Once baked, remove the tray from the oven and let the bagels cool on a wire rack before slicing and enjoying.

By following these steps, you can successfully bake your bagels without using a liner. However, it’s always recommended to experiment and see what works best for you and your baking style.

Pros and cons of baking bagels on a tray without liner

Baking bagels on a tray without a liner can have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons:


  1. Direct Heat Transfer: Without a liner, the bagels are in direct contact with the hot surface of the tray. This can result in a slightly crisper bottom crust, providing a more traditional texture.
  2. Better Browning: The absence of a liner allows for better browning on the bottom of the bagels. This can enhance the overall appearance and flavor, giving them a more appealing color.
  3. Easy Cleanup: While some might consider this a matter of personal preference, many find that cleaning a bare baking tray is easier than dealing with liners. It can be a simple wash without having to discard or replace liners.


  1. Sticking: Without a liner, there’s a risk of the bagels sticking to the tray, especially if the dough is on the wetter side. This can result in damage to the appearance of the bagels and make them more challenging to remove.
  2. Uneven Cooking: The absence of a liner may lead to uneven cooking if the tray is not properly greased or if there are hot spots in the oven. This can result in some bagels being overcooked or undercooked.
  3. Drippings: Some recipes may release oils or sugars during baking and without a liner, these can accumulate on the tray. This may lead to more difficult cleanup and could potentially affect the taste of subsequent batches.
  4. Surface Damage: If the tray is not in excellent condition, the bagels might pick up metallic flavors or odors from the tray. A liner can act as a barrier, preventing direct contact between the dough and the tray.

Ultimately, whether to use a liner or not depends on personal preference and the specific circumstances of the baking process.

If you prefer a slightly crisper bottom crust and don’t mind the potential sticking or cleanup, baking without a liner might be a good option. If ease of cleanup and prevention of sticking are more important to you, using a liner could be the better choice.

FAQ’s – Baking Bagels on Tray

Can you bake bagels without parchment paper?

Yes, you can bake bagels without parchment paper. Custom food paper is often used as a liner to prevent the bagels from sticking to the baking tray but it is not necessary for successful baking.

However, there are some factors to consider before opting not to use parchment paper, such as dough consistency and oven temperature.

Can I use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper for baking bagels?

Yes, you can use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper for baking bagels. However, it is important to note that aluminum foil has a higher chance of sticking to the bagels compared to parchment paper. It may also affect the browning and overall texture of the bagel.

What temperature is best for baking bagels on a tray without a liner?

The best temperature for baking bagels on a tray without a liner varies depending on the recipe and personal preference. Generally, bagels are baked at around 375-400°F (190-200°C).

However, some recipes may call for higher or lower temperatures, so it’s essential to follow the specific instructions for the best results. Additionally, oven temperatures can vary, so it’s always recommended to keep an eye on the bagels while they bake to prevent overcooking or burning. 

Are there any specific tips for preventing bagels from sticking to the tray?

Yes, some tips can help prevent bagels from sticking to the tray when baking without a liner:

  1. Use flour or cornmeal: Before placing the bagels on the tray, lightly dust it with flour or cornmeal. This creates a barrier between the dough and the tray, reducing the risk of sticking.
  2. Grease thoroughly: Make sure to thoroughly grease the tray with oil or butter before placing the bagels on it. This will create a non-stick surface for the dough to rest on.
  3. Rotate the tray: As mentioned earlier, rotating the tray during baking can help prevent sticking by ensuring even browning and reducing hot spots.
  4. Use a silicone mat: If you don’t want to use parchment paper, consider using a silicone mat instead. They are non-stick and reusable, making them a more environmentally friendly option.

Overall, it’s essential to experiment and find what works best for you when baking bagels without a liner.

Final Words

In conclusion, baking a bagel directly on a tray without a liner is indeed possible but it comes with certain considerations. While using a liner can prevent sticking and facilitate easier cleanup, baking without one may result in a slightly different texture and appearance.

Ultimately, the choice between using a liner or not depends on personal preference and the desired outcome. Experimenting with both methods allows individuals to determine the approach that best suits their preferences and the specific characteristics they seek in a perfectly baked bagel.

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