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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels

I decided to tackle something that's been on my baking "to-do list" for awhile when I found King Arthur's Bread Flour on sale last week. Homemade bagels sound incredibly daunting, even moreso when you read through the recipe. However, with some extra time this weekend, I figured I was up for the challenge. As someone who loves bagels (Trader Joe's everything bagels and Panera's whole grain ranking in my top two!), I was pretty skeptical as to how these would turn out. But I'm pleased to report that they turned out great and I'm proud of myself for attempting these. I'll definitely be making these again; I'd like to try making cinnamon raisin bagels or some other variations.

I read through several different bagel recipes and then ultimately decided to go with the King Arthur whole wheat bagel recipe, found on their website. I made a few changes based on what I'd read in other recipes and used my kitchen aid mixer to make the dough, rather than a bread machine as they suggested.

1 package active dry yeast
2 cups water, warm
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 cups bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour (the recipe called for white whole wheat flour, I just used whole wheat)
1 tablespoon salt


DAY 1-
1. Dissolve yeast in the 2 cups of warm water (I did this in my kitchen aid mixing bowl). Add the sugars.
2. Add 1 cup of bread flour and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Add all of the whole wheat flour, using the dough hook on the mixer to mix the dough.
4. Add the salt and the rest of the bread flour (1 cup at a time), continuing to mix. (I added a little bit of extra water-2 tablespoons-because the dough was getting pretty dry)
5. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand on a lightly floured countertop (I used my silpat baking pad). Continue kneading (or get a strong husband to knead yours, like I did!) until the dough is very springy.

6. Cover dough with a damp towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
7. Break off chunks of the dough and form into circles. Use your fingers to create a hole in the center of the circle so that it looks like a bagel (the King Arthur recipe suggests rolling dough into ropes and shaping into circles, but I'd read on other sites that this caused the bagels to break apart whilst boiling, so I used this method).
8. Place bagels on cookie sheets lightly dusted with cornmeal and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

9. Make sure the plastic warp is secured around the cookie sheets and place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

Notes about DAY 1:
-There were some dry "dough pieces" at the bottom of my mixer that I just excluded and did not try to knead into the dough
-I got 14 bagels out of my dough, as the recipe suggested, but they were not all uniform shape and size
-I refrigerated my bagels for about 17 hours

DAY 2:
1. Remove bagels from fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes
2. While bagels are out, preheat oven to 450 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil
3. Place bagels 4 at a time in the boiling water for 3 minutes (I did about 1 1/2 minutes on one side and then flipped them over with a spoon for the remaining 1 1/2 minutes). Remove bagels (I used some tongs) and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

4. Repeat until all bagels have been boiled.
5. Brush the tops of the bagels with an egg wash and apply seasoning if desired (I left half of mine plain and sprinkled the other half with a tiny bit of garlic powder, dried onion flakes, and poppy seeds).

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the tops are brown (my oven started smoking a bit, but I kept them in their the full 15 minutes and I'm glad because the texture was perfect!)

7. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Notes about DAY 2:
-The King Arthur directions made it sound like the bagels would sink and then start to float after a minute. That wasn't the case with mine as they floated from the start. I don't think this was a problem though.
-The bagels stuck to the wax paper when I tried to remove them. I think it was so hot that the wax paper started to melt. Next time I might double up the baking sheets or use my silpat baking mat.

(I was so hungry and excited to try them, I forgot to take a picture at first!)

Overall, I loved how these turned out! The exterior had a hard crust, but the inside was still soft and chewy. They seemed a little chewier than the typical bagel, but this didn't bother me. I had one fresh out of the oven with peanut butter and jelly, but I can't wait to toast the seasoned ones and make a sandwich! This was a very tedious recipe, but well worth it!