bagels

Today started out just about as well as possible here.  I woke up to find the sun shining and warm spring temps in air.  We finally (finally, finally!) closed on our refi yesterday after spending what felt like an eternity going through the process of getting there – yay for saving money!  The Bruins play game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight – just ONE win away from the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1990.  Oh, and I also had a delicious bagel for breakfast :)  

bagels

I made bagels for the first time a little over a year ago and loved them; I had big plans to try other flavors/recipes asap.  With countless other recipes on that to-do list, those plans kept getting pushed off until finally I was inspired by a post over on Kristin’s site for these whole wheat bagels.  The recipe looked relatively simple, and I loved that it incorporated white whole wheat flour, whose milder flavor I find much more pleasant in baked goods than traditional whole wheat flour.  Plus, Jeannette agreed to make them with me, which gave me the final push I needed.

bagels

Bagel dough tends to be stiffer than most other yeast doughs, and I’m always wary of burning out the motor on my mixer (I’ve heard horror stories) so I started this dough by hand.  Once I got a sense for the consistency though, I suspected the mixer could handle it so I switched over and didn’t have any issues.  The instructions below reflect my use of the mixer but feel free to make the dough by hand too, just be aware you’ll probably be kneading for a while.  When it came time to shape the bagels, I abandoned the rope method (roll the dough into a rope & connect the ends to form a circle) I used last time in favor of trying something else.  With the alternate method, you just poke a hole in the center of each piece of dough and stretch it.  I found it much easier and would definitely rely on this technique next time over the rope method.

bagels

If you’re anything like me, you might not read all the way through recipe before starting so I feel it’s my duty to warn you these bagels do need 12-24 hours in the refrigerator before they can be boiled and baked.  That just means that you can make them on Saturday night and on Sunday morning have freshly baked bagels for breakfast!  When toasted, the bagels had a slightly crisp exterior with a soft, chewy interior and pleasant wheat flavor, but nothing harsh or overwhelming.  They freeze well too if you want to stash some away for another time. 

Whole Wheat Bagels
adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour (via The Kitchen Sink Recipes)

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups warm water (about 110 F)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder (optional) (I omitted)
3 cups (12 3/4 oz) bread flour
3 cups (12 3/4 oz) white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt

In a large measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the water and add both sugars and the malt (if using).  Add 1 cup of the bread flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook then pour the yeast mixture over the flour and let sit for 10 minutes.  Add all of the white whole wheat flour to the mixer bowl and beat to incorporate.  With the mixer on low, add the salt, then the remaining bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (you may not need all of the bread flour, depending on conditions in your kitchen).  Continue kneading on low speed until the dough is really smooth, satiny and springy, about 10 minutes.  Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let rest for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces – I used my scale to weigh the dough and then figure out how big each piece should be, but you can definitely eyeball it.  Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape it into a ball and then use your fingers to poke a hole in the middle.  Gently stretch the dough until the hole is about 2 inches big.  Place the bagel on a baking sheet that’s been dusted with cornmeal.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.  Cover the baking sheet lightly with plastic and let the bagels rise for 30 minutes.  Secure the plastic around the edges of the pan so the bagels won’t dry out then put the baking sheet in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.  While the bagels are resting, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and preheat oven to 450 F.

Add two or three bagels at a time to the boiling water (depending on the size of your pot) and cook for about 1 minute, or until they’ve risen to the top.  Remove and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Once you’ve boiled all of the bagels, bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re brown and their internal temperature registers at least 180 F on an instant-read thermometer.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 12 bagels