100% Whole Wheat Bagels
Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
Makes 14 bagels
(I always double this recipe because we LOVE bagels around here and they do not last long!)
1 teaspoon SAF instant yeast
4 cups Prairie Gold hard white wheat flour, freshly ground, room temperature
3 cups water, warm
1 Tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon SAF yeast
3 3/4 cups Prairie Gold flour
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon Eden organic barley malt syrup
1-2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon baking soda for the water
1 teaspoon barley malt syrup for the water
Toppings for the bagels such as seeds, salt, onion, or garlic
THE DAY BEFORE:
Place the water into a mixer bowl (I use my Bosch) or a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, apple cider vinegar and yeast and stir to mix. Stir on low speed until smooth. Cover and let sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes, or until risen and bubbly.
At the end of 45 minutes, add the 1/2 teaspoon SAF yeast into the sponge. Add the remaining ingredients (malt syrup, honey, salt) and mix well. Add as much flour as possible to get a very stiff, but pliable dough.
Knead on Speed 2 with a dough hook for 6 minutes. BE CAREFUL! This is a very stiff dough. Stand close by while kneading if using a large mixer. (I find it works BETTER with a double batch and the Bosch stays put!) If mixing by hand, be prepared to use a heavy mixing utensil and elbow grease. Let dough rest for 20 minutes, covered to keep moist.
Remove the dough onto a dry surface (you may need to wet your hands slightly). Divide the dough into pieces that weigh 4 1/2 ounces each.
Now comes the shaping. You can roll each ball into a rope and pinch off the ends making a bagel-shape, or what I do is poke my fingers through the middle of the dough ball and work my fingers around the inside to shape the bagel evenly. The hole should be about 2-2 1/2 inches in diameter.
Place the shaped bagels 2 inches apart on a baking sheet covered with a piece of unbleached parchment paper that has been lightly spritzed or spread with olive oil and lecithin. You’ll need 2 baking sheets.
Cover all the shaped bagels with damp cloths. Let rest for 25 minutes at room temperature. Then put the covered baking sheets into the refrigerator overnight.
THE NEXT DAY:
Place 2 oven racks in the lower middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500. If you are using a stone, make sure the stone is in the oven for the preheating.
Fill a large wide stockpot with 1 gallon of water. Add 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon malt syrup to the water. Cover and bring to a boil.
When the water comes to a full boil, gently drop 2-3 bagels ONE AT A TIME into the water. They will sink and then float. Let them boil for 2 minutes. With a large slotted spoon, turn the bagels over to boil on the other side for 2 minutes. If you like them less chewy, boil only 1 minute per side.
Remove each bagel (tapping the slotted spoon to remove any excess water) and place them back on the same greased parchment paper. They will have almost doubled in size, so you may need an extra baking sheet and parchment paper with oil and lecithin.
If you wish to top your bagels, do so when they are right out of the boiling pot. You won’t need anything to make the toppings stick. Sprinkle on your toppings (do not overdo it!).
When all your bagels have been boiled and topped, place 2 baking sheets into the oven, one on each shelf and bake for 8-10 minutes. Rotate the sheets to the opposite racks and turn the pans 180 degrees and bake another 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and very firm. *If you only have one rack or one pan, still turn the baking sheet 180 degrees after the first 5 minutes of baking.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Transfer the baked bagels to cooling racks and let sit (UNDISTURBED) for 15 minutes. Then, cut and eat! (We like to toast ours first, but they are great “as is”.)