Again, necessity is the mother of invention. I was happily munching away on Costco’s Whole Wheat Bagels when a month ago, they decided to stop selling them. Perhaps I was the only one buying them, but it still irked me that they yanked them from the shelves.
So… I decided to look around the fabulous interweb for either a whole wheat or better yet, a 12 grain recipe and surprisingly there is quite a few available. I spent one morning a couple weeks ago reading through the top 5 or 6 on the google search, some more detailed than others, some using ingredients that I thought was odd, one even using some sort of sourdough starter that you needed to prep the day before. I wasn’t willing to spend that much energy on making bagels, one that could be done within a 3 hour time frame would be perfect.
I settled on one from here: http://bonappetitnb.blogspot.com/2012/06/homemade-12-grain-bagels.html but when I made the dough as written, it was crumbly and dry. There wasn’t near enough moisture to accommodate 4 cups of flour. I ended up adding some warm water at the end just to get the dough to come together and while the bagels turned out ok, they needed something else. They were a tad bland overall.
So today I am making a 2nd batch and decided to swap the 1 tbsp of sugar out for 2 tbsp of honey (I know, it may seem like a lot, especially with honey being a lot sweeter than sugar, but I am looking for that honey-whole-wheat taste that I think this will provide) and I am also bumping up the liquid, 1 cup of milk just didn’t do last time. This time I upped it to a cup and half as well as bumping the butter from a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.
The end result? Fabulous! They have texture, are chewy like a bagel is supposed to be (not airy and fluffy like a loaf of white bread) and the taste from the honey and 12 grain flour is enough to satisfy the taste buds.
These really are quite easy to put together, I always viewed bagels as a long, drawn out process akin to the Ukrainian Easter Paska Bread I make and didn’t want to work that hard for a bunch of bagels, but these turned out not as much of a time suck as I thought.
For those wishing to give this a go, below is the recipe, enjoy!
12 Grain Bagel Recipe
1 1/2 Cups scalded milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 Cup butter (unsalted)
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp instant yeast
3 Cups All-Purpose flour
1 Cup 12 Grain flour
In a 2 cup measuring cup, scald the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. Remove and add the butter and let it sit to come to room temp (about 20 – 25 minutes). The butter will melt into the milk. Add the honey and whisk to combine.
Place the milk/honey/butter mixture into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast overtop. Let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the egg after the yeast has bloomed.
Meanwhile, while yeast is blooming, combine the flours and salt in another bowl and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together until the dough forms a ball. It will be a tad sticky at this point. On a floured surface, knead the dough (add small amounts of flour a bit at a time) until it is no longer sticky.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and place in a warm oven (I turn the oven element on until it just starts to glow, then I turn it off) to proof for an hour.
After proofing, remove dough from bowl onto a floured surface and add just a tich more flour to counteract the oil. Shape the dough into a long log and cut into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin log, then shape into a circle and pinch the ends together (use a bit of water if necessary to get it to stay together). Place bagels on a sheet pan lined with parchment and let proof for another 45 minutes to an hour.
Meanwhile, get a large pot of water on a near boiling simmer, just until little bubbles start to form at the bottom of the pot.
When bagels are proofed, add 2 tsp of Baking Soda to the pot of water and place bagels into the pot a few at a time, don’t crowd them as they will begin to puff up quickly.
Cook bagels for one minute on one side, then flip and cook another 2 minutes. Gently remove bagels back to the sheet pan. Careful, if handled too roughly they do tend to deflate. Also, try and work quickly as time deflates them as well..ask me how I know.
If you want a nice sheen on the bagels, brush a little beaten egg white on the surface of each one before baking. (note – if you want to add decorations, this would be the time to sprinkle on sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc. after brushing with egg white)
Bake bagels in a pre-heated 400°F oven for 15 to 25 minutes depending on their size, until they are a golden brown.
Remove from the sheet pan as soon as they come out of the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Then enjoy with your favourite jam, lox and cream cheese or peanut butter!