Guest post by Stephani, from The Cheapskate Cook.
I never thought I would make my own bagels. It seemed too time consuming, too complicated – boiling them? Baking them? Are we making pasta or bread here?
But we miss eating them.
It started with a desire to weed out the heavily processed food in our diet without increasing our grocery budget. This tossed store bought bagels out the window, but didn’t really allow for healthier bakery bagels because, well, I couldn’t find any that used less than 10 ingredients I could pronounce. And that were in my price range.
I still indulged in an occasional bag, but I forgot how much I missed bagels until this last store bought batch ran out.
So I thought, why not? My kids like baking with me. We’ll turn it into a mom-and-kids project.
Surprisingly, it was not as hard as I thought it would be. Even with kids clattering around in the kitchen. Certainly, they had more steps than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but the directions were straight forward and simple.
And not surprisingly, they were delicious.
I’ll admit, I’m no bagel making expert. They turned out fantastic, but maybe I missed something. Maybe the bagel cooks in New York would shake their heads at this.
However, if you’re looking for a healthy whole grain recipe that worked beautifully for a never-made-bagels-before home cook, look no further. You have arrived.
Whole Grain Honey Wheat Bagels
Inspired by this recipe
Makes 12 small bagels
- 4-6 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (just warmer than body temperature)
- 3 Tablespoons plus 1 Tablespoon honey (can substitute maple syrup)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
If desired, proof the yeast by combining the 3 tablespoons honey, yeast and warm water in a small bowl. Stir together gently and set aside for 5-10 minutes, until frothy and bubbly. In a medium-sized bowl stir together 4 cups flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and stir to combine. This is what I did, and it worked great. However, I read that proofing the yeast isn’t necessary and not really preferable for bagels.
Alternatively, stir together 2 cups flour, salt and yeast in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in water and 3 tablespoons honey then add 2 more cups of flour.
Knead the dough (either on the counter or in a mixer) for 5-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary until dough is smooth and elastic. Do not add too much flour or dough will become stiff.
Form dough into a ball, cover it with a clean towel and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large soup pot with water (leaving 2-3 inches from the top) and the last tablespoon of honey and set it on the stove over high heat. Let it come to a rolling boil. Lay a thick dish towel on the counter next to stove.
When the 10 minutes are up, divide the dough into 12 equal parts, each about half the size of your fist.
Lightly grease a baking sheet then set a timer for 20 minutes.
Form the dough into bagel shapes by rolling each piece into a smooth ball. Stick two fingers through the middle of the ball then pull it into a 2-inch hole and smooth/roll the dough using the other hand as a support. It’s nothing magical – just make sure the hole is about 2 inches across and the dough is fairly even (no big bulges – they won’t cook evenly).
Repeat with the rest of the pieces and allow them to sit on the baking sheet until the timer goes off.
Turn on the broiler in your oven, and when the timer goes off pop the baking sheet in. Allow the bagels to broil for 1 minute (don’t let them turn brown), then remove them from the oven, gently flip them over, and broil them on the other side for 1 minute.
Turn broiler off and set oven to bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
By this time the pot of water should have reached a rolling boil. Place 4-6 bagels in the water and allow them to boil about 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to flip them over and boil them another 30 seconds. Then gently remove them with that slotted spoon and place them on the dish towel to dry. Repeat with all of the bagels and allow them to dry on the towel until no longer sticky or even very wet, about 2 minutes. If desired, flip them over once during that time to ensure both sides dry evenly.
Lightly grease the baking sheet again then place bagels back on it and bake them at 375 degrees for 20-35 minutes, until golden brown.
Slather with your favorite bagel spread and enjoy.
If desired, make a double or triple batch and freeze what you won’t eat in the next two days.
What’s your favorite bagel spread? I’m a cream cheese girl myself.