The weekend after attempting homemade English Muffins for the first time, I decided to take a stab at the whole wheat bagel recipe. They were much easier to make than the muffins, but they turned out just so-so the first time around: a little small and not as chewy and delicious as I had hoped for when I set out. But hey – this is all about learning, right?
So last weekend, I made Bagel Attempt #2, and it was SO much better than the first time (see – I’m learning!). I made sure the water was the perfect 100-110 degrees and I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook to knead instead of my hands. Plus, I made sure to proof them in a warmer environment (which can be hard to do in an older home in Massachusetts in February). The trick? Set your oven to its lowest temperature (mine is 170 degrees) and once it pre-heats, turn the oven off and crack the door for a minute to release some of the heat. Voila! A perfect proofing environment (a warm towel over the bagels – not touching – helps, too. You can use juice glasses on the baking sheet to prop up the towel).
This second time around resulted in bagels twice the size as the first go-round, with a great chewy texture. I referenced a couple different recipes and made my own modifications and am happy to share my recipe for Whole Wheat Bagels with you here!
RRFR Whole Wheat Bagels
- 2 ¼ t. active yeast
- 2 T. raw honey
- 2 t. salt
- 3 ¼ C. whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ C. whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 egg white
In a large measuring cup, dissolve yeast and honey in 2 cups of warm water (~110 degrees)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 teaspoons of salt
Add the yeast/honey mixture to the flour/salt mixture and stir until a soft dough is formed
With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on medium speed, adding the remaining 1 ¼ cups of whole wheat flour and up to 1-1 ¼ cups of the pastry flour to form a non-sticky dough (about 3-4 minutes of kneading once the flour is combined).*You could also turn the dough out on a floured board and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.
Cover the bowl with a warm, damp towel and let it rise until the mass doubles in size—usually about 1 1/2 hours
Punch down the dough and knead on medium for a couple more minutes.
Divide the finished dough into 12 even pieces and roll them into slightly flattened balls. Push your finger through the center of the ball and twirl the dough around your finger until a ring with about a 2-inch hole forms.
Place the 12 rings onto greased cookie sheets and allow them to rise for about 15-20 more minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 (you’ll bake the bagels on the middle rack)
While the rings rise, bring water to boil with 1 t. of salt in a deep pot (I actually used a roasting pan over two burners)
Gently drop the rings into the water and boil them for 3 minutes, turning often.
Remove the bagels from the water with a strainer spoon and transfer them to a well-greased pan (I used olive oil).
Whisk together one egg white and 1 T. water to create an egg wash, which will allow toppings to stick and also give your bagels a nice golden shine.
Brush the tops of the bagels evenly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seed, dried onions, cinnamon sugar, etc. – or just leave plain.
Bake the bagels for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let the bagels rest on the pan for a couple minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
This recipe makes 12 bagels that are 187 calories each, with 1 g of fat, 7 g of protein, and 7 g of fiber