Serina’s first bagels. The two on the right are cinnamon sugar; the other four are plain whole wheat. These were baked on a cookie sheet.
Wanna enjoy fresh, high quality bagels, made just the way you like them, for pennies? Make your own!
Inspired by all the homemade bagel chatter at Tammy’s Recipes, I finally got up the courage to give bagels a try. (Another good recipe, with whole wheat alternative suggestions, can be found at Bunnyfoot.) After I had already started making the dough, I realized that a more appropriate recipe for me was sitting on my bookshelf in The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking (my favorite baking book). However, I marched on, and they turned out very nicely. I will follow the Laurel’s Kitchen recipe next time, however, as it was designed for whole grains, her recipes have never failed me yet, and the ingredient list contains weights. (Now that I have a kitchen scale, I’m addicted to recipes with weights!)
- I used all whole wheat flour.
- I soaked the flour in the water called for in the recipe, plus 1 tbsp of vinegar, overnight. I try to soak all of the grains I use, including wheat flour for baking, to neutralize phytate content and make the nutrients in the wheat more available to the body.
- I substituted 4-5 tbsp of honey for the 3 tbsp sugar called for in the recipe.
- To add the yeast, honey, and salt the next morning, I dissolved them in a small amount of warm water in a bowl. I then kneaded this into the soaked flour.
I garnished four of the whole wheat bagels with a cinnamon-sugar mixture prior to baking. All of the bagels turned out nicely, though they didn’t puff as much as I had hoped during the boiling process. It was probably inexperience that produced the flatter bagels. They still tasted great.
In the end, I would say that I tried to modify too many things, so the process took me longer than I would have liked. I should have tried whole grains first, then experimented with a soaked whole grain bagel. Adding the yeast, honey, and salt the next day required more water, which required more flour, which made for more dough than the recipe called for. It turned out fine, but took more fiddling.
Whenever you bake with soaked flours, the rising process takes longer. The dough is cooler than it would have been if you had just added the warm water and yeast to it just before kneading. To help speed things along, I put the dough in my oven with the pilot light on. When that wasn’t going fast enough, I turned the oven on to 170 for just a shot of heat, turning it off before it actually hit 170. That seemed to do the trick, and I finally got the dough to double in size.
I’d recommend you give bagels a try! Even with all my changes, the bagels turned out great, and the kids ate them right up. Mmmmm!
The second half of Serina’s first homemade bagels. These six were baked on a baking stone. They took longer. The two on the right are cinnamon sugar; the other four are plain whole wheat.
These six were promptly eaten with cream cheese for lunch.