These Bagels should really be called “Fall Day Bagels” because they are great for warming up the house on a fall day, but I like to have “Poorganic” in the title of the “Eating Poorganically” posts as a warning to those who are afraid of becoming too crazy!! (Boo!)
Here is a warning. These bagels are not that hard to make and they are really delicious. I bet that doesn’t sound like a warning, but it is. You will never want to eat those mush-in-your-mouth store bagels again. These bagels will ruin you for all other bagels–except maybe bakery bagels, but these are WAY cheaper.
2 cups warm water (115 degrees)
2 pkgs (1.5 Tbs) yeast
1 T honey
1 T salt
5-6 cups WHITE whole wheat flour. This is a lighter grain of whole wheat, but is still 100% whole wheat. If you use traditional whole wheat, using just WW will be quite dense. You can also use a combination of white and whole wheat depending on how hardcore you are feeling about poorganics.
1/4 cup Vital wheat gluten. (If you don’t have this, you can use 3 c. high-gluten or bread flour and remaining 2-3 c. all-purpose flour. Another slightly less effective subsitute for gluten is some vitamin C. Use a crushed up tablet or even some OJ if you are desperate. Either way, you need gluten to help the bagels be elastic and chewy enough.)
Measure the temperature of the water to make sure it is between 110 and 115 degrees. If the water is too hot or too cold, it will ruin the yeast and be a huge waste of time and yeast. These are two things we DON’T want to waste.
Add honey. (Or sugar if you want to be schmorganic about it.)
Add salt. Notice there is no oil in bagels. AWESOME! That makes us feel better about the quantities of cream cheese we slather on later.
Watch to make sure that the yeast “proofs” or comes to life. It should grow bubbles. This takes 5 minutes or so. First it looks like this.
Then it will look even more foamy like this! If it doesn’t do this, your yeast is dead. Don’t waste a bunch of flour making sure. Get new yeast.
Add first half of flours and vital wheat gluten and/or crushed Vitamin C.
If you’re using a mixer, don’t be an idiot and add it while the dough hook is kneading or it’ll sling flour everywhere and you’ll end up with . . .
a counter covered in flour.
After ALL the FLOUR is incorporated it should form a ball in the bowl. If you are making by hand, just continue adding a little flour until the dough is now longer sticking to your skin. It may still feel a little tacky; that is okay. Either knead in mixer or by hand on a floured surface for 8 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise until double. It will look something like this.
After rising, punch the dough down and roll it into a smooth lump.
Cut the lump into 12-15 evenly sized pieces.
Roll the pieces into the size of a large golf ball. (Of course mine aren’t really evenly sized, but they should be. Try to bake the same sizes at the same time.)
Poke a hole in the middle of each ball with your thumbs and stretch out gently. Place on a greased or sprayed counter.
Cover with a towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
During this time, fill a large cooking pot with water and dissolve into it 1 T of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Drop bagels into the water and boil on each side for about 1.5 minutes for a total of about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Bake on a greased cooking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal at 400 degrees until browned. (About 20 minutes.)
Cool briefly on wire rack as long as you can stand it.
Slice and make yourself a homemade pesto, mozzarella,and garden tomato sandwich. Try not to take a bite of it before you take the picture for your blog. Uggh. You’re so impatient.
Bagel making is really fun and even though it is a multi-step activity, it is quite easy, especially on a blustery day where you want to steam up your kitchen. Bagels are best fresh, so freeze any that you don’t plan to eat for a day or two. This recipe is super flexible. Add cinnamon and raisins, cheese and onions, rye and carraway, whatever floats your bagel. Enjoy!!