As far as I know, they don’t really have bagels here in Germany. They have bagel-shaped bread things called bagels, but they don’t actually taste like bagels (not the ones I’ve had, anyway). So I made my own.
I put a lot of cinnamon in them so that they wouldn’t taste too whole grain-y, but they don’t taste 100% like normal white flour bagels. They don’t taste terribly healthy, though, so I consider it a success. But still, I don’t know if I’d recommend making these for haters of whole wheat because you can definitely tell that they are whole wheat.
If eight bagels are too much, you can always freeze some and then pop them in the toaster. It is a lot of work if you’re not used to bread making, but I think they’re worth it. And can you really find 100% whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagels at the store? Maybe you lucky North Americans can, but you definitely can’t in Germany, which I find really weird because I can’t think of another country that does whole grain bread better.
I suggest reading the entire recipe before you start. :)
The night before you make the soaker and biga:
For the soaker:227 grams (8 ounces or about 1 3/4 cups) whole wheat flour
4 grams (0.14 ounces or about 1/2 teaspoon) salt
142 grams (5 ounces or 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) filtered or spring water
35.5 grams (1 1/4 ounce or 2 tablespoons) barley malt syrup (for vegan) or honey
Mix everything together in a small bowl for a minute until it forms a ball. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours. If you want to leave it longer than that, you can also leave it refrigerated for up to three days. Just bring it to room temperature before using.
For the biga (yeasted starter):
227 grams (8 ounces or 1 3/4 cups) whole wheat flour
1 gram (0.03 ounce or 1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast – I used active dry yeast
142 grams (5 ounces or 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) filtered or spring water at room temperature
Mix everything together in a small bowl for a minute until it forms a ball and then knead it for two minutes. The dough will be tacky. If you need more flour, only add it a teaspoon at a time. Let the dough rest for five minutes and then knead with wet hands for one more minute. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours - 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
On the next morning you do the rest:
For the final dough:
7 grams (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast – I used active dry yeast
28.5 grams (1 ounce or 2 tablespoons) – filtered or spring water at room temperature
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. And then add:
Soaker – chopped or pinched into 12 pieces
Biga – chopped or pinched into 12 pieces
5 grams (0.18 ounce or about 5/8 teaspoon) salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Mix and knead for about 5 minutes until well integrated. Add:
56.5 grams (2 ounces or about 7 tablespoons) whole wheat flour (start with 3 tbsp – I only used 4)
Knead 5 – 7 minutes until you have a stiff but supple dough. Form the dough into a ball, and then let it rest covered with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes and then knead for another minute. The dough should be supple, satiny, and pass the windowpane test. To do that, pinch off a small piece and stretch it slowly apart, pulling and rotating it gently so that it stretches into a thin, translucent membrane. If it tears easily, continue kneading for a few more minutes and then try the test again.
After the dough has passed the windowpane test, add:
1 1/4 cups (190 grams) raisins
I just kneaded it about 30 seconds until they were thoroughly combined. Form the dough into a ball and swirl it around a bowl that has been covered / sprayed with oil. Cover and let rise for 45 – 60 minutes until it’s 1 1/2 times the original size.
Divide into 8 equal pieces. For me, that was 130 grams each. There are more professional ways out there, but what I do is to form the 130 gram piece into a ball. Put your thumb through the middle and form into bagel shape. Make the hole bigger than you really want it because they’ll grow… a little. I would make my holes smaller next time.
Put the bagels on a Silpat or an oil-sprayed parchment-lined pan cover loosely.
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 egg white (optional)
Preheat your oven to 500°F / 260°C. Fill a wide pot with 4 inches of water and bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling, add 2 teaspoons of baking soda (it will foam up). The time between shaping the bagels and putting them in the boiling water should not be longer than 20 minutes. If you wait that long, they might rise and then collapse. With your hands, carefully place the bagels in the boiling water. I could only fit three in my pot. Boil for 1 minute on each side. Then take them out with a slotted spoon, drain them and then place on a Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet.
When they’ve all been boiled, brush with a beaten egg white. Put the baking sheet in the oven and then lower the temperature to 450°F / 230°C, and bake them for 7 minutes. Rotate the pan and then bake for 7 more minutes until they are a nice golden brown. If you want to be absolutely sure that they’re done, I say rip one open and look. Mine were quite brown before the 14 minutes were up, but thought that they were just right after 14 minutes.
Enjoy! I think they’re best on the first day, but after that they’re wonderful toasted.
Source: Jugalbandi’s 100% Whole Wheat Bagels, who got it from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads