Wednesday, 18 January 2012

100% Whole Wheat Bagels

I love bagels.  There are no good bagels here, I have to go all the way to Edinburgh to Elephants and Bagels to find satisfactory bagels.  Now, I'm not a bagel expert, I'm Italian and Chinese, I don't really know what I'm talking about.  But I do know that Tesco bagels just don't make me as happy.  I love different flavored bagels: cinnamon and raisin, spinach, blueberry.  I don't even need it to be topped with cream cheese or peanut butter, if it's good, it's good on its own.

I'm always amazed by 100% whole wheat stuff.  Most of the whole wheat stuff you get is half and half, half whole wheat, half normal flour, because usually with whole wheat stuff it's quite difficult to rise.  This one, however, was quite nice.  This is Peter Reinheart's recipe, which I got from here.

This takes a bit more time, it involves rising two doughs overnight, one with yeast (the biga) one without (the soaker), and then they're combined with more flour and yeast the next day.
You then knead and knead and knead until you get a nice elastic dough, which you then let rest again for an hour.  Then they're shaped into balls, and balls are shaped into bagels.  They then go in boiling water with bicarbonate of soda for 1 minute on each side.  Brush them with milk/egg white, add toppings of your choice (on some coarse sea salt, some I put allspice and brown sugar).  And lastly they're baked for about 15 minutes in a very hot oven.  Yea it's a bit ma fan  [pronounced as mah (like mama) fan (like football fan).  A mandarin term meaning.... cumbersome/annoying/troublesome).
I've made some slight adjustments to the recipe, especially to the amount of water and flour, you may choose to either stick to mine or the original recipe, but more than likely you're going to have to make adjustments yourself because of..well, several factors.  Don't worry, it doesn't have to be that exact, making a bread isn't quite as..well, precise, as making, say, macaroons.

100% whole wheat bagels
227g whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp honey

227g whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup water

Final dough
10g instant yeast
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp whole wheat flour

For the boiling water
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

I followed the instructions from here.  But with a few adjustments:
after reading other blog posts, I boiled the bagels for 1 minute on each side instead of 30 seconds.
I reduced the baking time to 20 minutes in total

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