Learning about food, photography, and writing. Sharing what I find.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Honey Wheat Bagels

Ok, so I want to continue refining my baking skills, but the sweets are getting a little out of control (if there is such a thing as too much dessert). Plus, I realize that I have given away my weaknesses by blogging primarily about pizza and cookies. I see now that these trends make me seem a bit like, oh I don't know, a seven-year-old child. I'm cool with that, but I'm sure my readership would appreciate a little variation. Don't worry! I won't lose all the dessert; I can't live without it. Want to know what else I can't live without? Bagels.

Today's mix-it-up-a-bit recipe was a total blog theft. By clicking around a little bit on facebook, I came across these homemade bagels on an acquaintance's blog and I though I'd give them a try. Bagels fresh from my oven? Yes, please!

They are shockingly simple, though slightly time-consuming. And, I can guarantee that most bakers will have all the ingredients easily accessible. Let's make bagels.

Homemade Honey Wheat Bagels (This recipe is a modification of the recipe found here):

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (roughly . . . I honestly have no idea where they got this measurement)
2 packages active dry yeast (each package is 1/4 oz.)
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. molasses

In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the Wheat Flour and the Yeast.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk Water, Honey, and Salt together (I love that the flavors inside these bagels are simply honey and salt).

Add the warm water solution to the dry ingredients.
Beat with the mixer for half a minute on low speed.
Scrape the sides of the bowl clean.
Beat at a medium-high speed for 3 minutes.

(Do you like my Chucks?)

Then, by hand, mix in enough All-Purpose Flour to make a moderately stiff dough (See what I mean? I have no idea how much additional flour I added in the end. Just do it by feel, I guess).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes).

Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

It will expand dramatically and look beautiful when uncovered.

Cut risen dough into 9 to 12 equal portions (I did 12, but kind of wish I had done fewer, larger bagels).
Shape portions into smooth balls.
Poke a hole in the center with your finger and enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape (I swung it about my finger to stretch it, which worked really well).

Cover dough rings and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, start to bring a gallon of water to a boil and preheat the oven to 375ยบ.
Add the Sugar and Molasses to the water pot, stirring to dissolve.

(I just thought the molasses looked cool on the bottom of the pot. Right?)

Reduce to a low boil.
When the bagels have risen, put 4 bagels in the water and boil for 2-3 minutes.

The bagels will expand in the water, so be sure to use a pot that gives them plenty of space to do so.

Turn bagels over and boil for an additional 2-3 minutes (Here mine looked a little wrinkled).

Remove from the water and drain the bagels on a towel for a few minutes, turning once.

Sprinkle the top with whatever flavor you like best (e.g. kosher salt, brown sugar, poppy seeds, parmesan cheese, etc.).
Place on a greased cookie sheet OR a "cornmealed" pizza stone and bake for 30-35 minutes (keep your eye on them!).

Here is the result on a pizza stone (The outside is crisp and the center is fluffy and wonderful! The bagels pictured at the top of the blog are from the batch I baked on a greased cookie sheet. The major difference between the two was the bottom of the bagel. The cookie sheet ones had a slightly harder bottom . . . but I did cook them a little longer, too):

**(Someone please try this method below and let me know how they turn out. I kinda wish I had done this with a few to see what would happen) For a glossier surface, place the raised bagels on an ungreased baking sheet prior to boiling them. Broil five inches from heat for 1-1.5 minutes on each side. Then put them into the hot water to be boiled as above. NOTE: They will need less baking time in this case, 20-25 minutes.

I'd also love to see how they turn out with various flavors: plain? egg? blueberry (my favorite)? cinnamon raisin? The possibilities are endless.


  1. Are you kidding me? You made bagels??? That's insane! I'm so inspired to try all these things...I just need to find the time.

    Also, I love the pictures at each step. I like knowing what to expect...otherwise, I'd panic if my bagels started wrinkling.

  2. You know how beautiful store bagels look, all puffy and fluffy and smooth and shiny? So you buy some take them home and and cut them open and... eh... OK. Filling. Taste: like eggy hard Wonder Bread

    These are not like that, they're brown, bumpy, chewy and warty on the outside but -- oh my -- cut one open and on the inside they are ethereal, soft, like a baby's ear lobe and smell like a bakery at 5 o'clock in the morning

  3. Gracie, I gotta say, half the fun of your blog is reading Charlie's descriptions of the deliciousness. Thanks, Charlie!

    Also, I completely botched the oatmeal-orange-chocolate chip cookies I tried to make today. (Well, they were yummy, but not what I was going for...)I used the recipe from my Joy of Cooking, but they just weren't right...didn't you perfect this recipe? Help me!

  4. Hi Grace,
    new reader stuck in the snow in NC with a Naan craving. But...there are only 2 of us!! Do you think I can halve your recipe safely? Don't even have 7c of flour left to use and I can't get out....

    Help! (please??)

  5. Yes! You can halve it. No problem! Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.

  6. Ok, I'm just now catching up on a couple of posts because it's been a busy week out here, and I don't know what to comment on first! Maybe I'll just say that I wish we lived closer to you so we could be taste-testers, too! I am highly jealous of the Glendinning clan... ;) We'll just have to set aside an afternoon when you guys come out to visit to prepare a Joy of Looking All-Star Line-up Menu, ok? Oh, and Mom and/or Grace, I desperately need that oatmeal cookie recipe with the orange rind!!! I've tried a couple of different recipes for oatmeal cookies I've found online, and none came even remotely close to those...

  7. Oh, and Grace, that molasses picture IS super cool!

  8. Hi! I'm new to the blog - referred here by Bethany. I'm a lover of food and photography, so your blog is very inspirational to me! :) Thanks!

  9. G'ret, I LOVE the idea of having a 'Joy of Looking' meal sometime during our Vegas visit! We definitely need to make that happen.

  10. I’m getting a feeling that my Uncle and cousin will have the “eye-widening” effect tomorrow once they get a bite of their snacks I will make for them. Since I started living with these two big guys who work and work and work, I have become the “unofficial” home chef. Among their favorite treats are the snacks I pack for them to bring at work. Some flopped and I can say this recipe won’t as long as I follow the directions. Thanks for sharing. I’m off to the first step!

  11. Wonderful! Do let me know how it turns out!