Food & Drink Magazine

Whole Wheat Bagels

By Monetm1218 @monetmoutrie
Picture Spent the weekend with friends from I miss that state and its people!
We visited Mrs. Johnson's Donuts twice for late-night grease treats. The inconspicuous donut shop on Airport Road has been producing rack after rack of donuts for over fifty years now. As my crew left with our bag of donuts and a free glazed in our hands, we met an older man who told us he'd been visiting Mrs. Johnson's since he was boy...and he had yet to find a better donut anywhere.
And although I've  lived a mere 24 years, I agreed with this portly older man. No better donuts can be found.
On Friday night, I held a cold water bottle to my face as we waited a good hour to eat my favorite Austin meal--Homeslice Pizza. As Tom and Ryan battled each other in outdoor ping-pong, Abby and I prayed  our name would finally be called so we could move in from the oppressive 100 degree heat. When we finally received our pizza, my body melted into the chair (not for heat, but pleasure, thank god). The salty and seasoned sauce, the chewy and flavorful crust, and the cheese--thank god for cheese--made my mouth somersault.
To bid Austin goodbye, Abby and Tom went with us to eat tacos on Sunday afternoon.
We sat on metal chairs, with pork, chicken and beans dripping out of our pliable tortillas. Ryan returned for cup after cup of salsa, mingling a few different varieties to create his own special sauce. We squeezed lime in our drinks and our plates while people shuffled around us as they waited for their names to be called and their stomachs to be filled. As the sun reached it's height, we staggered  out of the restaurant, satisfied and thoroughly spiced.
Picture Now, it is Monday morning. Our dear friends are back in 60 degree weather, and Ryan and I are sweating in this great WARM state.
After all the eating, indulging, I woke up this morning with a desire for wholesome and light fare. Bowls of fruit, slices of whole grain bread, and vegetables still crisp and cold. While donuts are delicious, bagels are my breakfast pastry of choice...and so I happily thawed out a whole wheat bagel to begin my day.
These whole wheat bagels taste just as delicious as the plain variety. The wheat flour adds a nuttiness to each chewy bite, and a swirl of honey in the dough makes these bagels slightly sweet.
As we drove Abby and Tom to the airport, we debated about what to call our two foster kittens (who are edging close to becoming OUR kittens, forever). After a round of debate, we settled on names.
Daisy (for our beautiful yet ornery girl).
Bagel (for our always lovable and playful boy).
I can't think of a better name for one of my kittens, since I spend so much time crafting those round morning eats. I can't guarantee that these bagels will look as cute as my Bagel, but they'll taste a lot least I hope!
Picture Whole Wheat Bagels
1 TBSP honey
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup + 2 TBSP lukewarm water
1 1/2 unbleached bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
Poaching liquid:
2 quarts water
1 TBSP baking soda
1 TBSP honey
1 tsp kosher salt
1. In a small bowl, stir the honey, the yeast and the salt into the lukewarm water. Place the flour into the bowl of a standing mixer (or any large bowl) and pour in the yeast mixture. Using a dough hook, or a large wooden spoon,   and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. The dough should form a stiff, course ball and the flour should be fully hydrated.
2. Resume mixing on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, or knead dough on a lightly floured surface so that the gluten can begin to develop. The dough should be stiff and slightly tacky. It should have a smooth, satiny feel. If needed add more flour or water to achieve the desired consistency.
3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise at room temperature, for 60-90 minutes.  After initial rise, divide the dough into 6 (4 1/2 ounce) pieces. Form the pieces into rolls.
4.  Line 1 large sheet pan with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil. Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter for a large bagel, two inches for a regular one or just slightly more than one inch for a miniature. The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible.
5. Place each of the shaped pieces two inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator and allow to retard over night.
6. In the morning, remove your bagels from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. After an hour, check to see if your bagels are ready for boiling.  Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be boiled when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. If they don't float, let them sit at room temperature for 30 more minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large, wide pot of water to a boil, and add the baking soda and honey. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.
8. Gently drop the bagels into the water, boiling only a few at a time. After one minute, flip them over and boil for another minute. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. Remove the boiled bagels to a wire rack while finishing the remaining bagels.  (If desired, sprinkle your bagels with oats, poppy seeds or sesame seeds.)
9. When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately five minutes, then rotate the pans. After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450°F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown.
10. Remove the pans from the oven.   Allow the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.
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