Monday, December 12, 2011

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bagels

There was this place in Prescott, Arizona called Biff's Bagels. My husband and I loved meeting there for lunch and choosing a terrific bagel every time, topped with a hand crafted flavored cream cheese. My favorite was always the Asiago Cheese Bagel with Jalapeno Cream Cheese. There were other great ones too that we enjoyed such as their Pizza Bagel. Somedays we reminisce about going there on a rainy day, enjoying a bagel with a cup of coffee. We haven't found a place here quite like Biff's, although maybe we haven't given them a fair chance...

On this particular rainy day, when my creative energies were flowing quite readily, I decided to take on the bagel. This was a project I have been thinking about for months, but never quite felt up to the challenge. In this recipe, as all other Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipes, you are able to let your dough rise one day, stick it in the fridge, and get back to it in a day or two. So thanks to them, I have been able to begin my bread baking career in quite the lazy fashion.

On to the actual bagels, I remembered the Roasted Garlic bagel Biff's created back in the day, and wanted to bring that extra flavor to what I was creating. So I roasted some garlic up in a little olive oil until they were nice and brown, and set them aside. I also added the suggested Sesame and Poppy seeds.

All I had on hand was King Arthur's Whole Wheat flour, so these are a little more dense than the normal product, but delicious none the less. Boiling the bagels give them that delightful, smooth, outer crust; and letting them rise gives the interior a more interesting, airy bite. As for my technique, I will definitely need to refine it. I was challenged by creating a uniform shape that wasn't lumpy and given to cracks.

Any suggestions from you?

Whole Wheat Bagels
Yield: About 18 Active Time: 1 hr Inactive Time: 3 hrsAdapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Dough Ingredients:
3 cups lukewarm filtered water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tbsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
6 cups whole wheat flour (or 6 1/4 cups bread flour)

Boiling and Topping Ingredients:
8 quarts water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp Poppy seeds
2 tbsp Sesame seeds
1 1/2 tbsp roasted garlic (minced garlic, browned with olive oil)
Flour for dusting

How To:
Make the Dough!
1) Pour warm water into a large bowl. Add yeast, salt, and sugar. Stir until mostly dissolved. Add flour. Stir with a spoon until moisture is absorbed and a lumpy dough is created.

2) Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and then a towel. Set aside and let it rise for 2 hours.

3) Place in fridge for at least an hour or overnight. This helps to handle the dough easily.

Make the Bagels!
1) From prepared dough, take about a tennis ball size of dough for each bagel. Knead the balls only twice through, don't overwork the dough. Make a uniform sized ball and set on a floured surface. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a light-weight towel. Allow to rise for about 15 minutes.

2) Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Bring the 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large stock pot. Add the sugar and baking soda to the water.

3) Make a hole through the center of a bagel using your thumbs, while holding the outer rim with the rest of your fingers. Turn the bagel a few times around your fingers until a 1 1/2 to 2 inch center is formed. Try to keep the bagel uniform as you do this. Repeat with the rest of the bagels.

4) Place a towel on a counter top and dust it with flour. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and put about 3 bagels into the water. Don't crowd the boiling pot because you don't want the bagels to become misshapen.

5) Boil each batch of bagels for two minutes on each side. Remove from the water and set on the prepared floured towel.

6) Sprinkle the tops of the boiled bagels with the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and roasted garlic.

7) Boil about 1 1/2 cups of water in a tea kettle. Place your bagels in the oven on parchment paper covered baking sheets, or on a pre-heated pizza stone. Pour the 1 1/2 of boiling water into a shallow tray inside the oven. This will help to steam the bagels and to keep the interior moist. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until they are browned and firm to the touch.


  1. Oh my goodness! I bet these taste as good as they look. I was wondering the other day if you need a special pan to make homemade bagels and I'm thrilled to see that you don't.


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