Jacquee's Whole Wheat Bagels

I'm not going to lie. I'm feeling very proud of these babies. Hence, my name in the title. Not only was it a first-ever attempt at bagels but it was also a self-adapted recipe which turned into a home run  They turned out perfectly chewy on the outside, soft but dense on the inside and made a generous dozen. I went for an authentic hand-rolled shape with these ones but I may make them doughnut style for uniformity in the future.

I adapted it from this method to be whole wheat. I picked this version because it used a sponge method similar to my all-time favorite whole wheat bread recipe. It's a favorite because it's healthy, slices like store-bought sandwich bread and stays fresh MUCH longer than any other homemade breads I've tried. I only made these today, but I hope they last long enough for me to see if they stay soft and tender like my sandwich bread.

3 1/2 C. Whole Wheat Flour (1 pound)
1 Tbl Active Dry Yeast
3 C. very warm water
1 Tbl Maple Syrup

2 3/4 C. Whole Wheat Flour (more as needed, plus dusting)
1/4 C. Vital Wheat Gluten (this is necessary for elasticity, especially when using whole wheat)
1 T. Salt
1/8 t. Citric Acid/Sour Salt (makes for a lighter texture and a preservative. Can probably substitute 1 T. lemon juice if needed)

Also needed:
wok or wide skillet with 3" of boiling water, plus salt and baking soda added
baking stone
any toppings you want to add

In a stand mixer combine the first 4 ingredients into a sponge mix. Mix for a minute then cover and let rise for 10-20 minutes until doubled. While you're waiting, combine the rest of the dry ingredients in a bowl. 

Once the sponge mix has doubled, add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix/knead for several minutes. The dough should form a ball and be sturdy but not stiff. Add more flour or warm water if necessary. Cover and let rise until doubled. You'll know its ready if you poke your finger into it and the impression stays. 

Stir/punch it down and roll it onto a lightly floured surface. Keep the dough covered while you work. Roll a piece into a log, wrap it around your hand and pinch it off to make a circle. With the dough-bracelet around your palm, roll over the seam to seal it together then set the "donut" on a cornmeal dusted surface. Continue until you've done this with all of the dough. Keep them covered and allow to rise a bit more while your water boils.

Preheat your oven with the baking stone inside to 400F

Boil the bagels in batches for 2 min per side then remove with a slotted spatula back to a cornmeal dusted surface. Top if desired (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dehydrated onion, etc). Slide them carefully onto the hot stone and bake for approximately 25 min (will vary depending on bagel size). 


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