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Homemade Bagels: A Work In Progress

by Spicie Foodie on March 13, 2013

Whole Wheat and Spelt Flour Bagels by Spicie Foodie

Have you ever made bagels?

When the craving for a bagel strikes I reach for the yeast, flour, sugar, salt, water and my mixing bowl. I mix the ingredients, wait for the dough to rise, knead, shape, boil and bake. The smell always puts the craving into overdrive and I can never wait for the bagels to cool down before I take my first taste — they always satisfy.

For a few years I’ve used The Sophisticated Gourment’s New York-Style Bagels recipe and I’ve always been happy with the results. I usually double the recipe so that we can have extras to freeze and defrost as we crave them. The taste is always dead on like ones from a bakery, but it is the outer texture that I can’t seem to get correct. Sometimes they come out with a smooth outer surface, like bagels should be, and other times they come out like you see in the first photo. I’m not really sure what it is that I’m doing wrong…but I’m not to bother by it because the taste is always great.

Whole Wheat and Spelt Flour Bagels by Spicie Foodie

Recently I have been experimenting with baking with whole wheat and spelt flours. This round of bagels I wanted to combine the two low gluten flours and see what kind of results I got. I used 2 cups of whole wheat mixed with 1.5 cups of spelt and the results were great! I was surprised because whole wheat can leave breads dense but that was not the case. (I also had to use a bit more water than called for, which is normal when I bake with whole wheat.) These bagels weren’t anymore dense than ones made with only white flour. The taste was fantastic too, they had the wholesome whole wheat taste along with the nutty flavors of spelt flour. I will definitely be trying this combination again.

Below is the recipe I use from The Sophisticated Gourmet, and in the “Notes” section I state the changes I made.

5.0 from 7 reviews

Homemade Whole Wheat and Spelt Flour Bagels
 
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Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade Whole Wheat and Spelt Flour Bagels recipe based on The Sophisticated Gourment’s New York-Style Bagels recipe http://www.sophisticatedgourmet.com/2009/10/new-york-style-bagel-recipe/
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Lunch, Bread, Baking
Cuisine: American, Jewish
Serves: Makes 8
Ingredients
Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup more, I know I did)
  • 3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour(will need extra for kneading)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
Optional Toppings:
  • Caraway seeds, coarse salt, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds.
Instructions
  1. In ½ cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.
  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
  3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup of water. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
  4. On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
  5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I used a scale to be extra precise, but it’s not necessary). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured below). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
  7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
  8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC / Gas Mark 7.
  9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York Style bagel with this option).
  10. If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so as you take them out of the water, you may use the “optional toppings” (listed above) to top the bagels and if you’re risky like me, make a combination of the toppings to top the bagels with, but before hand, you will need to use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before putting the bagels into the oven.
  11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack
Notes
**CHANGES I MADE: Instead of white flour I used 2 cups fine organic whole wheat flour mixed with 1.5 cups fine organic spelt flour. I had to add extra water, so make sure to have some extra handy. **STORAGE: These bagels freeze well, so if you double the recipe it is no problem to store extra in the freezer or refrigerator too.

 

Whole Wheat and Spelt Flour Bagels by Spicie Foodie

What I really love about this recipe it that it can be doubled, and the relatively low time it takes to prepare. Also I’ve had great results using 100% white flour, a mix of 50% white flour and 50% whole wheat, and of course now this whole wheat-spelt flour mix. When I first started the biggest challenge was shaping the bagels, but that gets easier and you’ll be able to shape them quite fast with a little practice.

Whole Wheat and Spelt Flour Bagels by Spicie Foodie

Bagels have long been one of my most favorite breakfasts. Lightly toasted with a smearing of butter, cream cheese, or jelly is how I prefer them. (Have you ever tried jalapeño jelly? My mother-in-law sends us jars from the States.) And sometimes I like to top them with tomatoes, cucumbers or whatever I happen to have in my refrigerator.

More bagel recipes by foodie friends:
- Ultimate Bread (TSG’s recipe was adapted from this cookbook)
- Homemade Bagels {Step-by-Step} by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
- Homemade Bagels and Mawa’s Raspberry Cream Cheese Spread by A Mama with Flavor
- Spice Bagels (sweet bagel recipe) by Mogwai Soup
- Leftover Bagel Bread Pudding by The Leftover Queen
- Five Things To Do With Leftover Bagels by The Kitchn
- Bagel Stuffing by Spicie Foodie
- Spicy Bagel Chips by Foods For the Soul

 

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie

 

in American,Baked,Breakfast,Vegan/Vegetarian

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa March 13, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Wonderful! Homemade bagels are so exquisite.

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Spicie Foodie March 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Thanks and I agree Rosa!

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3 Amy March 13, 2013 at 6:49 PM

I’ve been scared to try making bagels ever since my first experience. I forgot to oil the cookie sheet, so the bagel dough stuck when I tried to pull it off. That resulted in very flat, dense bagels, which is why I’ve been so hesitant to try again! I love the sound of your whole-wheat and spelt bagels though. Whole-wheat is probably my favorite type!

(And thank you for including my bagel chips in your post too!)

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4 Spicie Foodie March 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Hi Amy,

Oh no:( I usually use baking baker so I don’t have to oil the sheets. Good luck on your next try — I’m sure you’ll get great results.

My pleasure, I loved your recipe!

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5 Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 13, 2013 at 7:44 PM

I’ve never made bagels but yours look so tasty – now I’m craving one for lunch!

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6 Spicie Foodie March 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Thanks Laura, and I hope you give it a try soon!

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7 Kathy March 13, 2013 at 7:46 PM

These look wonderful!

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8 Spicie Foodie March 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Thank you Kathy!

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9 yummychunklet March 13, 2013 at 9:47 PM

How delicious!

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10 Spicie Foodie March 13, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Thanks, homemade bagels are fantastic!

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11 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today March 14, 2013 at 12:07 AM

I have the same situation with pizza. Whenever I feel like it, I simply grab similar ingredients and make it, so easy. But I don’t remember baking bagels. I like idea of freezing it, so I can always grab it when in need.

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12 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 2:25 AM

Yes, they freeze really well — just like pizza dough. Thanks Marta!

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13 Patty March 14, 2013 at 2:11 AM

I love bagels too! I made them once a long time ago and couldn’t get the shape right…maybe I need to be inspired and give them another try ;-) I’m so impressed you’re making bagels;-)

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14 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 2:25 AM

You should give them another go Patty. If I can make them so can anybody. Thanks:)

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15 Suzanne Perazzini March 14, 2013 at 3:35 AM

You are a clever girl! I have never attempted bagels. Here in New Zealand, they are quite dense and very white so I have usually avoided them but yours sound quite a bit lighter.

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16 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Thanks Suzanne! I was surprised how well non-white flours worked. I hope you can give it a try soon.

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17 Kare @ Kitchen Treaty March 14, 2013 at 3:37 AM

These look so wonderful, especially with the fresh cucumber. Such a smart idea to make a bunch and freeze them. I’ve never attempted homemade bagels but maybe I ought to give it a go.

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18 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Thank you Kare and you should:)

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19 Julia {The Roasted Root} March 14, 2013 at 5:58 AM

I didn’t think the bagels looked weird at all! I’ve never made bagels homemade so kudos to you for going the extra mile to quench your craving! Everything bagels or blueberry bagels are my favorites…you’re making me crave bagels now!

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20 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Thank you Julia! Yes, I also love blueberry bagels — I need to make those next.

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21 Nandita March 14, 2013 at 7:34 AM

The bagels look so delicious and tempting. Loved the presentation nancy :)

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22 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Thank you Nandita!

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23 Kate@Diethood March 14, 2013 at 2:20 PM

The bagels look beautiful!! I have always used only all-purpose flour for my homemade bagels… I’m too chicken to try anything else! :) But I am going to use your recipe as a guide and see what I can come up with.

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24 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Thank you Kate! Don’t be, they are so easy with other flours too.:)

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25 RavieNomNoms March 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

They look yummy to me!

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26 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Thank you Ravie!

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27 The Squishy Monster March 14, 2013 at 6:58 PM

You make this homemade bagel thing look too damn amazing to pass up…I’ll be on in a weekend coming up!

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28 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 8:14 PM

You should totally try it!:)

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29 Angie@Angie's Recipes March 14, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Nothing beats homeamde bread!

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30 Spicie Foodie March 14, 2013 at 8:19 PM

So true Angie!

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31 Sawsan @chef in disguise March 15, 2013 at 5:05 AM

I have never made bagels but always wanted to! Hats off to you for making them at home
If you think this is a great recipe then I must get inspired and give it a go. Maybe over the next weekend

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32 Spicie Foodie March 15, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Thank you Sawsan!:)

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33 Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen March 15, 2013 at 5:50 AM

I have tried so many times (and failed!) to make homemade bagels!! I finally gave up. These look so wonderful!

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34 Spicie Foodie March 15, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Aw sorry to hear that Kristi. I’ve been lucky then because I’m not a very experienced baker. Thanks!

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35 Nami | Just One Cookbook March 15, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Nancy, this is one of things I really want to make! WOW you made it so perfectly! I really really really want to do this. I need one whole afternoon dedicated for this project. :D Looks so delicious and great job!!

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36 Spicie Foodie March 15, 2013 at 10:02 PM

You should give them a go Nami! Thanks.

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37 Adora's Box March 15, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Impressive, Nancy. I actually would eat any bagel and find it delicious but my housemates always have to take them apart and analyze the taste, texture, etc. Nothing beats the taste of freshly baked bread.

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38 Spicie Foodie March 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Hehe those are some hard critics. Thanks Adora:)

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39 Ramona March 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Wow, good for you!! I would never thing to make homemade bagels… because I just feel like I would fail at it. But you show me that I may have to climb that mountain someday. :) These bagels look great. I just finished eating a bagel for breakfast…. so I know it’s something I would love to make and customize for myself. :)

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40 Spicie Foodie March 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM

No you wouldn’t Ramona — they are hard to mess up. Thanks and I hope you can customize your own sometime.

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41 Holly March 15, 2013 at 6:08 PM

I really need to try making bagels again. The last time I tried was before I understood the difference between levure chimique and levure boulangerie (or just had really bad French) and thus used the wrong yeast. The bagels managed to rise – sort of – and tasted good but were really dense. My husband loves them though. I know he’d love it if I gave them another try.

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42 Spicie Foodie March 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Yikes – I don’t think I would have know the difference either. Maybe that’s why I never baked when I was there, hehe. Thanks Holly and do give them another chance.

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43 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 15, 2013 at 10:05 PM

I need these bagels in my life! Looks so delish :)

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44 Spicie Foodie March 15, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Thanks Kiran!:)

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45 Faith March 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Your bagels are really beautiful, Nancy! Bagels have been something that I’ve been dying to try for so long now, but have never got around to making. You are an inspiration! And I love how yours are so much healthier with the combo of flours you used.

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46 Spicie Foodie March 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Thank you Faith, I hope you can give bagels a try sometime. I’ve been trying to omit white flour from our diets and baking is the best way of doing so. Have a great weekend!xx

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47 Carole March 16, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Nancy thanks very much for stopping by and linking in with Food on friday. I am blown away by all the different breakfast dishes – over 175 now!

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48 Spicie Foodie March 16, 2013 at 9:24 PM

My pleasure and thanks for hosting Carole! 175 — wow that is incredible.

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49 Liz March 17, 2013 at 3:07 AM

Your homemade bagels are fantastic…I’m now craving one with veggie toppings. Oh, so good!!!

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50 Spicie Foodie March 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I agree Liz, and I’d love one with veggie topping too. Thanks!

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51 mjskit March 17, 2013 at 11:34 PM

No – I have never made bagels but one of these days, I might give them a try. I have a local source for great bagels which kind of suppresses my motivation to make my own. :) We do exactly what I see here with our bagels – a little cucumber sandwich with cream cheese. SO good! The jelly sounds like a great touch as well. Your bagels do look quite good and with the more healthier flours, I’m sure they are better for me than the one’s I buy. What energy you have!

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52 Spicie Foodie March 17, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Hi MJ! The only place where I can buy them locally is on the other side of the city. So it’s either bake or not eat bagels for us. Thanks:)

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53 Diane January 5, 2014 at 4:14 AM

These look amazing! When would you freeze them? After baking?

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54 Spicie Foodie January 5, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Hi Diane! I wait until they have completely cooled and also make sure they are dry. Enjoy!

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