After all the continuous baking that's been going on in my household I was determined to find a healthier approach to enjoying bagels. I haven't eaten this many carbs since kingdom come..., and let's be honest I've developed a love hate relationship with carbs. I ask myself many times what happened to my will power? Personally I think sheltering in place has been a pretty good darn excuse for all the consumption, hah! It's a good thing that I had eager takers in my earlier fresh baked concoctions or I'd be in serious trouble. I'm getting close though so I'm ready for a healthier option.
In my search for a recipe that still had the same characteristics as Maria's traditional east coast bagels, a chewy interior and a crispy exterior I came across sallysbakingaddiction.com. In addition to searching for a healthier bagel recipe, I was desperately searching for a recipe that did not include diastatic barley malt for I've run out! The diastatic malt lends a slight sweet nutty flavor and additionally is a helpful rising agent in doughs. Now that you understand what I was up against, working and baking without this malt was a huge concern of mine.
Also, I needed to be sure that any recipe I found could be easily converted to a whole wheat pastry flour. Whole wheat flour is the more common choice when baking healthier goodies, the difference is whole wheat pastry flour is a finer flour with less glutens. It does result in a fluffier less dense finished product perfectly suited for cakes, pastries, and cookies. Glutens are your friend when baking in general, giving a nice rise to your baked breads. Today whole wheat flour, and diastatic malt are also on the difficult finds list along with yeast and dark rye flour.
With knowing that glutens are our friend when baking I came up with a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and bread flour blend to help encourage some rise in these delicious healthy bagels. I was also sure to boil the bagels 2 minutes on each side instead of the 1 minute that Sally suggest in her original recipe. I also choose to use a vanilla bean extract instead of the traditional vanilla extract that the recipe called for, thus adding a little more flavor.
Mission accomplished! I was ecstatic with the results and found these bagels are delicious! However, I will let you be the judge. I would love and welcome any feedback or questions, please comment in the box beneath the recipe title or below the recipe. Give these bagels a try if you'd like a healthier version or just a break from the traditional bread flour bagel. Both versions are delicious!
No need to break out the Kitchen Aid or hand mixer these bagels come together easily when hand kneaded.
Homemade Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Bagels without the guilt, less glutens without any flavor compromise.
Yields about 8 medium bagels
1 1/2 cups warm water ( about 110 degrees Farenheit)
1 - 1/4 ounce active dry yeast package, if using rapid rise or instant yeast don't bloom*)
3 1/2 cup or (450g) stone ground whole wheat pastry flour, (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup or (125g) bread flour, plus more for work surface and kneading, (I used Guisto's)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean extract, vanilla extract is okay
3/4 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon good ground cinnamon, (King Arthur's Vietnamese Cinnamon brand)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, (to grease a clean bowl)
2 quarts water
1/4 cup honey (or barley malt syrup)
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar or sugar in the raw
Gently whisk the warm water, vanilla bean extract and yeast together in a small bowl. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
For the best results measure out the flours in grams on a scale. Measuring each flour individually is key when baking, different flours have different weight densities per volume. Another tip to measuring flour is to NOT pack it down, flour should be measured after loosening with a spoon, then take a heaping cup measurement and level it off with an offset spatula.
Add the two flours, brown sugar, and salt, in a large bowl and combine with a large serving fork or whisk. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and combine with a large fork, then hand knead until combined for about 2-3 minutes. The dough will look and feel somewhat wet. Fold the raisins into the dough by folding the dough over the raisins and gently kneading it with your knuckles pushing the raisins in the dough.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle onto a clean work surface. Place the dough on top. Gently knead and fold the dough over for 4 minutes, picking up all the cinnamon sugar. Work as much of the cinnamon sugar mixture as you can into the dough. The dough may become a little wet from the added sugar.
Lightly grease a large clean bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours or until somewhat close to doubled in size. Placing the bowl inside an oven with the oven light on will help your dough rise.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
When the dough is ready, gently pop any visible air bubbles. Divide the dough with a knife or bench scraper into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Press your index finger through the center of each ball to make a hole about a 1-inch in diameter. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with kitchen towel and rest for a few minutes as you prepare the water bath.
Preheat oven to 425°F
Water bath: Fill a large, wide pot with 2 quarts of water. Whisk in the honey. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. Drop bagels in, 3-4 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 2 minute on each side. Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon gently draining them from any excess water, and place on a lined baking sheet.
Egg wash: Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on top and around the sides of each bagel and sprinkle sparingly with Turbinado sugar. Place the bagels onto a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The bagels should be a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven. Allow the bagels to sit and somewhat cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes. They will continue to bake while sitting after removing from the oven. Then transfer the bagels to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cover leftover bagels tightly and store at room temperature for the first 24 hours, then keep in a refrigerator for up to 1 week, or slice in half and freeze for 30 days.
Try some other exciting whole wheat flavored bagels such as cranberry orange bagels. Replace the golden raisins with cranberries and add 2 teaspoons orange zest to the dough. If you prefer to go without the added fruit try this bagel recipe plain, or top the bagels with your favorite toppings such as, sesame seeds, kosher salt, anise seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, roasted garlic or onion. Combine all the toppings or in any combination for an everything bagel! Another fun great flavor for kids at home is to add chocolate chips instead of raisins in the same measurement. Be creative, involve the family to come up with your favorite family bagel flavor!
*Rapid Rise or Instant yeast does not need blooming, meaning it does not need to sit in warm water to activate. Add rapid rise or instant yeast directly to dry dough mixture.
Recipe is based on Sally's (the author) original recipe titled, "Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels," posted October 27, 2015 on website, sallysbakingaddiction.com. Credit is given to Sally and her website sallysbakingaddiction.com.