Since I'm back to work after maternity leave, I haven't had a chance to make these recently, so alas...no photos. Will remedy that in the future.
Like most things, selection of ingredients is important. I use King Arthur High Gluten Flour (although their Bread Flour works well too if that's easier for you to get) and Bob's Red Mill dark rye flour. The high gluten flour helps get that wonderfully chewy mouthfeel you want from a bagel. Dark rye flour is the rye equivalent of whole wheat flour, be sure to get this and not regular rye flour. I use Hershey's Dutch Processed Cocoa, Grandma's Molasses, and Eden's Malt Syrup, although likely other quality brands will be just fine. Be sure to source your caraway to get fresh seeds- grocery store seeds may not be your best choice here. Some prefer fennel to caraway in their pumpernickel, and if you do, feel free to substitute.
- 15 oz high gluten or bread flour
- 5 oz dark rye flour
- 1.5 tsp table salt
- 1 TBS cocoa
- 2 TBS molasses
- 1 TBS malt syrup
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 TBS yeast
- 10 oz water
- 2 quarts water
- 2 TBS malt syrup
- 1 TBS baking soda
- Put everything in your stand mixer's bowl and using the dough hook start on stir to incorporate and then mix on low speed for ten minutes. Dough will be stiff and not sticky. If you think it looks a little too wet or a little dry, let it knead for a few minutes before trying to "balance it" with a tsp of water or a tbs of flour.
- Transfer to a large bowl, lightly greased with a oil. Let rise for 90 minutes, until puffy. It won't "double" though.
- Remove dough to a board, and divide into 8 pieces. I like to use a scale for this so the bagels are a consistent size.
- Roll each portion into a smooth ball by cupping your hand over the portion and rapidly rolling in a circular motion. The dough is not sticky, and you may need to pinch the bottom together once or twice and use a little pressure while cupping and circling. Do not flour or oil board while doing this.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Meanwhile, bring the 2 quarts of water, 2 TBS malt syrup and 1 TBS baking soda to a boil in a wide pan (I use a 4 qt straight sided saute pan, but a large dutch oven would work well too)
- To form each bagel- using the heel of your hand, press down on puffy ball of dough to flatten, poke hole in center, spin around finger/stretch out the hole so that the hole is about 1.5" in diameter. The bagel hole will get smaller when you boil, so make it bigger than you think a standard bagel hole should be. (Note, this is not traditional. Making a rope and rolling it into a loop is. However, I found that method to to not work super well for me, and this forming method was easier and resulted in intact bagels. Sometimes the rope method resulted in bagels that "unraveled" when boiling.)
- Doing 3 or 4 bagels at a time, depending on the size of your pan, drop them into the boiling water bath. Do 2 minutes on the first side, flip, and then do 1 minute on the second side. I find that using chopsticks is the best for flipping and moving the bagels around.
- Place onto a silicone mat or parchment paper lined sheet pan. You will need two pans, 4 bagels per pan.
- Bake at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Be careful to not overbake, as it is hard to "see" a tell tale "baked" color on these from the cocoa and molasses. If they've been baking for 20 minutes and there is no moisture in the center of the bagel's hole, then it is done. If it still seems damp in the center, go for another couple minutes.
Although bagels are best eaten fresh, if you aren't making these for a crowd, and have leftovers, I recommend slicing them and freezing them. That way you can pop them straight from the freezer into the toaster. And a great tip for packing in a lunch bag- if you spread cream cheese on a frozen bagel in the morning, by lunch time, the bagel is thawed and the cream cheese is still cool!
And if you want to abbreviate the time to make these, say for Christmas morning or a family brunch, the initial rise can be done overnight in the fridge. Take the dough out in the morning, let warm a bit at room temperature for 30 minutes, form and let rise second time, boil and bake.