The other day I got an extreme hankerin’ (they don’t say that in New York) for some bagels. But I wanted something I could sink my teeth into without feeling guilty about the poor nutrition.
So, I set out to create the perfect bagel. And I dare say, I did it.
I collected some recipes, tweaked it to pump up the nutrition, and then set to work. After all the kneading, the rising, the boiling, and the baking…
I pulled the bagel out of the oven.
I spread cream cheese inside.
I took a big bite.
And I’m pretty sure a lone tear welled up in my eye and trickled down my cheek. Mama, oh, mama…these bagels be goooood!
2 cups hot water
1 cup soy or almond milk (sweetened)
4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons agave nectar
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cups spelt, kamut, or whole wheat flour (I milled spelt)
1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, or just a big-mama bowl, combine the hot water and milk.
2. Add yeast, salt, and nectar.
3. Add flours and mix into dough. Knead for about twenty minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
4. Allow to rise an hour, until about double in size.
5. Knead for another fifteen minutes or so, turn it out on the counter, and allow to sit for another ten minutes.
6. While the dough sits, put a big pot of water on high and allow it to come to a boil. When it comes to a boil. Keep it around medium-high so it’s pretty active, but not boiling over.
7. While the water is coming to a boil, pull some of the dough into a two-inch ball and roll it in your hands until it’s smooth (you may need to sprinkle a little flour on it to keep it from being sticky).
8. Stick your finger through the ball and then spin it around between your two pointer fingers to stretch it out.
9. Place on a well-oiled cooking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
10. After you finish with the last of the dough, the first bagels should be risen (don’t allow it to rise for longer than fifteen minutes or so).
11. Place bagels into boiling water (enough to give them some room to swim around. I put four in my pot). There is an art form to this. You have to gently, but very rapidly, take them off the cooking sheet and plop them into the water. Don’t try to use a spatula. You will just make them deflate. Just be smooth and quick. It helps to pretend like you’re James Bond or Jason Bourne.
12. Let them boil for about 90 seconds on one side. Then flip them with a spatula and give them another 90 seconds on the other side. This is what makes them chewy. After they finish boiling, take them out and place them back on the cooking sheet. Can you see the stream coming off this bad boy?
13. Cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until they’re nice and golden.