Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whole Wheat Bagel

There's some thing different about bagels that set them apart from bread. Instead of using regular 12% protein bread flour, it uses the highest percentage of protein: high gluten flour contains 14% protein. That is the highest gluten content in wheat flour available as far as I know. This high protein content lets it have the distinctive chewy texture that I love. Another factor that contributes to its special texture is the boiling before baking. It takes a bath of boiling water that contains some baking soda in it for about 20 seconds. The longer it boils, the chewier the skin.

Bagel and cream cheese, a match made in heaven!

Ingredients for making 20 small bagels:

600g unbleached high gluten flour (or bread flour)
200g whole wheat flour
3g instant yeast
16g salt
460g water
8g malt powder
4 tbsp vital wheat gluten

1)  Mix all the ingredients in a stand mixer with the dough hook on low speed until combined.
2)  Increase the speed to 2 and knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough looks shiny.
3)  Take the dough out on a counter. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
4)  Divide the dough into 20 balls, about 63g each. Shape each one to a bagel shape either by poking the middle with a finger and enlarging it a bit or rolling it out into a long rope and connecting the ends.
5)  Cover and let it rise in room temperature for an hour and then refrigerate overnight.

6)  Take the dough out to warm up for at least 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 500F and place the rack to the lowest level of the oven.
7)  Put about 2 quarts of water into a large pot. Add 1 tbsp of baking soda and take it to a boil under high heat.
8)  Put 2 to 3 bagels in the boiling water at a time for about 20 seconds or until it floats.

Drain on a rack.

9)  Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.


1)  Bagels can be kept in the freezer for a long time without spoiling.
2)  The dough is best kneaded by a mixer. I do not recommend hand kneading. Watch the mixer as it kneads as it may move because the dough is heavy.
3)  Variation: raisins or other dried fruits can be added with the other ingredients and kneaded together. Toppings such as poppy seeds and sesame seeds can be applied after the bagels come out from the water bath. They stick better when the bagels are wet.

Recipe adapted from Culinary Institute of America


  1. HiPhoebe,
    Where can you buy high gluten flour?

  2. wow..what is the purpose of malt flour?

    also...you have to deep fry the bagel? wow!

  3. You can get it from King Arthur Flour, Pat. Christine, malt is what gives bagels the distinctive flavor. It is just a water bath with baking soda, not oil. I added an additional spoonful of malt in it. That's why it is slightly brownish.

  4. Hi Phoebe,
    Where is get the malt flour from?

  5. 可以不放冰箱过夜直接烤吗?


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