These fantastic bagels are a mash-up of the bits we like best from all the bagel recipes we’ve made over the years. The formula features a “hybrid” dough made with both levain and yeast. That way, you have the flavor, shelf-life, and other benefits of a sourdough bagel without having to deal with the extra time a full sourdough process takes.
The main dough is made with our Organic “High Mountain” Strong Bread Flour, but the Levain is made with whole wheat flour (we’re partial to our Organic Whole Wheat Hi-Pro Fine if you’re looking for a recommendation). This adds a nice nutty flavor and some extra nutrition to the final product.
Break out the lox and cream cheese! It’s time for a bagel breakfast party!
|Desired Quantity of Dough||Grams||880|
|Number of Units||8|
|LEVAIN||Fermentation: 12–16 hrs at 70–75˚F|
|Baker’s %||Weight (grams)|
|Whole Wheat Flour||100||130|
|BAGEL DOUGH||Baker’s %||Weight (grams)|
|Organic “High Mountain” Strong Bread Flour||100||400|
|Instant Dry Yeast||0.3||1|
|Mixing Time*||Mixer:||Mixer with hook or a Spiral|
|Gluten structure:||Improved mix|
|First Fermentation||Bulk||20 min|
|Resting time||20-30 min|
|Proofing||30 min at room temp, then overnight in cooler|
|Baking**||Boil, then bake at 440˚F for 15 min|
*Mixing time can vary depending on mixer.
**Baking time and temp can vary depending on oven.
Two Evenings Before Baking
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients for the Levain together until they are thoroughly combined and there is no visible dry flour in the bowl.
Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 12-16 hours.
The Day Before
In a stand mixer, add flour, yeast, salt, honey, and malt and blend all the dry ingredients together.
Add 90-95% of the water and all of the levain to the dry ingredients and mix on low (speed 1) for 3-4 min until you see very little dry flour left. Use the remaining water during the end of this slow mix to help pick up any of the remaining dry flour that is in the bowl.
Once the water and dry ingredients have been incorporated and there is no visible dry flour in the bowl, increase the speed of your mixer to low/med – medium and mix for 2-4 minutes. In my Professional 5QT KitchenAid, I use speed 2 and 3. You are looking for the dough to come together and the surface starting to become smooth. The surface should also still be a bit uneven.
When your dough has reached that smoother surface texture, remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with some plastic wrap. Let it rest for 20 min in a warm place.
While the dough is resting, prepare a parchment-lined sheet pan. You can spray the parchment with pan spray or oil, but it is not necessary.
After 20 min, take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 8 portions. They should each weigh about 110g. Take one portion, flatten it slightly and roll it into a stubby oval or rectangle. Continue doing this with the remaining pieces. Once all of them have been rolled, cover with a towel and let it rest for 30 min.
After the dough has rested, take one of the portions and flatten it slightly, and roll it into a log. This process helps tighten the surface of the dough and remove the larger air bubbles that may have formed. Now take that log and with both hands, roll it out to 6-7 inches long.
Overlap the two ends of the log to form a ring, and place 3-4 fingers into the ring and over the overlapped dough and roll that portion out until the thickness of the dough feels the same all around. The two ends should also now be stuck together.
Dust a small corner of your table with some flour and place the bottom of the shaped bagel onto this flour to lightly dust the bottom of it. Once the bottom is lightly coated, place it onto the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces, spacing the bagels at least 1 inch apart.
Cover the bagels with a hard plastic cover or a lightly oiled plastic wrap. The oil will help prevent the surface of the dough from sticking to the plastic wrap. Let it proof for another 30 min before placing them into the refrigerator. Leave them in the fridge for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days. Bear in mind that the longer the bagels stay in the fridge, the larger the crumb structure may be as the yeast will continue to work very slowly in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 440˚F for 30 min – 1 hour prior to baking.
Get a large, wide pot and fill it with at least 2 inches of water. You can add a few tablespoons of honey or malt syrup into the water and let the water boil. As the water is coming to temperature, prepare your station with a cooling rack, a straining ladle, and something to aid you in the flipping of the bagels when they are in the water.
When the water reaches boiling, reduce the temperature to medium heat. Remove the bagels from the fridge and uncover the sheet. Depending on how wide your pot is, boil 2-3 bagels at a time, ensuring that there is plenty of space for the bagels to expand. I like to place the bagels into the water with the bottoms facing up. Simmer each side for 30 seconds using the ladle and utensil to gently flip them over. Once both sides have had their water bath, remove the bagel using the straining ladle and place them on the cooling rack to let excess water drain.
Boil only as many bagels as you are able to bake in one oven load. If you have two sheets of boiled bagels and can only fit one sheet in your oven at a time, the unbaked sheet may lose oven spring.
Once the bagels are no longer dripping and are able to be handled, feel free to add your toppings. You can do this by dipping the tops of the bagels into a bowl of seeds, or placing them directly on the sheet pan and sprinkling the toppings on.
Space your bagels evenly, leaving about 1 inch between them. You may need a second parchment-covered sheet pan.
Bake them for about 15-18 min, turning the pan halfway into the bake. Take the pan out of the oven when the bagels have the desired color. I like mine golden brown. Remove the baked bagels from the sheet pan and place them onto a cooling rack to cool.