Whole Wheat Bagels

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Whole Wheat Bagels

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This recipe is an ideal candidate for the bread machine, as it'll respond well to the heavy, long knead that bread machines feature. Simply cut the recipe in half, program your machine for Dough or Manual, and press Start. When the machine has completed its cycle, divide the dough into seven pieces (rather than 14) and proceed with the recipe.

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 cups (16 ounces) water, warm
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder (optional)
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the sugars and the malt. Add 1 cup of the bread flour and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, to give the yeast a chance to get going. Add all of the white whole wheat flour, mixing well. Add the salt, then the rest of the bread flour, mixing in a cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until it's smooth and satiny. As a result of the bread flour's higher protein, you'll want to knead it longer than you would dough made with all-purpose flour; make sure that the dough is really springy before you stop kneading it. Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 14 pieces and roll each piece into a rope 8 to 9 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Form each rope into a circle and join the ends, pressing well to seal. Place the bagels on a tray that's been dusted with cornmeal, cover them lightly with plastic wrap, and let them rise for 30 minutes. Secure the plastic wrap around the edges (you don't want the bagels to dry out), and place the pan in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. While they're resting, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and preheat the oven to 450°F.

Place a few bagels at a time in the pot and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until they've risen to the top. Remove them with a slotted spoon or flat strainer, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the bagels for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they're brown and their internal temperature registers 180°F on an instant-read thermometer. (If your oven is intensely hot at the bottom, nest a second baking pan underneath the first 10 minutes into the baking time. This will diffuse the heat, eliminating the problem of scorched bagel bottoms.) Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool them on racks. Yield: 14 bagels.

Nutrition information per serving (1 bagel, 56g): 180 cal, 1g fat, 6g protein, 36g complex carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 4g dietary fiber, 460mg sodium, 133mg potassium, 2mg iron, 51mg calcium, 115mg phosphorus.


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  • star rating 03/24/2015
  • Barbara from Newaygo, MI
  • These were delicious!! Definitely use cornmeal to let the dough rest overnight. I used wax paper instead of cornmeal and found the bagels fell / collapsed when I had to peel them off to drop into the water. I did use regular parchment paper for the baking. If you want to add spices, boil the bagels first then brush with egg whites and sprinkle with spices before baking.
  • star rating 07/04/2014
  • Sharon from Memphis, TN
  • I made this recipe for the first time (but not my first time making bagels) with good success. I made a few slight modifications that might address some of the issues mentioned in some of the other reviews. First, I used my KitchenAid stand mixer to do the kneading. Used the dough hook on medium speed for ten minutes. That was sufficient to get the "springy" texture the recipe mentions. Second, I skipped the cornmeal and used parchment paper instead on a rimmed cookie sheet to prevent sticking. Third, I sprayed the plastic wrap with Pam non-stick spray prior to covering the bagels to facilitate easy removal and prevent deflating the bagels. Forth, I boiled the bagels 45 sec on each side. I did have some bagels deflate during the boiling step, but they bounced back in the oven... probably the miracle of bread flour! Lastly, I have a convection oven so baked the bagels at 425 degrees F and found that 8-10 minutes was ample time to reach the desired bagel temperature (180 F). Will definitely make again. P.S. to the King Arthur Flour people responding to the reviews: if you respond by asking people to call the hotline for help, you are missing the point of social media.
    Hello Sharon! Generally, customers do not provide quite enough information in a review to completely troubleshoot their recipe/baking issues. As such, we prefer a conversation via phone or email as they allow us to provide as much help as we can. If you have any baking or recipe questions, we will be happy to chat! 855 371 2253 Jon@KAF
  • star rating 06/11/2014
  • Nicole from Qatar
  • I had the same problem as another baker, my bagels also deflated. I am very good at following directions, and until I pulled the plastic wrap off of them, they were perfect. I will not use this recipe again.

    Hi Nicole- I'm sorry to hear of this problem arising again. Whole wheat doughs do have a tendency to be sticker as the flour will take more time to fully hydrate, but there may be another factor such as the humidity in your refrigerator or another similar variable at play. If you would like to just trouble shoot the issue please feel free to contact our Baker's Hotline at 1-855-371-2253 and we'd welcome the chance to try and help you figure out how to solve this problem. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 03/29/2014
  • Priscilla from NC
  • This was my first time making bagels of any kind. They came out great, and they were really easy to make. I made the dough in my bread machine. Next time I will only make 6 doughnuts (instead of the 7 for 1/2 the recipe when using the bread machine) so they are a little bigger.
  • star rating 02/26/2013
  • Ash from WA
  • During the overnight refrigeration period, the bagel rose and stuck to the plastic wrap, despite my forethought in having dusted the tops with cornmeal as well. The cornmeal did not prevent sticking. The finished dough, before shaping into bagels was exactly as described, but after rising became sticky. The bagels deflated after pulling the wrap off, resulting in flat, lame bagels. I've made bagels before, successfully. This was just an unsuccessful, messy waste of time and ingredients.
    I am sorry to hear that this recipe did not work for you. Please feel free to call our Baker's Hotline so we can troubleshoot this recipe with you!-Jon
  • star rating 01/29/2013
  • Aryn from Pittsburgh
  • This is my first time making bagels. They turned out great. I only had trouble making the ends of the dough stick together. 2 of my bagels fell apart when I was boiling them. I guess I have to practice more. Thank you for the great recipe!
  • star rating 06/12/2012
  • R. from Greensboro, NC
  • I halved the recipe as my household consists of me. I used the KAF red whole wheat with vital wheat gluten. Since I did not have malt powder, I used barley syrup. It turned out great. For those of y'all that have dry bagels try both the malt powder and barley syrup. Yeast love slow sugars, and barley syrup will break down slower than brown and white sugar. It'll also give y'all the bakery bagel texture.
  • star rating 04/05/2012
  • ny lady from KAF Community
  • Thanks for the reply. I followed the exact recipe and baked them for about 17 minutes. They taste great but the crust was too crispy for my kids. Is there anyway to make the crust softer? also, they are like 12 mini bagels. I remembered my dough was stiff with tiny cracks. Is it because that I didn't add enough water or I didn't knead (by hand) long enough? I am new in baking with yeast and appreciate your help.
    We'd love to help you with your questions. Please call our baker's hotline or email us so that we can best assist you. Thanks so much. ~Amy
  • star rating 04/05/2012
  • ny lady from KAF Community
  • I tried this recipe but used whole wheat flour only. my dough was a bit stiff. It did rise (like 1.5 size) after resting for 20 minutes. After shaping (12 only, and they are much smaller than store bought), I followed the recipe to let them rest for another 30 minutes. They did rise a little bit. Then, I put them in the refrigerator. It's not 12 hours yet, I noticed that they seem to shrink & there're water drops accumulated on the top of the plastic wrap. Is this right?
    Sounds like they are on track. Keep at it. Frank @ KAF.
  • star rating 01/15/2011
  • Vicki B. from Eureka, MO
  • Absolutely delish!! I've never made bagels before but these were incredibly easy! Of course, I am convinced it's because I ONLY use KAF organic flours & their other ingredients. I've made so many of KAF's recipes & have never been disappointed! Would love to know how to add blueberries to these bagels, e.g., quantity, etc.
    Try adding 1 cup of dried blueberries to the dough the next time you make these. Frank @ KAF.
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