Today’s challenge is to make a multigrain bagel with the soft, chewy interior and slightly crunchy exterior like the ones I remember sliding out of the very long oven at Eagerman’s in Dorchester, where my Grampa Louis would take me on a Sunday morning walk.
Having worked out the secret of Nana Pearl’s tsibele kuchen yesterday, this seemed like the next progression in my quest to replicate the baked goods of my childhood. However, neither the breads nor the bagels of my youth were multigrain. Yes, they were varied for sure – plain for the purists, onion, sesame, poppy, pumpernickel, cissel, and marble, as I recall – but multigrain was unheard of until decades later.
To begin, I researched bagel recipes and techniques from several favorite food sites, and settled on one from the NYT Cooking site – Peter Reinhart’s Whole Wheat Bagels as the basis from which to add my own spin.
I prefer my multigrain bagels with an array of grains and obvious presence of seeds, such as sunflower, poppy, and caraway. To achieve this, I incorporated an ingredient integral to my Multigrain Multiseed Bread – a 1/2 cup of Kashi 7 Grain Pilaf, in lieu of 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour in the NYT recipe, and added additional seeds to the dough – something I like, but which you could certainly omit.
Husband and I just split one for a taste test – just torn in half and enjoyed like a soft pretzel. Lived up to my expectations, but might let them rise just a bit longer next time. Really not as much work as I’d expected, and a fun project for a cold wintry day.
VERY MULTIGRAIN BAGELS
3-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/4 tsp kosher salt
1-1/4 tsp SAF instant yeast or other quick-rising yeast
2 tbsp sunflower seeds; 1 tsp each poppy and caraway seeds (these are all optional)
2 tbsp honey divided
1-2/3 cups very hot water
1/2 cup Kashi 7 Grain Pilaf
Canola oil for brushing parchment and dough
2 tbsp baking soda
Cornmeal, semolina flour, or wheat germ for baking sheets
2-4 tbsp toppings such as sesame or poppy seeds
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the Kashi pilaf with 1 tbsp honey and the very hot water. Allow to cool to lukewarm (105-115º)
- In another large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast and seeds, if using
- When Kashi/liquid have cooled to lukewarm, add the dry ingredients and stir with paddle attachment on low speed for about a minute. Remove paddle attachment and let stand for 5 minutes uncovered.
- Switch to dough hook and knead for 2 minutes on medium low speed until dough is smooth and tacky
- Shape dough into a ball, lightly oil the bowl, place dough back in the bowl and turn to coast with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic and allow to proof 1-1/2 to 2 hours until increased to 1-1/2 size
- Line 2 baking sheets with lightly oiled parchment. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. The dough should weigh about 1,000 grams, so if you have a food scale, each piece should weigh 125 grams.
- Roll each piece into a ball under a cupped hand, poke your thumb through the make a hole, and with both thumbs enlarge the hole to about 2″ as you work the shape it into a ring.
- Place 4 dough rings on each baking sheet with ample space between them, lightly brush with oil, and cover loosely with plastic for 30-60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425º and bring about 6″ of water with the baking soda and additional tbsp honey to boil in a large, wide pot. When dough rings have proofed, lower heat on pot to a gently boil
- Discard original parchment and replace with fresh sheets, lightly oiled and dusted with cornmeal, semolina flour, or wheat germ
- Working two at a time, lower bagels into water for one minute; turn them over for another minute, then remove to prepared baking sheets. Immediately sprinkle with seeds of your choice
- When all are prepared, bake them one sheet at a time for a total of 20 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 12 minutes. Remove to rack to cool.
These can be stored for a few days in a paper or plastic bag, or sliced and frozen.