I continue on my whole wheat kick by trying something that seems like a compromise: 100% whole wheat bagels. The source was the same as the inspiration for my traditional bagels: Peter Reinhart. These bagels can be put together a lot faster than traditional bagels, largely because of the distinct characteristics of sprouted whole wheat. According to Reinhart, the sprouted wheat requires less time to develop flavor compared with traditional wheat.
If you look online, you’ll find a vocal group touting the health advantages of sprouted grains. I’m not sure how much truth there is to these claims, but I’m all for convenience. I ended up needing quite a bit more flour than the 510g called for in Reinhart’s recipe. His book Bread Revolution describes sprouted wheat flour as absorbing water much more readily than its unsprouted relatives, but I did not find this to be the case with my batch from Arrowhead Mills. Despite coming straight off the shelves at Whole Foods, the flour was a couple months past its listed expiration date, so this may have been a factor.
- 560 g sprouted whole wheat flour
- 1.25 teaspoons salt
- 1.25 teaspoons instant yeast
- 397 g lukewarm water
- 21 g barley malt syrup
- Mix flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
- Mix water and malt syrup and pour into flour mixture
- Mix for 30-60 seconds until no dry flour remains and the dough is shaggy
- Let rest uncovered for 5 minutes, then kneed for two minutes. The dough should be smooth and only slightly tacky. I needed to add quite a bit of flour above the amount recommended by Reinhart.
- Form the dough into bagels (I used 99 g of dough per bagel), place on oil-misted parchment on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Take the bagels out of the fridge about 1 hour before baking and preheat oven to 425 °F.
- Boil bagels for 30 seconds per side in a 0.5% lye solution (25g per 5L water).
- Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through if using two pans.
- Cool on a rack. Extra bagels can be frozen after they cool. I like to slice my bagels before freezing, so they can be toasted right out of the freezer.
The bagels were great, though decidedly different from non-whole wheat bagels. They had a nice sweetness to them, and the everything topping went particularly well with the whole wheat dough.