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Sunday Bread Series: Six-Grain Bagels

May 1, 2011

Early last year I spent about two months working  at a coffee/doughnut/sandwich shop, so I was spending a lot of time around bagels.  However, I had read the ingredient labels on the empty boxes as I carried them out to the cardboard recycling, and I knew that they were chock-full of things I didn’t necessarily want to consume on a regular basis.  Instead of taking advantage of my staff discount I decided to look up a recipe and found out that Whole Wheat and Honey bagels need only five ingredients!  There isn’t even any need for added fat, aside from greasing the pan.

I made bagels several times, following the recipe I had found, but had a few difficulties with several of the steps.  I also decided tht I prefer the texture of a multi-grain bagel, so (big suprise) I made several modifications.

Six-Grain Bagels

(makes 8 bagels)

2 to 2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour*

1 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water (12o to 130*F)

3 tbsp honey, divided

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1/3 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

2 tbsp ground flax

1 tbsp whole flax

2 tbsp sesame seeds

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, salt, and yeast.  Stir in water and 2 tbsp honey.  Mix in the oats, cornmeal, flax, and sesame seeds.  If necessary, add additional whole wheat flour to form a workable dough.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead 5 to 7 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.  Let rest 10 minutes.

Divide into 8 equal pieces.  What I like to do is divide the dough in half, then each half into half again, and again.

Shape each piece into a smooth ball (I like to cup my hand over it loosely and roll it on the table, the way some people form buns.) 

Stick your finger through the centre of each ball and form a large hole, stretching the ball into a bagel-like shape.  Place on a greased baking sheet. 

Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm spot for an hour.

Preheat oven to 375*F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tbsp honey.  Working in batches, boil bagels for a minute on each side.  Drain on a clean tea towel, then transfer to a greased baking sheet.  When all the bagels have been boiled, bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of the baked bagels.  Or perhaps I may have over-browned this batch. 😉

*You can use up to 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and leave out the other five grains, if you prefer.

They are great for breakfast:

(toasted with almond butter)

Or for lunch:

(broiled with avocado, tomato, and marble Cheddar.)


If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably have noticed that I tend to harp on about additives.  If you’ve ever read a label and wonder what the heck mono-and-di-glycerides are, and what they are for, you might want to check out An A -Z Guide to Food Additives by Deanna Minich.  Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steven Ettlinger is an interesting look into the world of processed food ingredients as well.

What’s your favourite kind of bagel?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2011 8:24 pm

    The only time I tried to make my own bagels they were a complete flop. This was well before my gf days, too. I never tried again.

    Wait, I also worked in a bagel shop for four years in high school, where I was a baker. I guess that means I’ve made several hundreds of dozens of bagels. I think making them on a machine that shapes them for you and a giant mixer by the 100# doughpiles-full is alittle different, huh? Oh and we steamed our bagels instead of boiling them.

    Dang, but they were good. We got to take 6 home every time we worked and I also closed a lot, and we threw all the leftovers out, so I would always take way more that 6. We had a giant freezer that was always STUFFED with bagels. Guess what I had for lunch and breakfast everyday. I think I’ve eaten more bagels than anyone in the world.

  2. Julian (the other bander) permalink
    September 28, 2011 4:59 pm

    Your photos make me hungry.

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