Bagels are the perfect hangover food :). I don’t drink wine often, especially red, because it really hits me the next morning for whatever reason. But it was tough to turn down the red wine on Valentine’s Day! We had a bottle in our apartment and drank it along with eating the Turkish food that we had delivered (yes, I realize that I’m insanely lucky to be able to get vegan Turkish delivery). A pretty low-key and fun Valentine’s Day for us. I hope that you had a nice one too!
I’m feeling really happy today because I am finally sensing the end of probably the most brutal winter (weather-wise) that I’ve endured. Mind you, I spent a majority of them in Seattle, where things are pretty mild. But, still. Baltimore does get a real winter each year, but we have never had this many separate snow events or days of sub-freezing temperatures since I moved here. Training for a marathon has been pretty brutal in these conditions, but my bike ride to and from work is probably the worse part. But hey, it’s what I signed up for.
I know that many of you have had it even more frigid and I hope you’re staying warm. We are finally seeing temperatures rising back to what they normally are and the sun peek out a little bit, and it’s like my whole life just brightened up again, you know? Already my cold, grumpy, dark bike rides home of the past few weeks are starting to feel distant =]
Long runs in the morning cold -> carb loading. I don’t always post about it, but I usually make whole grain bread at least once a week. It’s an easy way for me to take in plenty of calories when I’m on the go. Sometimes whole grain bagels can be tricky; bagels seem to miss the higher gluten of AP flour more than almost any other baked good. I thought about how I used mashed potato in my lower-gluten brown rice spelt bread, and realized it might be a good way to add some hold and some fluff to my bagels. So whole grain potato bagels it is!
It worked so very well, and thus another bagel variation has been added to our rotation. You can taste just a slight hint of potato flavor (it’s a good thing!) and all of the classic bagel qualities are there: slightly crisp on the outside; chewy but not too chewy; and a nice malty flavor owing to the long ferment. A bit time-consuming, but not difficult!
Keep warm, everybody! We are getting into the home stretch!
Whole Grain Potato Bagels
For the spelt sponge:
- 1 cup warm water (about 100 Fahrenheit – it feels warm if you stick your finger in it, but not so warm that you have to remove your finger)
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp)
- 1 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
For the dough (dry):
For the dough (wet):
For boiling and topping:
- water for boiling
- 2 tbsp barley malt powder
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
- everything bagel toppings (use any or all): caraway seeds, poppyseeds, sesame seeds, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, coarse salt
- other toppings of choice (use any or all): flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds
Make the sponge:
- Stir together the sponge ingredients in a bowl. Cover with a damp towel and set aside for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Check to make sure the mixture has some foaminess to it - that means the yeast is working.
Make the dough:
- In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients for the dough.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and add the sponge mixture. Stir to combine and continue stirring until a cohesive dough starts to form.
- Flour a clean surface and transfer the dough to the surface. Knead for about 10 minutes (but you might need more), working in more flour whenever you feel stickiness. You're done kneading when the dough is very smooth, and stretchy. It should not feel tacky at all. It might, however, be just slightly sticky to the touch because rye flour tends to do this.
Shape the bagels:
- Prepare 2 lined baking sheets and divide the dough into 16 approximately equal parts.
- One at a time, take a piece of dough and roll it into a ball. While pressing your thumb up through the bottom of the dough ball to make a hole, simultaneously pull the edges downward, gently spinning it around to make a smooth bagel shape. Don't worry too much about this technique: it's mostly for aesthetics.
- Place the bagels on the baking sheets. Very lightly spray them with oil and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- Place in the fridge for 12 to 14 hours.
Boil and bake the bagels:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the oil, nondairy milk and toppings in a small bowl.
- Bring a saucepan of water (5-7 cups) to a boil, and stir in the barley malt powder and baking soda.
- Taking care not to overcrowd the bagels (I was able to fit 4 at a time), drop the bagels into the boiling water. They should quickly float to the top. Boil for 45-90 seconds, then flip them over and boil for another 45-90 seconds - the longer you boil, the chewier your bagels will be.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the boiled bagels from the water and put them back on the baking sheet. Whisk together the topping ingredients until combined and use a pastry brush to spread them onto the bagels.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until browned, crusty, and somewhat firm to the touch.