- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 30 MIN plus overnight proofing
- SERVINGS: 1 dozen bagels
The trick to these crisp, chewy bagels is the poolish, a fermentation starter (also known as a mother dough) made with bread flour, yeast and water. It is quickly assembled the night before the bagels are made.
- 1 1/3 cups bread flour
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup honey
- 5 1/3 cups bread flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- Poppy seeds, sesame seeds and coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
- MAKE THE POOLISH In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir the bread flour with the yeast and 1 cup of lukewarm water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- MAKE THE DOUGH In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast and honey with 1 2/3 cups of lukewarm water. Mix in the poolish. Add the bread flour, whole wheat flour and salt and beat at medium speed until a smooth, stiff dough forms, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free spot until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush or spray generously with vegetable oil. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and form into tight balls; transfer to the baking sheet. Cover loosely with sprayed plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.
- To form the bagels, poke your finger in the center of each ball to make a 1/2-inch hole. Return the bagels to the baking sheet, cover and let stand until risen, about 1 hour. Add 1 bagel to a bowl of cold water. If it floats, the bagels have risen sufficiently.
- Preheat the oven to 475° and position racks in the lower and middle thirds. Line 1 baking sheet with a clean, lightly moistened kitchen towel and line 2 others with parchment paper; spray the paper with oil. Bring 2 large, deep pots of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda to each pot. Add 2 or 3 bagels to each pot, without crowding (the bagels will swell in the water) and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Flip the bagels and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bagels to the kitchen towel–lined sheet to drain. Before they dry, sprinkle the bagels generously with toppings, then immediately transfer them to the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
- Bake the bagels for 18 to 20 minutes, shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until deeply browned. Let cool slightly, then serve.