Honey Wheat Bagels with Caraway and Poppy


One of my husband's best friends from high school owned a Jewish bagel shop on the East Side of Providence. And meeting her was really my first introduction to authentic bagels, running a bake shop, and managing a business. I'm still in awe at all she accomplished at such a young age.

Needless to say while my husband and I were dating, the bagel shop was one of our favorite lazy Saturday morning spots for coffee, freshly baked honey-wheat bagels with gobs of cream cheese, and a glance at flyers and newspapers announcing the trendy things happening on Thayer, Waterman and Hope Streets. We were 20-something, broke and blissfully in love {we still are, but with slightly more money and much better jobs}.

After we married, baby arrived. The bagel shop patiently waited for baby's teeth to come in. And when we were ready, the three of us spent many Saturday mornings lingering over juice {for the baby}, coffee and freshly baked honey-wheat bagels with gobs of cream cheese...and lots of napkins.

We moved to Florida shortly thereafter and were sad to learn the iconic East Side bagel shop had closed while we were gone. Thankfully though, the Saturday morning bagel tradition lives on with our homemade version. The key to depth of flavor in this recipe is the long, slow overnight fermentation.

Honey Wheat Bagels

Yields: 6 large bagels or 12 small
Prep time: 10 minutes plus 11-hours, 15-minutes stand time
Cook time: 25 minutes
Allergy info: soy-free; contains wheat, gluten

1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
Pinch of organic sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dark molasses
1/4 cup hard cider or sparkling apple cider
Toasted poppy seeds
Toasted caraway seeds

Egg wash:
1 egg, beaten and mixed with 3 tablespoons cream

In a small bowl combine yeast, 1/2 cup of the water and sugar; let stand 10 minutes. Yeast should be foamy. In the bowl of a standing mixer with dough hook attachment, add remaining water, flours, salt, honey, molasses and cider. Mix on low speed 1 minute. Add yeast mixture; mix on medium speed 10 minutes; let stand 10 minutes. Mix an additional 10 minutes on medium speed.

Transfer dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel; set aside 2 hours. Dough should double in size. Push on dough to deflate; fold dough over itself in thirds. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Remove dough from refrigerator; let stand 15 minutes. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces; roll into balls. Using your thumb, poke a hole into the center of each dough ball; using fingers, stretch hole to a 2-inch diameter. Sprinkle cornmeal on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place shaped bagels baking sheet; let stand, covered with a floured towel, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large pot of salted boiling water, working in batches, remove bagels from baking sheet and place into boiling water. Cook 35 to 45 seconds. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove bagels; return to baking sheet. Brush bagels with egg wash; top with toasted poppy or caraway seeds. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown with a crisp crust. Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month.

Dawn Viola is a chef, food writer and the voice behind the award-winning blog, Wicked Good Dinner.


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