For our kids, blueberry bagels are the piece de resistance of breakfast foods. Sure, they liked the Cinnamon Raisin Bagels. Heck, they even liked the "Seed Bagels" as they call them and the Sourdough Bagels. But to them, when they ask for a bagel for breakfast, what they REALLY want is blueberry. It took me a while to find dried blueberries not filled with junk. It was enough to make me consider a food dehydrator. But, thankfully, you can actually find them sweetened with only apple juice. And, after a lovely conversation with a reader about the Cinnamon Raisin Bagels recipe, I decided I wanted to try a less yeasty bagel recipe. So, in spite of the overnight refrigeration (I know this isn't difficult, but making something over two days just always makes it seem that much harder to me), I decided to try this yummy-sounding Blueberry Bagels from Brown Eyed Baker, who is a much more skilled baker than I and has a lot of awesome recipes.
Slightly adapted from Blueberry Bagels
Ingredients for 12 bagels
For the Sponge:
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 4 cups minus 4 teaspoons flour, unbleached
- 4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
- 2 1/2 cups water, room temperature
For the Dough:
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 3 3/4 cups minus 3 3/4 teaspoons flour, unbleached
- 3 3/4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
- 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sucanat or brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups dried blueberries, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
To make the sponge, in your stand-mixer bowl, stir the yeast into the flour and wheat gluten. Add the water and whisk until it forms a pancake-like batter. Cover the bowl and leave at room temperature for 2 hours. It should double in size and fall when the bowl is tapped against the counter.
In the same bowl, add the yeast to the sponge and stir. Add 3 cups of the flour, the 3 3/4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten, the salt and sucanat. Stir on speed 2 with the dough hook until the dough turns into a ball. Slowly add the remaining flour to stiffen the dough. At this point mine became really stiff...stiff enough to scare me about the continued life of my stand-mixer. So be careful with that last bit of flour.
Knead 6 minutes by machine (or 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface), adding blueberries in the last 1-2 minutes of kneading.
Much like the raisins in the other bagels, I still lost a ton of blueberries to the mixing process and later to the boiling process. This time, I rinsed them off and food processed them with cream cheese and a bit of milk to have homemade blueberry cream cheese. I highly recommend doing the same; the spread is delicious and really enhances the blueberriness of the bagels. I read somewhere that dusting the fruit with flour will make it stick to the dough better. I may try that next time also. But the cream cheese is a great temporary solution.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form into balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Spray two large sheet pans with oil or cooking spray. Shape the bagels by poking a hole in the center with your thumb and spinning the dough around your thumb to form about a 2 1/2-inch hole. Set the bagels on the sheet pans at least 2 inches apart.
Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Now this is kind of fun. At this point you do a "float test" to see if the bagel dough is ready for retardation in the fridge. Drop one bagel in a bowl of water. If it floats within 10 seconds (mine floated immediately), you're good to go and you just pat that one off and set it back on the pan. If not, return it to the pan and check every 10-20 minutes with the float test.
Once your bagels graduate, cover them (I used cut up grocery bags...because I'm just that cheap frugal). Place them in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 2 days).
When you're ready to boil and bake your bagels, preheat your oven to 500. Bring a large pot of water to boil with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Boil as many bagels at a time that fit comfortably in your pot (mine fits 3) for 1 minute per side (2 minutes per side for chewier bagels). Remove with a slotted spatula to a drying rack and repeat with remaining bagels.
Respray baking sheets and divide bagels among sheets. Bake at 500 for 5 minutes. Switch the pans to the opposite shelves and rotate each pan 180 degrees. After rotation, turn oven down to 450F. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, depending on desired golden-brownness (I went 8). Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving
When I bit into my first bagel, I said a bad word (the kids were asleep, don't judge me) and that the bagels were incredible. I was a little bit irked for two reasons. One--it really did scare me how hard the dough was on my mixer...and I have a "pro." Two--I didn't want to love the overnight-refrigerated bagels more than the bagels that I can have the instant gratification of getting done in one day. But, alas, these bagels are fantastic. Incredible, delicious bagels.
The kids went crazy insane for these bagels. They gobbled them up and begged for more. If you're OK with the long wait and the strain on your stand-mixer doesn't frighten you much (or you want to get a workout and knead it by hand), I highly recommend this recipe. The taste and texture are far and away the best homemade bagels I've made yet. I'll definitely be figuring out a way to baby my mixer through another batch. Oh, and the husband says they taste like Einstein Bros. bagels (which are his favorite)...so that's a definite win for him!
This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked and Bake with Bizzy.