… with Lemon-Raspberry Mascarpone

While there are hundreds of cookbooks on breadbaking, there are not many devoted to bread science exclusively using whole grains. Those that do exist are mostly devoted to transitional breads – using part refined flour and part whole grains.

The reason lies in the nature of whole grains themselves.

In Whole Grain Breads, Peter Reinhart explains:

In baking, the magical dance between time, temperature and ingredients can take many forms in the relentless striving to create perfect loaves … My biggest challenge was getting the (whole grain) breads to rise to full size. In whole grain breads, the gluten, which traps gas and stretches like a balloon as the gas accumulates, is compromised by the fiber from the bran.

In this book, he modifies the delayed fermentation method, which he demonstrated so successfully in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice to create 100% wholegrain breads that are truly outstanding in flavour and texture.

It is a three-step process where he combines non-yeasted room temperature soaker dough with an equal amount of starter dough (either wild yeast starter or a commercially yeasted starter, called biga) to create a final dough that would “perform like epoxy and be stronger than the two pieces”.

Bagels are unique breads because they are boiled before being baked. This gives them their sought-after chewiness.

In his recipe for 100% whole wheat bagels, Reinhart says,

The delayed fermentation method is perfectly suited to 100% whole wheat bagels. Professionally made bagels are always held overnight before baking in order to create a better flavour and texture. The pre-dough method allows us to assemble the bagels at just the time we want to bake them yet still achieve their full potential in terms of both flavour and texture.

Bagel dough differs from other bread doughs in two ways. It is stiffer, so that the bagels do not rise too much and collapse during the boiling stage. The use of barley malt syrup or honey in the dough gives them flavour, as well as sheen.

Flavour-wise, they were outstanding. Texture-wise, they were crustier than what we’re used to in a bagel, and quite chewy inside.


(from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads)

For the soaker:
227 grams (8 oz) – about 1.75 cups – whole wheat flour
4 grams (0.14 oz) – 0.5 tsp – salt
142 grams (5 oz) – half cup plus 2 tablespoons – filtered or spring water
35.5 grams (1.25 oz) – 2 tablespoons – barley malt syrup or honey

Mix them together in a bowl for a minute until the ingredients form a ball of dough. If you need more water or flour, add them a teaspoon at a time.

Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and leave it at room temperature for 12-24 hours. (Or refrigerate beyond that for upto 3 days, bring to room temperature and use.)

For the biga (yeasted starter):
227 grams (8 oz) – about 1.75 cups – whole wheat flour
1 gram (0.03 oz) – 0.25 tsp – instant yeast
142 grams (5 oz) – half cup plus 2 tablespoons – filtered or spring water at room temperature

Mix them together in a bowl for a minute until the ingredients form a ball of dough. Knead for about 2 minutes. The dough will be tacky. If you need more water or flour, add them a teaspoon at a time. Rest for 5 minutes, knead with wet hands for a minute.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for atleast 8 hours and up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature and use.

Final dough:
7 gram (0.25 oz) – 2.25 tsp- instant yeast in
28.5 grams (1 oz) – 2 tablespoons – filtered or spring water at room temperature

Soaker – chopped or pinched into 12 pieces
Biga – chopped or pinched into 12 pieces
5 grams (0.18 oz) (about 5/8 tsp) salt

Mix and knead for about 5 minutes until well integrated. Add
56.5 grams (2 oz) whole wheat flour (about 7 tablespoons)
**start with 4 – we ended up using only 5 tbsps

Knead well for 5-7 minutes until you have a stiff but supple dough.
For into a ball, let it rest covered with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes and knead for another minute.
The dough should be supple, satiny, and pass the windowpane test.

Pinch off a small piece and stretch it slowly apart
Pulling and rotating it gently to stretch this piece of dough into a thin, translucent membrane.
If it tears easily, continue kneading a few more minutes and try the test again.

Roll the dough into a ball and swirl it around an oiled bowl to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 45-60 minutes until 1.5 times its original size.

There are several ways to shape bagels. Reinhart recommends the traditional rope method, which is what we used.
Divide the dough into about 6 five-ounce pieces. Work quickly since the dough tends to dry out, and avoid using too much flour, ‘cos it will affect the sheen. Keep a mister handy with water. It helps keep the dough from drying and also makes shaping easier.

Make an 8-inch rope with each piece of dough. Cover them. Take one and wrap it around your hand (palm up) like a bracelet. Bring the ends together overlapping a couple of inches, turn your palm down, and roll it gently on a damp, misted board until the ends merge. It takes practice. The hole will start merging while rising and boiling, so make sure it is much bigger than what you’d like it to be – 2 to 2.5 inches.

Place the bagels on a silicone or parchment-lined pan (if using parchment, spray oil on it) and cover loosely with cloth.

Preheat the oven to 500 F (260 C) and bring some water to boil in an electric kettle or on the stovetop.

We need 4 inches of water in a wide pot. Add 2 tsps baking soda to the water when it comes to a boil. The water will foam up. The time lag between shaping the bagels and getting the water to boiling point should not be over 20 minutes. Else, the bagels may rise and collapse.

Carefully lower the bagels one or two at a time into the alkalized boiling water. We prefer to do it by hand, ‘cos the bagels tend to stick to the spoon. Boil for 30 seconds on each side, then take them out gently with a slotted spoon, drain well, and place on the lined baking sheet.

When all the bagels have been boiled, brush them with
a beaten egg white (or milk – this is optional)

and add toppings of choice.

We used black poppy seeds.

Place the baking sheet in the oven, lower the temperature to 450 F (230 C), and bake them for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 10-12 minutes until they are rich brown on the top and bottom.

Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before serving.

Bagels @
Baking Bites
A Mad Tea Party
Wild Yeast


Bagels are traditionally served with cream cheese. In order to cut down the sodium content, we used mascarpone, a rich, creamy Italian cheese. We flavoured ours with lemon and frozen raspberries from last year’s harvest.

3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup roughly chopped raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 tsps lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsps cognac (optional)
honey to taste

Mix it all together.
Garnish with fresh raspberries.

Lemon-Raspberry Mascarpone is our entry for Jihva Lemon/Lime hosted by the Caffeine Goddess.

Jai’s entry for CLICK Flour

Photographer: Jai
Camera: Canon EOS 300D
Lens: 100 mm macro
Shutter speed: 1/4 sec
ISO Speed: 200
F-stop: f/3.2

Event details HERE

DEADLINE: February 29, 2008

Voting for CLICK Readers’ Choice Awards begins midnight, March 5, 2008, PST.

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  1. shilpa says:

    Oh…my…god…you made them at home?? They look like the ones in expensive bakeries. You guys rock :)

  2. Mmm, cognac is good for breakfast.

    The recipe looks great, but I am curious about the filtered water – I don’t have a filter (yeah), so do I really need to buy bottled water for this?

    yeast hates chlorine. take tap water in a glass and leave it open overnight. that should help dissipate some of the chlorine. – b.

  3. enjay says:

    Gorgeous looking bagels. But what I really love is the idea of mascarpone as a spread. Sinful.

  4. Priya says:

    Those bagels look really good J&B, and you guys surely enjoyed photographing them. This post seems to be the one with most no. of pics…and I am not complaining ;;) Hope I get the confidence to try making bagels sometime, I have been eying Anita’s (Mad Tea Party) bagels ever since she posted them.

  5. musy says:

    Such a feast for the eyes, Bee and Jai! Thanks for the detailed instructions!

  6. Nags says:

    oooh bagels! personally, this is too much trouble for me to make. but i loved them and had them for bfast every single day during my two week office trip to dublin!

  7. TC says:

    Wow. Zimply Wow.

    The raspberries have held their shape quite well. The ones I froze last year, thaw into quite a mess.

  8. raaga says:

    they look lovely… I’d been eyeing Anita’s for months… now come along yours :-)

  9. Aparna says:

    These look lovely. I have made them once before (before my blog) and they turned out good. But I like the idea of 100% whole wheat. I know making them at home are worth the effort!

  10. smita says:

    Holy Yum!! :no:

  11. Jyothsna says:

    Bagels look perfect, but a lot of work!

  12. Mansi says:

    Lovely bagels guys,a nd you did justice to the recipe too:) I loved the ingredients, and after baking a poppyseed cake, I have fallen in love with them too!:)

    nice pics, but then, what’s new?!:D

  13. LisaRene says:

    I love baking bread and do so on a regular basis. Bagels are a recipe I have yet to attempt. Yours are extremely professional looking!

  14. jnirmala says:

    :yes: I would love to do this at home. Thanks for such a detailed explanation. If I were your neighbour I would have troubled you during all your baking adventures!

  15. Shella says:

    hmmmm there you go again…….gorgeous they look, every bit professional….have you ever thought of running a restarurant or a high end bakery – you’ll give the nearby people a run for their money :bow: ….I am not even bookmarking the recipe, coz i know i cant…. :nono:

  16. sia says:

    :yes: superb pics!

  17. Srivalli says:

    gosh :no: is it true???…I don’t want to know how you got that beautiful one.. :notlisten

  18. sunita says:

    Perfect bagels filled with whole grain goodness :yes:

  19. Meeta says:

    Join the bandwagon of bagel craze. Ever since I made them for the DB challenge we’ve given up on store bought ones. I have made them with whole wheat and a mix out of whole wheat and spelt flour. Lovely combination. Yours look delectable!

  20. Pelicano says:

    MUST you two make everything? And so well…

  21. Happy Cook says:

    Oh they just looks so delicious. The more i scroled down more i had to wipe the keybord drool drool

  22. Asha says:

    I made Bagels at home once before my blogging days, came out excellent but it’s so much work! All that shaping, boiling and than baking. They do taste great homemade. I love Brugger’s Bagels and Jalapeño Cream cheese!! Slurp!
    They look great Bee, whole wheat Bagels are nutritious too, good job!:)

  23. Rachna says:

    Hey, ever since I came to the US whenever I attemped a bagel I didnt quite like the taste, you encourage me to make them at home and experience the real taste, that too wholewheat. Can I use aata to make them?

    you can use atta – the grind of atta is finer, though. – b.

  24. Miri says:

    Bagels are boiled?! Learn something new everyday! these look like sooo much work, but well worth the effort….

  25. rina says:

    Whole wheat poppy seed bagels have always been my kind of choice. Thanx for sharing. :yes:

  26. kalva says:

    WOW>>> you baked these cuities.. awesome Jai n Bee! Great one…

  27. rashmi says:

    Once i have made bagels ..they came out ok but were less chewy…kind of more harder…i followed a very different method…and i didnt add baking soda to the water….

    i have to try this out….does adding baking soda makes any difference?

    very nice pictures….i have to buy this book now….

    the alkali from the baking soda helps brown them better while baking. – b.

  28. rashmi says:

    i forgot to applaud u guys for such great work….thanks a lot for recipe… :)

  29. Susan says:

    I haven’t gotten up the courage to try 100& whole wheat bagels yet, but these are beautiful and may just have given me the inspiration I need to go for it.

  30. Simona says:

    Everything in this post is outstanding: congratulations.

  31. Superchef says:

    dint know bagels were boiled before baking!! nice post…n lovely pics..as always!! :)

  32. Dhivya says:

    I made these without sesame topping last month. It tasted good although I dont remeber mine come out so fluffy like yours! The photos as always – primo..

    I have been wanting to try mascarpone – its been calling out to me! Lemme see

    Ok – I have smthing for you in my blog – DONT SCOLD ME WHEN U SEE IT IN THE COMMENT SECTION. Thats why they have e-mails for ! :) personalize ur outbursts :bruised: for my ears only…makes me feel special ! :cool: hehehe :secret:

  33. Mamatha says:

    *Looking for the speechless icon – unable to find it*

  34. Revathi says:

    I love sesame seed bagels. Whole wheat bagels looks awesome. If possible would you post the stages of the bagel making process if you have those pics ?

    the stages are here.

  35. Kaykat says:

    I have to do a Sunita and a Sia here!

    :yes: :yes: :yes:

    These look fabulous, I’m expecting a plethora of whole grain recipes in the future. Baking is kind of addictive and insanely satisfying :)

  36. arundati says:

    as my friend would say to anything that is fabulous and aweinspiring and totally drool worthy “jigggu….dabal (as in double) jigggu”

  37. Anita says:

    What is it about baking that makes us – or is it only me? – feel so accomplished?
    Beautiful pictures and beautifully written as always.
    The click gallery is awesome.

    I am embarassed by my nitpicking: Voting begins March 5. And 450 F is 230 C.

    thanks anita. have corrected the typos. – b.

  38. Anjali says:

    Excelent pictures, and a wholesome recipe. You really love wheat to take the efforts :) . I think I like the crustiness. I love bruns so I guess these have the same kind?

    Anita I agree, me too…

  39. Deeba says:

    The pictures are stunning…really really nice!

  40. sushma says:

    Thats truely amazing.. love your patienne.. and amazing photos too.. :D

  41. [...] Lemon-Raspberry Mascarpone [...]

  42. [...] 100% Whole Wheat Bagels [...]

  43. [...] Reinhart’s recipe from Whole Grain Breads that we used has both sourdough starter and commercial yeast and has a shorter baking time, but the [...]

  44. Ken says:

    As a child, one of my first spoken words was “bagel”. I grew up in the northeastern US, where bagels are an art form. I’ve gone to a whole foods diet, and have been seeking a good 100% whole wheat bagel recipe. I’ve found it! All others I’ve tried yielded yeast flavored hockey pucks. I finished making your bagels this morning. They are crispy on the outside but soft and chewy within. I hand-rolled some and “finger poked” others. The rolled bagels turned out much more dense than those formed using the “finger poke” method (I perfer mine a little airy on the inside). This recipe really helped to tame the bitter, earthy bran flavor tyipcal of a whole wheat product. Great website…thank you!

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