Whole Wheat Bagels

This recipe is an ideal candidate for the bread machine, as it'll respond well to the heavy, long knead that bread machines feature.

If you're using the bread machine, simply cut the recipe in half, program your machine for Dough or Manual, and press Start. When the machine has completed its cycle, divide the dough into seven pieces (rather than 14) and proceed with the recipe.

40 mins
15 to 20 mins
14 hrs 30 mins
14 bagels
Whole Wheat Bagels - select to zoom
Whole Wheat Bagels - select to zoom
Whole Wheat Bagels - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough by hand: Mix together the water, yeast, sugars, and the malt. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Add 1 cup of bread flour and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, allowing the yeast a chance to work.

  2. Add all of the white whole wheat flour, mixing well. Add the salt, then the rest of the bread flour, mixing in a cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until it's smooth and satiny. The dough should be fairly stiff, but still springy.

  4. Cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

  5. To make the dough by machine: Use half the recipe. Place all the ingredients in the bread machine, and program the machine for Dough or Machine and press Start. When the machine has completed its cycle, divide the dough into 7 pieces, not 14.

  6. Clean all the flour from your work surface. Divide the dough into 14 pieces and roll each piece into a tapered rope about 8" long. Form each rope into a circle and join the ends, pressing well to seal. Place the bagels on a tray that's been dusted with cornmeal, cover the pan well with plastic wrap, and let them rise for 30 minutes.

  7. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

  8. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. While they're resting, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and preheat the oven to 450°F.

  9. Place a few bagels at a time in the pot and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until they've risen to the top. Remove them with a slotted spoon or flat strainer, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  10. Bake the bagels for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they're brown and light to pick up. Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool on racks.

  11. Store in a plastic bag on the counter for 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If your oven is intensely hot at the bottom, nest a second baking pan underneath the first 10 minutes into the baking time. This will diffuse the heat, eliminating the problem of scorched bagel bottoms.