Cravings: Multi-Grain Bagels

My coworkers all seem to think that I'm a bit of a masochist. They don't really understand how I manage to bake as much as I do without ever giving in to the temptation to gobble it all up. Ever since I launched my virtual bakery, I've had to up my weekly baking to about 4 or 5 times a week, depending on how many orders I have. My apartment has taken on a perpetual aroma of almonds and vanilla that has seeped into just about everything I own. Walking home from dinner with a friend the other night, I laughed when he leaned in to sniff my shoulder.

"You know," he said completely matter-of-factly, "you always seem to smell like marzipan."

I admit that it can be a bit difficult sometimes. The rainbow cookies are, after all, my favorite. This is why I first started making them, and why I still enjoy baking batch after batch, but it can also make it very hard to resist sneaking a bite every now and then. Fortunately I've gotten my measurements exactly to the point where I can't afford to sneak a cookie when preparing my orders. No extras equals no nibbling, which works just fine for me.

I do, however, occasionally crave a bite of something chewy and just a little bit sweet. I'm not really satisfied with the "low-carb" treats found in the grocery store and so I make my own. Pannacotta is my favorite no-guilt treat, but I've also developed quite a few flourless recipes too. One thing that I've really been missing is bagels. I'm a Jersey girl, which means every Sunday we would stop at the bagel store on the way home from church and pick up a giant paper bag full of them (plus assorted schmears and fillings--lox & cream cheese being my favorite.) My dad and brother ate them as a side along with eggs and bacon, but I was happy with just a bagel loaded up with creamy spread, red onions, lettuce, and salty pieces of lox. It's my favorite breakfast and I've been missing it big-time, so I decided to do something about it. I set out to create my own healthy (and hearty) bagel recipe using whole grains. I admit that it's not exactly a low carb bagel recipe (ok, it's not low carb at all), but the high fiber and slowly digesting whole grains make it a much healthier option than the the regular refined flour bagels that spike my blood sugar and send me dizzy and sleepy to bed.

I brought some of these in to work not long ago and my coworkers remarked that they were good and "tasted healthy." "It's like I'm doing something good," one of the editors noted as she chomped away.

If you don't plan on eating all of these at once, I suggest slicing in half and freezing in individual sealed freezer bags. You can then defrost them in the toaster or the oven. Whatever you do, DON'T microwave them. That is NO way to treat a bagel... ;)

Multi-Grain Bagel Recipe

3 cups of warm water
3 tbsps of honey
2 packages of yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
5.5 cups of whole wheat bread flour
1.5 cup regular bread flour (I used King Arthur European-Style Artisan)
.5 cups grain blend (such as King Arthur's Harvest Grain Blend)

For optional toppings:
1 egg
1/4 cup unprocessed bran (also known as "miller's bran")
kosher salt

1.) Mix the warm water, honey, and yeast in the bowl of your mixer. Let sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast is frothy.

2.) In a separate bowl, mix the flours and grain blend (not the bran). Add the salt.

3.) Slowly add the flour to the yeast mixture and process with the dough hook attachment. Let knead for about 10 minutes.

4.) Remove from mixer and turn over onto a floured surface. Knead by hand for an additional minute or two until well combined.

5.) Place in a greased bowl (I used olive oil), turning to make sure the entire ball of dough is covered in oil. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and a clean damp towel. Set aside for one hour to rise.

6.) Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the water. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

7.) Punch down the dough and divide into about 18 equal-sized pieces. Shape into a bagel shape by either rolling into a snake and connecting at ends OR (my preferred method) rolling into a ball and then using your fingers to poke through a hole.

8.) Lay the shaped bagels out on a greased cookie sheet and let rise again for about 20 minutes until the bagels are plump.

9.) GENTLY lift each bagel and drop into the water two or three at a time

10.) Boil for no more than two minutes each and then remove with a slotted spoon to a new greased cookie sheet

11.) Once all the bagels have been boiled, you have the option to top if desired. I brushed them with an egg wash made of the egg and a few tablespoons of warm water, then sprinkled with kosher salt and unprocessed bran.

12.) Bake in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.



  1. They look gorgeous.I love trying to get bran/oats/linseed/etc into everything I cook so this recipe sounds particularly good... :)

  2. i hear you on the bagels-on-the-way-home-from-church. my favorite part of childhood weekends.

    oh, new jersey.

    i've been meaning to try my hand at bagels. if i'm in a healthy mood when i finally do it, i'll try these (i love a white everything bagel with scallion cream cheese).

  3. I have tried bagels before, and it was a failure. I have always meant to try again, but have never had a recipe worth it. Now I will give it a shot!

  4. Thanks so much for this! I had to go on a low-iodine diet recently, and it's only for a month but it means that I can't have anything that might have been prepared with iodized salt (or eggs or dairy or soy), which is pretty much anything. The only way I can have things like bagels is if I make them myself. These were super-easy and taste fantastic! I know what I'm having for breakfast for the next 30 days!


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