Two weekends ago I was in New York for my Columbia program's callback weekend. I had very little time in the city, but knew I could not leave New York without visiting Nussbaum & Wu, my favorite Morningside Height bagel joint. Los Angeles has great food, but is not known for their bagels, so when I got back I thought it would be fun to experiment with making my own. I gave it a shot even though I knew I would never be able to master their chewy on the outside/soft and doughy texture of a New York bagel. I decided to try making made a dozen of my favorite pre-run bagels, cinnamon raisin. I wasn't expecting much, especially since I used white whole wheat flour, but they were visually appealing and tasted great too! Brent and I each had a bagel with honey and cream cheese and we froze the rest. I love having a batch in my freezer for a quick breakfast on the run. Round one was a success, so I am excited to try savory bagels next.
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3-4 cups bread flour
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Put raisins in a small bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. After five minutes, drain and dry with a paper towel.
Whisk lukewarm water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, honey, yeast and oil in a large bowl until the yeast dissolves. Stir in white whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, salt and the raisins. Stir in enough of the bread flour to make a soft dough, about 2 1/2 cups.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, gradually add more flour, until the dough is smooth and quite firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover with a paper towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope shape. Form bagels by overlapping the ends by 1 inch. Pinch together well so they don't come apart in the water. Set the bagels aside, uncovered, to rise until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring 6 quarts water with 2 tablespoons brown sugar to a boil in a large pot.
Add two or three risen bagels at a time into the pot. The water should be at a lively simmer. Cook for 45 seconds, turn them over with a slotted spoon and cook for 45 seconds longer. Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; place on the baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Brush with egg white to give them that glossy look.
Place the bagels in the oven, reduce heat to 425° and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the bagels over and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes more.