4-5 cups “hard” whole wheat (spelt, hard red, hard white, red fife)
2- 3 tsp. sea salt (add after 1st rising)
Combine the sourdough, water, sweetener, butter and eggs. Mix until well blended. Add the flour a cup at a time. Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be quite dry. Rest the dough for 5 min. and then knead. Give it a good 10 min. of kneading, adding flour as needed. I do this right in the bowl(see photos below). Form it into a ball and smear with melted butter and put into a greased bowl. Cover the bowl loosely with a damp cotton cloth and let rise 8 to 12 hours at approx. 60 to 70 degrees F (15 to 21 degrees C).
After at least 8 hours, add salt and mix in well using the kneading technique, then shape into sourdough bagels. Make them about 2 ½ to 3oz. each (70 to 90 grams). The easiest way is to roll the dough into a ball in your hands, stretching the dough to the center underside of the ball(see photo below). Then poke a hole in the center of the ball with your fingers and then stretch the ball into the doughnut shape. Put on a greased parchment paper and brush bagels with melted butter.Place bagels in an oven that is heated by a light bulb or pilot light. Let them double in size. It usually takes about one hour.
Then move them into the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour or as long as 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and put a big pot of water on stove to boil. Once the water is boiling, add 2 Tbls. of sweetener (I use Rapadura or Sucanant). Drop bagels into boiling water. I do 3 or 4 at a time. They should first sink and within 1 min. float. (be sure they don’t get stuck on the bottom of pot). After one minute, flip them over in pot and boil another minute longer. Drain and place on cookie sheet with greased parchment paper, brush with a little beaten egg whites and top with seeds, salt, garlic, or whatever. Put in oven and drop temp. to 350 degrees, bake the sourdough bagels for about 25 to 35 min., until nicely browned. If the tops don’t look done compared to the bottoms, I just put on broil for 2 min. (watch very carefully!)
Photo above: Stirring the water, eggs, butter, whole sugar and sourdough starter together.
Photo above: Mixing flour into starter/water mixture with spoon until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Photo above: A good way to take sticky dough off your hands is to put flour on your hands and rub off with thumbs.
Note: I always encourage everyone to use as much local, grown without chemicals ingredients (organic), and meat, eggs and dairy from animals that were/are free-ranging and were/are raised without hormones and antibiotics. Seafood should be wild from unpolluted waters.