On our past few visits to my aunt and uncle's home in Virginia, we've all enjoyed their homemade bagels, and the Sprouts have loved helping to make them. Last time, they sent us home with their recipe and a bag of their secret ingredient - malt powder. The kind they gave us is made by King Arthur Flour, and it says that it's for adding to bread recipes and - when added to the boiling water - give a shines to bagel crusts. That said, I'm guessing that you can leave it out if you don't mind un-shiny bagels.
Let me know how these turn out if you try them. I'm going to try plain bagels next time by leaving out the cinnamon and halving the agave.
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons yeast
3 1/2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
1/4 cup agave nectar (could use honey)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon malt
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins (soaked in warm water to soften, then drained)
1. Combine water and yeast, and allow to sit for a few minutes while you're gathering the remaining ingredients.
2. Mix in remaining ingredients, and knead (by hand or in a mixer or bread machine) until smooth. Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, and let rise until doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours).
3. Once dough has risen, fill a large pot with about 2 quarts of water. Add 2 tablespoons of malt, and bring to a boil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
4. Roll out dough on a lightly-floured surface, then divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then poke a hole in the middle and form into a bagel shape. Boil immediately for dense bagels, or allow them to rise another 20 minutes for lighter bagels.
5. Reduce heat to bring boiling water to a simmer, then submerge bagels for 1 minute, gently stirring or turning at least once.
6. Remove bagels from water, and place them on a towel to drain off the water. Transfer them to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and bake for 15-20 minutes (until golden brown).
Big Sprout - 5 sprouts
Little Sprout - 5 sprouts
Mama Sprout - 4 sprouts