Bread Flour: This flour is recommended for bagels because it has sufficient gluten to give a bagel it's chewy crust. Bread flour absorbs a little more liquid than all-purpose of unbleached flour and yields amore "elastic" feeling when kneaded. Bread flour, sometimes labeled "high-protein" flour, may require more kneading than all-purpose flour. Unbleached flour can be substituted for bread flour.
Whole Wheat Flour: Whole wheat flour is light brown in color and contains all natural nutrients. It's the most popular addition to white flour. Whole wheat flour should not exceed 50% of the total flour content. Whole wheat, and other whole grain flours, do not have as much gluten and will not rise as high as white flours. One cup whole wheat flour is equal to 7/8 cup white flour. If you're replacing 1/2 cup white flour, use 1/2 cup plus 1 tbs. Whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour may also be sold as graham flour in health food stores. A good substitute for whole wheat flour is spelt flour, a grain that is easier to digest than wheats and often used by people with gluten intolerance.
Rye Flour: Rye flour can yield a variety of flavors and textures. Types include dark rye, light ry and coarse rye. The amount of rye flour also controls the taste. Stone-ground rye, sometines available in health food stores, has the best flavor. Pumpernickel flour is medium-ground rye flour, and int's labeled medium-rye on commercial packages.
Oats: Use rolled oats, not instant. This is the same product sold for oatmeal cereal with its flaky consistency. Oat bran and oat flour can be substituted for rolled oats in smaller quantities (1 cup oats equals about 2/3 cup oat bran or oat flour). Oat flour can be purchased in health food stores or by mail order. Rolled oats can be ground into oat flour in a blender or food procesor.
Bran: Unprocessed Miller's bran is a natural grain product high in dietary fiber. It can be used interchangeably with processed bran flakes. Both can be found with breakfast cereals in supermarkets. You need 1 cup bran flakes to equal about 2/3 cup bran.
Cornmeal: Cornmeal is ground from corn kernals; the most common cornmeal is yellow, but there are also white and blue. It is used in many recipes along with other flours. A thin sprinklling of cornmeal is used on the baking sheet or baking stone to provide a nonstick baking surfacr for the bagels.
Vital Wheat Gluten: This is the natural protein derived from wheat. Adding it to rye, whole wheat and other whole grains increases the protein value of bread and provides the elasticity in the dough to allow the yeast to develop gases, at the same time holding them in to yield a less dense, lighter dough with greater volume. The fine, powdery product can be purchased in health food stores. Recommended additions are: 1 1/2 tsp. Per 1 cup flour for whole grain breads and 1 tsp. Per cup of flour for white breads. Use a little more gluten when using raisins, nuts, seeds and brans. Gluten should be well mixed with the flour. I have suggested that vital gluten is optional, but once you begin using it, it may become essential; testing showed that breads and bagels with added vital gluten were lighter and tastier than those made without it.
Yeast: Yeast is responsible for the density of the bagel, and often the difference in regional recipes. For all recipes, active dry yeast is assumed an damounts given are for a moderately-dense bagel as close as possible to the accepted standard of a New York-style bagel. Yeast is composed of thousands of tiny living plants which, when given moisture, warmth and "food", will grow and gove off a gas (carbon dioxide); it is that gas which makes dough rise.
Yeast is available in active dry and in compressed fresh forms. One package or 1 scant tablespoon on active dry yeast is equivialent to 1 cake (3/4oz) of compressed yeast. Cake yeast is not recommended for bread machines, but could be used to make bagels with other methods. There is also fast-rising yeast which can be converted to work as active dry yeast. Reduce the amount of fast-rising yeast by 25% when substituting it for active dry yeast and reduce the first rising time. To convert fast-rising yeast to active dry yeast, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to 1/2 cup water per 1 packet of yeast.
Buy and use yeast before it's life potency date expires; all bottles and packages of yeast are dated. For denser bagels, reduce the yeast called for in the recipe by 1/2 teaspoon. For spongier, less dense bagels, increase the yeast by 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.
Continued In About Bagels - Ingredients 2
The Best Bagels Are Made At Home by Dona Z. Meilach Isbn 1-55867-131-5