Gluten development in wheat dough! Whole wheat bagels!

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Joined Feb 2, 2011
Hello friends-- I'm working on developing a 75-100% whole wheat bagel dough. My concern is the low protein content and developing the right amount of gluten for a nice elastic dough. I noticed an NYT Cooking recipe for whole wheat bagels, but i'm not sure they'll have the chewiness I'm hoping to develop.

Bread bakers: have you ever supplemented your low protein flours with a powdered whey protein to better develop gluten when you want a more buoyant texture in your dough? Does it work? Have you successfully made a whole wheat bagel with a crumb that didn't make you wish it was made with white flour? Do you up your hydration? I'm concerned I could overhydrate the wheat flour and make the dough too dense to get a nice rise/ proof.

Lots of recipes generally call for wheat flour to be halved with hi protein/ bread flour and i'd really prefer to be as close to 100% whole wheat as I can, with a very minimal addition of any sugars. Thank you all in advance for any experienced advice you have with developing gluten in wheat doughs.
 

chefpeon

Kitchen Dork
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Joined Jun 15, 2006
It sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it too. Simply put, if you want your bagels to have that chew without the sawdust/crumble thing going on, you're going to have to put some bread flour or vital wheat gluten in them, and probably more than you would like. But that's just kind of the way it is. You're either going to need to halve your whole wheat with a certain amount of additional gluten or have a crumbly dry bagel.

I think the best bet is to use vital wheat gluten. It will maximize the gluten punch you need, and you may be able to get away with a higher amount of whole wheat flour. Hopefully you are boiling your bagels in a lye or baking soda solution before baking. That process also adds to the chew of a bagel. It will take a bit of experimenting and you might want to combine vital wheat gluten with whey protein as well, since whey protein can extend shelf life and add a bit of moisture.
 
Last edited:
24
23
Joined Feb 2, 2011
It sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it too. Simply put, if you want your bagels to have that chew without the sawdust/crumble thing going on, you're going to have to put some bread flour or vital wheat gluten in them, and probably more than you would like. But that's just kind of the way it is. You're either going to need to halve your whole wheat with a certain amount of additional gluten or have a crumbly dry bagel.

I think the best best is to use vital wheat gluten. It will maximize the gluten punch you need, and you may be able to get away with a higher amount of whole wheat flour. Hopefully you are boiling your bagels in a lye or baking soda solution before baking. That process also adds to the chew of a bagel. It will take a bit of experimenting and you might want to combine vital wheat gluten with whey protein as well, since whey protein can extend shelf life and add a bit of moisture.

definitely boiling. and i certainly have a good bit of trial and error ahead of me, but i was wondering if anyone had practical experience in working toward this goal. i realize there's no perfect solution to a delightfully chewy 100% whole wheat bagel, or it wouldn't be so elusive-- but i've got some time this winter to invest. thanks :)
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2017
I agree with CP.

And second using vital wheat gluten. Instead of adding it to your regular flour, use it instead of your regular flour (or a portion of it, depending on how much you are currently adding).
 
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