Inherited, I think, from my grandmother, one of my favourite flavour combinations is maple walnut. As I have been playing around with making bagels, I decided I wanted to try to apply that flavour combo to bagels, although I have never seen that before. I didn't however, want to make a sweet bagel, so rather than using maple syrup or maple sugar to impart the maple flavour, I decided to use ground fenugreek, often used as a maple substitute.
2 c whole meal flour
2 1/4 c white flour
1 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
2 tsp maple syrup
1 1/4 c water
1/2 cube yeast
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 c walnuts
1) In a small saucepan, heat the water to about body temperature - it should be warm, but still cool enough that a (clean) pinky finger dipped in it is comfortable for 10 seconds. Dissolve the yeast in the water with the maple syrup and leave for a few minutes.
2) Combine flours, fenugreek and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add yeast and water and stir together, gradually incorporating flour from around the well. When the dough has come together, knead on a clean, floured surface for about 10 minutes until the dough is homogenous and elastic. Towards the end, knead in the walnuts as you go.
3) Place in a clean bowl and leave to rise, covered, in a warm spot for an hour, or until doubled in size.
4) Knock back the dough and divide into 8 roughly even balls. Here you have two options. Either: roll into snakes, then join the ends of these to make rings
or: Roll into balls, then poke a thumb through the balls. With your thumb in the hole, gradually widen it, working the dough around so as to have an even, uniform thickness to the dough with a round hole in the middle
or: create a ball and push it down over a bagel mould.
5) Place rings on a baking tray sprinkled liberally with cornmeal, cover and place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight to proof.
6) Remove the rings from the fridge. Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with water. Stir in maple syrup. There should be enough maple syrup for the water to look like moderately strong tea. Place a test ring in the water. If it floats, you are ready to go. If not, dry it off and allow the bagels to come to room temperature.
7) When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to bring the water to a simmer. A few at a time, poach the bagels for about half a minute on each side, then fish them out and drain on a wire rack.
8) Sprinkle the baking tray with fresh cornmeal, then place the drained bagels back on the tray and bake at 240°C for 15 - 20 minutes until golden.
These came out very nicely, and I was very pleased with the way the flavours came out. This is definitely one to make again, especially with homemade cream cheese and honey, or even just butter, to melt into hot bagels... I was channelling my grandmother and must thank my sister for getting me into making bagels with a gift of moulds for Christmas last year.
(I forgot to take a picture of the baked bagels, so here are some everything bagels instead).