Multigrain Sourdough Bagels
1. Rinse millet; place millet and oats in medium-sized bowl. Cover with 2 cups warm water and stir in whey or other acid. Cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Do not drain.
2. In a small saucepan heat milk, kefir or yogurt; add butter and warm over low heat, just until butter is melted. Stir in honey. Do not boil; just heat gently.
3. Place sourdough starter in a large bowl. Stir in soaked grains, milk mixture, sunflower seeds and salt. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough. Pour onto a smooth surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until dough is elastic. (A heavy-duty stand mixer may also be used for this step.)
4. Shape dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled (may take anywhere from 2-8 hours). The dough may also be refrigerated at this point and left to rise slowly, 24 to 48 hours. If refrigerating, cover with parchment paper, then plastic wrap.
5. When ready to shape and bake, put a large pot of water on to boil; a 5- to 8-quart size works well. Add 1 tablespoon salt to the water once it reaches a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until bagels are shaped.
6. Punch the dough down and divide into 16 pieces about the size of large lemons. Roll into balls, using thumbs to “tuck” dough in tightly. Place your index finger in the middle of the ball and make a hole; carefully stretch into a bagel shape.
7. Drop 4 bagels at a time into the pot of simmering salted water. Increase the heat to keep water gently boiling. Wait until bagels rise to the surface, then use a skimmer or spatula to remove from water. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
8. Brush tops of bagels with egg white wash (1 egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon water). Place in preheated 400°F oven. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes to make sure they are not getting too brown.
Makes about 16 (4- to 4.5-ounce) bagels.
Note: These freeze very well.
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