Multigrain Sourdough Bagels
1. Rinse millet; place millet and oats in medium-sized bowl. Cover with 2 cups of 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 and butter 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, salt, and sunflower seeds. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough. Pour out onto a smooth surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until dough is elastic. (You can also use a heavy-duty stand mixer for this step.)
4. Shape dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, anywhere from 2 to 4 hours or more (may take 8 hours), depending on a lot of variables. You can also refrigerate it at this point and let it rise slowly in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours. (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 of 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 they 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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