The Fresh Loaf

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17% Whole Multi-Grain SD / YW Bagels – The Stan Ginsberg Method

dabrownman's picture

17% Whole Multi-Grain SD / YW Bagels – The Stan Ginsberg Method

We just love the authentic, taste texture and chew of Stan Ginsberg’s Favorite Bagels that are authentic and just plain delicious any way you want to eat them.  We keep messing with the grains and starters to get what we want in our favorite bagels.


 All the whole grains are in the starter, a new thing we are trying out lately.  The grains were home milled rye, WW and Kamut and make up 17% of the total flours.  We also included a little less than 10% of roasted potato left over from Beer Can Chicken. 


 As usual with out take on bagels, there is some barley malt, red and white malts were included to improve the color and taste of the bagels along with adding the enzymes that break down carbohydrates and starch into sugars that the yeast and bacteria can use to do their thing gas and sour wise.

 We have been using a combo YW and SD starter to build the levains for recent bagels and we did so again this time.  We get a nice moist open crumb with a slight SD tang using a combo starter.

From left to right front - Chia seeds, Sesame, white sesame and Multi - all the prvious plus, black sesame, kosher salt, basil and  nigella seeds.

 We used exactly the same method as last time and baked the bagels off in the mini oven using Sylvia’s steam developed for it.  Our change from Stan’s method is to proof the bagels after forming for 1 hour before refrigerating and we retard them for 24 hours before boiling them.

 These are now our favorite go to bagel and have now met our taste, texture, chew and color criteria.  They are just delicious.  Now there is not reason to go to NY for bagels anymore and it sure is cheaper too.


We built the YW and SD levain together over (2) 3 hour and (1) 2 hour build and then refrigerated them for 48 hours. Home ground whole wheat berries were used for the starter and accounted for all the whole grains in the final dough.


The flours, salt, mashed potatoes and malts were autolysed for 3 hours and hand mixed into the levain. The stiff dough was kneaded for 10 minutes by hand and then allowed to rest, ferment and develop for a whopping 15 minutes covered with plastic wrap on the counter.

The dough was them divided into (10) 122g pieces, folded into balls and then into 12” tapered, from middle to end, ropes. The ropes were rested for 10 minutes and then formed into bagels by the ‘over the knuckles’ method where the ends were rolled on the counter to seal them together.

The bagels were placed onto a parchment covered and corn meal sprinkled cookie sheet, covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 24 hours.

Latest $2 Goodwill purchase yesterday at half price.  It's a 901 - just perfect for an oval shape bread or nice baked chicken. 

After removing the bagels from the fridge, they were immediately simmered for 30 seconds a side in 1 gallon of water with 1 T of barley malt syrup and 1 tsp of baking soda. The wet bagel bottoms were placed on a kitchen towel for 5 seconds after coming out of the water, dunked in the topping of choice and then placed on parchment paper sprinkled with semolina which was on the top cover of the mini ovens broiler.

The mini oven was preheated to 45o F with the rack on the bottom. A 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup with a rolled up dish rag, half full of water, was micro waved until the water boiled. Sylvia’s steaming method was then placed in the middle of the parchment paper between (4) bagels at the corners.

The bagels were steamed for 8 minutes with the heat being turned down to 450 F. At the 8 minute mark the steam was removed, the bagels turned upside down and the rack rotated 180 degrees. The Mini Oven was also turned down to 425 F, convection this time,  at the 8 minute mark too.  After an additional 4 minutes, the bagels were turned 18o degrees on the parchment – still upside down..

At 16 minutes total baking time the bagels were deemed done. They were nicely browned top and bottom and sounded like a drum when tapped on the bottom. They were moved to wire cooling racks until cooled.


22% Whole Multi-grain SD YW Bagels     
Starter BuildBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
Rye & WW Starter2000202.90%
Yeast Water155 202.90%
Dark Rye20250456.52%
Kamut15  152.17%
SD / YW Starter %   
Starter Hydration84.00%    
Levain % of Total 19.18%   
Dough Flour %   
Bread Flour28040.58%   
Total Dough Flour56081.16%   
Dough Hydration53.57%    
Add - Ins %   
Red Rye Malt30.43%   
White Rye Malt20.29%   
Mashed Potato659.42%   
Barley Malt101.45%   
Total Flour w/ Starter690    
Total Water w/ Starter405    
Tot. Hydration  w/ Starter58.70%    
Hydration w/ Adds64.39%    
Total Weight1,199120 grams each for (10)
% Whole Grain16.67%    



Janetcook's picture

Mr. D.

These look great!  My college freshman daughter has requested bagels to be sent to her so you rendition is food for thought on how to combine my YW experiments with my usual bagel formula.  (I use Peter Reinhart's as my bagels are 100% whole grains)

I need a bit of help interpreting your starter formula.  You have listed 'starter build' and then below you list a 'sd/yw starter'.  Am I correct to assume they are one and the same thing or are these 2 separate starters?

In the 1st 'starter build' I don't understand the TOTAL column at the bottom.  The ingredients listed above the totals equal more than the total amount you have listed so I am confused as to where that number comes from...I am assuming the #s in the chart represent weight in grams.

It also appears that you use only a bit of YW in your builds and most of the water is 'regular' water.  (20g only YW to 75g water)  Is that correct?  Currently I have been using YW in all the water in my builds in order to keep the starter 'sweeter'  but maybe that is too much???

Also, in your malt section.  The total column has me stumped again.  I don't understand from where you are getting your '90'.  Is your malt diastatic or non diastatic?  I am assuming ND due to the 10 by the barley malt that if that is 10g is a lot of DM.

Sorry for all of the questions.  I just want to make sure I am reading and understanding your information correctly.

My bagel bake won't be for another couple of weeks so I have time to mull over all the possibilities until then :-)

Lovely photo of the thunder clouds.  Did they produce any rain?  We had a lovely rain last week.  Nice and steady without the usual high winds and hail so it was very pleasant but are now back to blue skies with  no rain in garden weeps as do I when the watering bill arrives...

Take Care,


dabrownman's picture

spreadsheet sure was a sloppy mess.  I actually combined  2 different levain builds, forgot the potatoes, had the wrong % for whole grains and the wrong g weight for each bagel.  Other than that it was great.  It is all fixed now - possibly :-)

Everything is in grams.  Under the first section - starter builds - the next section is the total for the starters above and they should match like they do now .  We built the levain combo together in the same plastic cup.  You are right, I use less YW than many do.  I don't want to be feeding and replenishing all the time.  So I treat it like SD and use the YW as the stand in for the water on the first build - or most of it usually.  I usually don't put any more YW in after the first build but ,this time,  I did add 5 g more because my apprentice felt sorry for it up against the SD.  I figure if you can build a SD levain you can build a YW one too - and you can build them both together like this bagel bake.  In this case we wanted more SD than YW effects to take place.

I actually use non diastatic and diastatic malts (red and white) that I make myself from sprouted rye berries.  I alwasy put barley malt syrup  in bagels too - or rather Stan Ginsberg did for this recipe.

Here is the way I convert to SD or YW starters.  I say it takes 240 g of some kind of active levain to raise a 1,2oo g total loaf weight.  So I build the YW or SD or Combo levain to equal somewhere around 240 g.  That leaves 960 g for all the other stuff going in the dough.  I plug the numbers into my spreadsheet and see where it comes out 4 ways.  What % is the levain to the total.  What % is the whole grain, what% are the add ins like fruits, nuts, seeds, potato and what % is the hydration.  I want the levain total to be between 20 - 20% - on the higher side if I want more sour or a faster ferment.  We want the whole grains to be at least 15%  but could be up to 100%.  We want the total hydration to be between 60- 100% depending on how much whole grain is used or what we are making Ciabatta or bagels.  We love add ins in bread so we usually put some in but for bagels with the seeds on top we opted for roasted potato instead and we are glad we did.

I play with the spreadsheet until we get the bread we want want - if I don't mess it up - like this time.

Very nice catch Janet and thanks so much for getting into the jist of this formula - and thanks for your fine comments.

You will really like YW bagels if you don't like SD tang.  The first time I made YW bialy's I almost died they were so open and good.


gmabaking's picture

Haven't tried that yet but your pictures are certainly an inspiration to do so. The clouds with their promise of a beautiful morning are stunning.

Going to try the polenta addition the next time I make a Tartine bread. It finally occured to me that while the texture is what I like so much about the Tartine bread, maybe it is the lack of sour-dough taste that others are so happy about ? Will have to check out that idea in future bakes. I think I will have to try  Norm's Onion Rolls with YW.  If none were eaten (ha!) they would be worth making just for the way the house smells while they bake.

Just realized, Fall is when I tend to add more grains and seeds to things, maybe there is a latent squirrel tendency to search out those seeds.

Last week I checked Goodwill out, no finds but was surprised to find that they have an Espresso stand so all was not lost.

dabrownman's picture

making Norm's Onion Rolls with SD is a great idea.  I made the bialy's with YW and they were great, even though we added chorizo, 3  cheeses and herbs to the filling :-)

I bake the Tartine way in the  DO, but always do my regular SD instead of Chad's unripe liquid one because we want the tang.  A YW and SD combo starter is also  very nice the Tartine way.  Our multi grain challah baked as a loaf, boule, batard or braid comes out  with the most unbelievable very dark crust that we have ever seen -and delicious tasting too.

Your polenta add will be a nice one for sure.  Don't forget, polenta can be made with all kinds of liquids and solids besides corn meal and water.

I don't find something at Goodwill every week either.    But we are only looking for bread related or kitchen stuff.  I wanted to use the Romertopf for yesterday's bake but the dough ended up being too small.  Can't wait to test it out.    It actually came with the instruction, recipe and care book.  Oddly there was no bread recipes for it.  I guess in Germany they don't bake bread in it.    Won't fit in the mini oven by just a 1/2" :-(  But I will use it to bake a stuffed pork loin for tonight's dinner.  No espresso stands in Gilbert's GW but in Scottsdale......

It is a good thing there isn't a fall in AZ deserts. If we started adding more grains, soakers, sprouts and seeds to our breads like you do because of the fall's  squirrelish nature, there wouldn't be any room for anything else:-)

Glad you like the bagels and the pictures too.  Maybe Norms onion rolls could be baked together as a loaf in the Romertopf....

Janetcook's picture

Thanks for explaining how your spread sheet works.  I am 'old fashioned' and write down all my formulas doing the calculations with my trusty Kitchen Calculator.  My formulas are based on the total amount of flour in a formula rather than on the starter amount so the figures are different.

Your proportions of the malts you used make sense now understanding that the final malt is NDM.

I am toying with the YW because my daughter likes a less sour tang for the breads she likes so I went as far as I could with my straight SD and am now experimenting how far I can go with YW.  I use 100% whole grains as all the flour in all of my breads so I don't have to do anything to get sour.....  Fun to try out new things every once in awhile.

The YW bagels will be tried soon.  I will try to remember to 'report' back.  I will do a trial run and see how the 15 yr old son responds and then, if all is of a favorable nature, I will make a batch to send to my daughter.

Thanks again for the explanation.


dabrownman's picture

grain, leaven it  with a yeast water levain and it will not make a sour bread.  Your daughter will be happy but those that like sour will not.  YW English muffins are also a favorite around here as are cinnamon rolls banana nut bread, any kind of dinner roll etc.  Nothing has ever been sour yet.

My formulas are pretty standard for bread if I don't mess them up by mistake :-).  And we love whole grains in breads but some of the girls around her, my daughter is home this weekend, are woosies if the whole grains get over 50% and then I chuck in another 20% in seeds, sprouts nuts or what ever.  Those are the girls favorites.  I have them both getting more used to sourdough. My wife took a 30% rye bread with sprouts to work for some function and everyone said, 'Wow,this is some good sourdough bread! ' Even she had to be impressed :-)

You are most welcome Janet!

Isand66's picture

Fantastic DA!  I wish my local bagel shop served your masterpiece.

I love the first close-up photo you used as well.

That clay cooker is a great find.  I have never found anything that nice at Goodwill by me but will have to stop over this weekend and see if I can get as lucky as you.

I have a nice bread almost ready to go in the oven...the only thing I will tell you is that I used some dark chocolate powder in the mix so the color and smell is very enticing if you're into that kind of thing.  Will post tomorrow...I'm also working on a yeast water durum semolina baguette. 

You should be proud of your bagels for sure.  Hopefully I can try my hand at some soon enough.  Enjoy the first day of Fall this weekend.


dabrownman's picture

Being from NY you would like Stan Ginsberg's method.  We have been working on this recipe for a while and now are in the sweet spot.  Just delicious, blistered crumb that goes chewy, nice open crumb and mild SD tang.

I'm sure that we will love your 'chocolatta bread' as much as the catastrophe we made out of your Mocha Bread.  That was the best bread you have made by my tasting .

We made a 57% whole grain 20% seed SD with spelt, rye, kamut and ww , with pumpkin, chia, sunflower and hemp seeds.  The crumb isn't as open as it would have been with YW but the SD tang and taste is awesome.  Can't have everything :-)

Will look for your latest concoction.

Bake on my friend.

Isand66's picture

Just posted it this morning.  I was very happy with how it came out.  Would be a good recipe to add some sharp cheese to and in your case some seeds couldn't hurt it either :).

Next time I will use fresh ground Spelt as I picked up some grain from Whole Foods last week but forgot and ordered the actual flour at KAF.

Enjoy your weekend.  Beautiful start to fall here...time to go pick some pumpkins.

dabrownman's picture

Richmond VA and my brother lived in Princeton NJ.  Every fall I would drive up to see them when the leaves on the trees were just starting to turn color in Richmond.   By the time I got to Princeton, the very deeply colored leaves were starting to fall from the trees.  I got to see a whole fall twice each year, one in one day and other in Richmond.  It was fantastic.

No fall in the deserts of AZ though but it will be 65-70 F all winter long and not a cloud in the sky.  Every place has its good side if your glass is always half full.

I finally got my 57% multi grain bread with 20% seeds posted lat last night.  The site kept blowing up all day.  Most of the comments I made just disappeared and never showed up and my long post kept disappearing with a note that came saying the comment filed was required.  Very frustrating.   The crumb wasn;t as open as it should have been but I baked it cold from the fridge and under proofed under a stainless steel bowl  - plus no YW, just SD.

joyfulbaker's picture

I am puzzled.  I have used Stan Ginsberg's recipe (in ITJB, of course), and all I see there is an overnight fermentation.  It's "straight," that is no preferment, no sourdough, just the refrigeration.  I have not yet added whole grains, etc., to the dough, just high-gluten flour, along with the Mauri low-diastatic malt powder in the dough, BM syrup in the boil, etc.  My only tweak is that I've upped the hydration to 55%.  Oh yes, I do plunge the boiled bagels in an ice bath before resting them, and then I glaze the tops with an egg white/tsp. water mix before dipping them in seeds (various).

Maybe I'm missing something here?

dabrownman's picture

you are missing something but it is not your fault.  I don't have ITJB  and I don't think that this recipe is in it.  A blogger on TFL was talking about bagels and Stan published this recipe on TFL as a response to their request.  It was about 6 months ago that I saw it and immediately copied it to Word.  Since it did't have a title I added what I thought it should be.  I have also modified and tinkered with it over the last 6months to make more to our liking.  I suppose that I shouldn't refer to Stan's method since I strayed far from the Ginsberg NY bagel field but I do want to give him credit for the inspiration!  I just added the YW to replace his instant yeast booster, put some whole grains in it for better taste and added a hours worth of ferment before retarding.

I hope this clears it up for you joyfulbaker?  Stan's recipe as is makes some very nice bagels - but I do like my changes better :-)

Since Stan published it on TFL I hope he won't mind me republishing it   - so here it is

Stan Ginsberg’s NY Style SD Bagels


 1lb of first clear flour
16oz of water
1/4 cup of sourdough starter

Let the sponge ferment until it doubles in bulk -- about 8-12 hours.


 18oz of first clear flour
0.10oz of active dry yeast (hydrated in 1oz water)
1/2oz malt syrup
0.65oz salt

 Mix using the paddle attachment until well hydrated, then switch to dough hook and knead at low speed for about 10minutes, until the dough is well-blended and the gluten has formed.

 Turn the dough out onto a board (no additional flour!) and let it rest, covered, for about 20 min to relax the gluten.

 Cut the dough into thick strips, about 2x2x 10" long and use your hand to start rolling at one end to create a long roll about the diameter of your thumb.

 Wrap the snake around the knuckles of your hand, breaking the dough at about 1" of overlap and then roll to seal. This should produce about a 3oz bagel.

 Arrange the bagels on parchment, cover with food-grade plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450. When it reaches heat, boil 3-4qt of water in a shallow flat pan (I use a large sauteuse) and add either 1T food-grade lye solution or 1T baking soda.

Poach the bagels for less than a minute in the boiling water. The goal here is to (a) gelatinize the starch on the surface, and (b) wake up the yeast. Over boiling does more harm than good.

 Drain briefly on a rack and sprinkle on your preferred toppings; bake for 8 min and then turn them, allowing them to bake for another 8-10 minutes until they color up.

I'm pretty sure that I didn't mess with his content  and if I did- I'm Sorry Stan! We love your SD bagels even though we don't make them exactly the way you do.



joyfulbaker's picture

I appreciate your speedy reply.  I had not seen that posting by Stan so will hunt it up.  There are certainly many ways to improve on the "same old, same old."  I note that the recipe here has malt syrup in the dough (I use the low-diastatic powder he sells on his NYBakers website and put the syrup in the boiling water).  I also have some of his first clear flour and am not surprised he incorporates that for "high gluten."  Well, I'm game to try something new.  BTW, I used the "make a little boule and poke a hole in the middle and enlarge it" technique for the first time instead of the "roll and seal" method (I made 2 dozen in the past couple of days).  The bottom 3 were made the "new" way; the one above the "roller" way.  No muss, no fuss--I like it!

dabrownman's picture

was 'Stan's Favorite Bagels'.  I don't know if that will help you find the post.   I will look too.  I saw Lauren Groveman on Baking with Julia making her bagels.  She too made a ball, poked a hole with a finger and opened the hole by rolling two fingers around in the middle.   That was the way I learned how to make holes in bagels but switched to the rope, seam together over the knuckles.   After watching on TFL that old (50's) video of the guy in basement of a NY bagel shop making bagels that way so fast it made your eyes hurt - I had to switch :-)  

I put the syrup and a little baking soda in the boiling water.  I'm sure the bagels from ITJB are also very good and might be one of  Norm's recipes.  Maybe -  Stan will clarify sometime.  We really do like the changes we made Stan's recipe though. A little more whole grain never hurt anyone!

joyfulbaker's picture

I did read Groveman's recipe in BWJ and found it very different from the ITJB ones.  Her bialys also are different from the lean, traditional recipe, probably more flavorful.  So much to try, so little time!

I saw that video of the "rollers," too.  Pretty amazing how fast they crank out the bagels.   I just finished and recommend reading the book called Bagels by Maria Balinska.  It goes back to the Middle Ages, through Eastern Europe and then to the U.S./New York and talks about the evolution of the bagel.  It is a scholarly history book, all centered on the "roll with a hole."

I have heard of putting baking soda in the boiling water; I think it's supposed to mimic the food-grade lye the shops used to use.  More shine?  Flavor?  Haven't tried it but maybe next time I will.  Anyway, thanks for all the tips, and you are right about "a little more grain." 

dabrownman's picture

chopped liver.  Simple and delicious.   Her use of shortening, sugar and Black Pepper in bagels is a little different.  I'm guessing she is getting pretty close to Einstein's rather than Stan's or Norm's bagels. Thanks for the Book of 'Bagels'  I love history and collecting odd stories.  It sounds like a great book to read.  BP is supposed to mimic lye and  we can't find lye anywhere handy to buy.

Bake With More Whole Grain :-)