Attempt #1 was a tiny little batch, just to be sure I didn't mess anything up too terribly (and because I was worried I would eat the entire batch all in one sitting). I made six mini bagels, entirely whole wheat. Using the amount of water called for, they were very dry while I kneaded the dough, and therefore came out incredibly dense.
Here's the sponge, including about 1/2 cup- 3/4 cup more water than the recipe called for.
I ended up with eight little balls of dough (I was expecting twelve)
Here they are after rising in the fridge overnight:
I then proceeded to find out that the upper heating element in my oven is broken, and things aren't baking correctly. Not good. I waited for three days for it to be fixed, but gave up hope and went to a friend's house to bake them. I wish I'd gotten a picture of the risen dough. The eight bagels were hardly distinguishable, and when I pulled them apart they were floppy.
Mental note #1: next time I should deflate the balls of dough and re-shape the bagels. I'm not sure if I would have then needed to let them rest again before boiling and baking.
Here it is after boiling.
The mostly-closed-up centers were totally soppy dough. It was almost like pancake batter in there. I should have known this wouldn't be good.
Here they are before baking. The ones on the right-hand side were boiled for a lot longer. I felt like they were a lot more solid and less battery.
All in all, a very educational experience. I'm glad I only made eight since they aren't particularly spectacular. I think deflating the dough and reshaping would have done wonders, but I also should have used less water to begin with. Apparently having stiff dough is useful in getting them get the right texture on the inside.
Next time I would use the following recipe (and if I were really committed I would also get a scale and weigh the flour so I could actually be consistent every time):
1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup gluten
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp water (maybe needing to add a tbsp or two during the kneading, but waiting and adding it in then, rather than dumping in too much extra at the beginning)
1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup gluten
1 1/2 cups flour (maybe needing to add a tbsp or two during kneading)