Monday, 20 August 2012


Much better than from a packet!

Today was exceedingly hot and stuffy, so I decided that I should take a trip to a lake or a river after work. Then I remembered how lazy I am and how a warm day is the perfect day for bread. I've wanted to bake some bagels for a while and thought, today is the day!

I didn't really have anything in the way of a topping -  I like lots of seeds on my bagels - but I did try to introduce a little sultana and cinnamon in to half the dough. But I did it after it had proven, so I had some fun pushing the little dried fruits in to the dough and watching them ping out again.

This recipe will make 8 fairly decent sized bagels for breakfast and lunch styled treats.

450g strong bread flour
sachet of active dried yeast (7g)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
300ml lukewarm water

a big pan of water with 1 tblsp honey and 1 tblsp sugar

- pour 100ml of the warm water in to a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and then sprinkle the sugar on the top (this should help the yeast to sink). Let it sit for 10 mins (do not stir) until it's nice and frothy. Then stir to dissolve.
- mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeasty mixture, then top it up with just about all of the rest of the lukewarm water.
- mix together until it's of a lovely soft consistency, but not too sticky. Tip out on to a floured work surface and knead for about 10 mins until smooth and elastic. Form in to a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, drape some cling film over the top and leave to rise for an hour in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with paper.
- Get the big pan of water on to boil.
- punch the dough a bit and leave again for a few minutes. (This is when I decided to make half the dough cinnamon and sultana). Divide the dough in to 8 - 10 equal sized lumps and shape in to balls. Do this by rolling it around in a circular motion on the work surface with the palm of your hand. Stick your finger (or the end of a wooden spoon) into the middle and wiggle it about until you have a hole. 
- add the bagels two at a time to the pan of boiling sugary water. Boil on each side for 1 minute, remove, drain and then place the 'right way up' on to the baking tray. Now would be the time to top them with some tasty seeds if you have them to hand.
look at that sultana still trying to escape!
- bake for 25 minutes, leave to cool on a wire rack, slice them open and enjoy with your favourite bagel toppings. Mine's banana and honey.

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