Sunday Morning Bagels

from Emily (who loves food)

Mmmm. Bagels. I’m sure only bread that ticks the box for both classy fare and in-your-pajamas comfort food. Thick, chewy and begging to be toasted. I love mine topped with salmon and cream cheese, dotted with a few capers. But top ‘em with jam, berry compote, cranberry and brie, avocado, sun dried tomatoes, salami… the topping choices are endless.

I actually decided to make these because my mother told me they were hard to make, and that they probably weren’t worth my time.

So, naturally, I took it as a challenge.

And I’m glad I did. The idea of having to boil the uncooked dough did shake me a bit, though when it came time to pop them in the water, it was incredibly easy. Other than the fact that I accidentally let the dough proof for twice as long as necessary, these progressed from foamy yeast to fresh bagels without a hitch. It’s definitely a recipe you can make the night before (it only takes about 2 hours from start to finish) for a really yummy breakfast in the morning.

Plus, they’re so much cheaper than store-bought! 8 delicious bagels for the price of 3 1/2 cups of flour, and so much more impressive.

 

 

Sunday Morning Bagels - Makes 8 standard, or 4 giant bagels.

Prep time: 1 1/2 hours  Cook time: 20mins

  • 2 tsp (or 1 8g sachet) active yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water, body-temperature (stick your finger in)
  • 3 1/2 cups high-grade/bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional toppings: Coarse salt, finely chopped oinion or garlic, sesame or poppy seeds.

Sprinkle the sugar and yeast over 1/2 a cup of the warm water without stirring, and leave for 5mins until foamy. Then stir to thoroughly combine.

In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook) combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle, and pour in the yeast mixture and an additional 1/2 a cup of warm water. Mix together to form a dough, and add the extra 1/2 a cup of water 1 tbs at a time, but only if you need it. You want a dense, moist dough that holds together, but isn’t too soft.

Knead by hand for 10 mins, or on a low-speed on the dough hook for 7, before turning the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a dampened tea towel, and place in a warm place (such as the airing cupboard, or near your hot water cylinder) for an hour to double in size (the doubling is more important than the hour – it make take longer depending on the temperature and level of moisture in the air, but it wont be any faster.)

After the hour, punch the dough down, and give it an additional 15 mins rising time.

Once it’s had it second quick rise, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll the dough between the palm of your hand and a flat surface (such as the bench-top) to shape it into a perfect dough ball. Cup your palm to scoop the edges in.

Punch a hole through the middle of the dough-ball with your finger, and stretch the hole out until it’s about 1/3 the diameter of the bagel, and place on a cookie sheet covered with non-stick baking paper. Repeat with the other 7 pieces.

Cover the bagels with a dampened tea-towel for a final 10mins, and preheat the oven to 220C.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly, so it’s just boiling gently. Using a slotted spoon, lower the bagels into the water – boil as many as will fit comfortably. Boil for 1 1/2 mins, then gently flip the bagels over, and boil for a further 1min before removing back to the non-stick baking paper. If you want a chewier, more ‘new-york style’ bagel, boil for 2 mins each side.

When they’re fresh out of the pot, you can add your toppings. If you want to add something like onions or large seeds, use an egg wash to help everything stick on. I topped mine with coarse salt though, and didn’t need an egg wash. Repeat with all the bagels.

Pop them in the oven, and bake for 20mins or until firm, golden and slightly glossy.

Remove from the tray to cool, then pop ‘em in an airtight container.

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