Monday, 3 June 2013


If there's one thing I miss from the states, it's the bagels.

Bagels are meant to have a chewy crust, doughy inside and be pleasantly plump.  Here, I find them lacking a bit in the chewy crust, and they're often more bread-like than bagel-like on the inside.  I decided to have a whack at attempting the fabled bagel...

They turned out a wee bit small and the holes shrunk, but taste-wise, spot-on.


  • 4g dried, active yeast + 50ml warm water
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 150ml warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Dissolve your yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar in the 50ml of warm water.  Stir and wait until it's frothy.

In the same bowl, add the 150ml of warm water, followed by the flour, in 50g increments.  Work together with a fork, then use your hands to mold it into a ball.  This is going to be a very soft dough, compared to the other bread doughs you've seen on this blog, so you might have to create your own new 'kneading' technique.  For this one, I oiled my hands, picked up the ball and simply threw it down into the bowl, over and over again.  It both stretched it and prevented the soft dough from sticking to my fingers.

Plus, it gave me an excuse to throw things.  Awesome.

Form into a ball, oil the sides of your bowl, and cover in clingfilm.

Let it rise for about an hour, or until it's at least doubled in size.  

Stare out the window while you wait.  Admire this strange 'sun' object.

Begin boiling a large pot of water.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar to the water.  Re-oil your hands, and divide the mixture into 5 roughly equal sized balls (I totally failed at this).  To create the hole, I "spun" the dough around the handle of a spoon.  You definitely want the hole to be a bit bigger than you think, as it'll shrink massively during cooking.  Massively.

Also, click that oven on to 220C.

The key to getting chewy bagels is to boil them before baking them!  When your pot of water comes to a low boil, add one or two formed bagels to the water.  They'll rise to the top of the pot pretty quickly.  Give them about 1 minute on each side, flipping with a slotted spoon or spatula.

Drain them on the spoon/spatula, then place on your oiled baking sheet.  I used foil because my baking sheet ran away.

Repeat the boiling process with all of your dough balls/bagels-to-be.  

Make sure to add any toppings at this stage.  You can sea that I put sea salt on two, and drizzled honey on one.  The other two I left plain.

Such a weird texture pre-baking.  But it makes for the chewiness, so we'll deal with it.

Chuck 'em in the 220C oven for about 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 200C for another 15-20min. I accidentally left them on 220C for a wee bit too long... 

They still taste nice!

The one on the right seems to have grown a horn... interesting...

Mmmmmmmmm butter.

These are pretty small sized bagels, so if you wanted ginormous ones (maybe for sandwiches or the like), you could do only 2 or 3 bagels out of this recipe.  

Tastes like home.

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