In general, we are rather modest, but today we must admit to being quite proud of ourselves. We made bagels!!!!! Certainly not New York-deli caliber, but really good and surprisingly easy – it’s just a simple bread dough with an extra step, that of boiling the bagel before baking it. Crisp on the outside and chewy in the center, they were everything a bagel should be. Pass the cream cheese and give us a moment as we gloat!
¼ oz. sachet of fast-action dried yeast (scant 1 tbs.)
1lb. 2oz. all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for shaping
2 tbs. light brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
a little oil, for greasing
1 tbs. baking soda
1 egg white, beaten
seeds of your choice for topping
Mix the yeast with 1¼ cups warm water. Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix together. Pour over the yeasty liquid and mix into a rough dough. (This can also be done in a stand mixer using the dough hook.) Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn once to coat both sides. Cover with cling wrap and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.
Tip the dough back onto your work surface and divide the dough into ten portions, approx. 3oz. each. Place them on two parchment-lined baking wheels and cover lightly with cling wrap. Set aside again until risen and puffy, 30-40 minutes. Using a floured finger, make a hole in the center of each bagel, swirling it around to stretch the dough a little, but being careful not to knock out too much air. Heat the oven to 350°F.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the baking soda to alkalize the water. Place 2-3 of the bagels in the water at a time and boil for 1 minute (2 if you want your bagels chewier), turning over half way. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the bagels, drain well, and place back on the baking sheets.
Brush the bagels with the egg white and sprinkle with your chosen seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. They will keep for 3-4 days or freeze for 2 months.