Feb 10th, 2017
I tried making bagels today to take to N’s tomorrow. Actually I made them for the first time the other day, but they didn’t turn out quite right (they taste ok but they are more like rolls than bagels and also I didn’t glaze them so they are not the right colour), so I gave them another go to try to get them right.
First make a “sponge” with a heaped tsp dried yeast, 1 tblsp sugar and 100ml warm water. Leave for 10 minutes in a warm place to get the yeast going. Then add 450g strong bread flour, 1 tsp salt (Paul Hollywood would say 10g but I try to keep the salt level in my food down) and another 200ml warm water. Mix to a soft dough with your fingers and then knead for at least 10 minutes until smooth and pliable. Very important to note that this is stickier than normal bread dough so don’t go adding a load more flour to it. If it sticks to the work surface just keep kneading it and eventually it will de-sticky itself.
Leave the dough for about an hour in an oiled bowl until it doubles in size. Then heat the over to 200 fan (I suppose 220 conventional if anyone still uses those). Boil a large pan of water and add 3 tbsps. dark brown sugar (or treacle) – this is to help create the bagel colour. Tip out the dough and cut it in to 8 equal sections – roll into a thick sausage and bend over the ends securely and seal to make a ring shape. Then stretch the ring until the hole in the centre is about 4cm across – you can whirl it round your finger if you feel flash (if you don’t make the hole big enough it will close up when cooked). Drop the bagels two at a time into the boiling water and cook for 45 seconds on each side (no longer or they will go soggy). Lift out with a slotted spoon on to a baking tray lined with parchment. Brush with egg white (not sure why not the whole egg) and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake four to a tray for 20 to 25 minutes until nicely browned and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom. Serve either with smoked salmon slices, light Philadelphia cheese and gherkins or pastrami and cheese (or all of them if you like the Scooby snack approach). V. yum.