Bagels

I’m not at all sure why but generally at Christmastime the supermarkets like to sell big packets of smoked salmon. As much as I love the stuff, I wasn’t aware of it being a traditional Christmas thing. So after Christmas, these packs of salmon go on sale and I decided to take advantage and have my favourite breakfast, bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese. I used the recipe in Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ as she is an absolute genius and I love her. So much so in fact that I ended up purchasing the same dressing gown she wore in one of her shows – decorated with a map of Venice, partly because I loved it and partly because I want to be her. The recipe makes 15 bagels which I didn’t need so I actually quartered the recipe though I made half the amount of bagels which probably explains why they were a bit smaller than what I was expecting. Also, I think my yeast might need replacing as they didn’t rise as much as the last time I made them where the hole in the middle almost completely closed up. The method below is correct though and as you can see, I still got pretty decent bagels so it’s pretty foolproof.

Makes 8 bagels

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 7g yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp oil and more for greasing
  • 250ml tepid water
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar (or sugar)

Method

1.) Measure out the water into a measuring jug and sprinkle the yeast on the top. Leave to ferment for about 10 minutes.

2.) Into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or you can do this by hand) add the salt, sugar (1/2 tbsp) and oil to the bottom of the bowl.

3.) Weigh out the flour into the bowl.

4.) Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer, connect the bowl and pour the fermented yeast on top.

5.) Put onto a low setting for about 10 minutes. (It will take longer by hand as it is quite a dry dough).

6.) Take the dough out of the bowl, drizzle it lightly with oil. Put the dough back in and turn around to coat the dough with the oil.

7.) Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave the dough to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.

8.) Knead and divide the dough into 2 pieces.

9.) Roll each piece out into a rope and cut into 4 pieces.

10.) Roll each piece out even thinner, form a circle and squeeze the ends together.

11.) Boil a kettle and pour the water into a pan. Add the vinegar and turn the pan onto a simmer.

12.) Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper. Grease with oil. (I did forget this step but I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t improve the bagels)

13.) Place 2 bagels at a time into the water, they should float, leave for 30 seconds then flip over to poach both sides.

14.) Put the poached bagels onto the baking paper, spread out. They’ll be a bit puffy from the poaching.

15.) Preheat the oven to 240 degrees C. Leave the bagels for 20 minutes, covered with a tea towel.

16.) Bake the bagels for 10 – 15 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool before serving.