Mind you, I say "we", but it is in fact Hubby who has become the Chief Bagel Baker. The original recipe came from my friend Melanie Boxall - Quiddity - thanks, Mel! He's tweaked the recipe and changed from dry yeast to fresh yeast and now thinks he's got the perfect recipe. So - as he appears to have perfected it - here it is (by popular demand!). This is the recipe for the basic plain bagel. We have tried cinnamon & raisin (which I recommend) and have got it in mind to try cheese & onion bagels, using the fried onion pieces you get for sprinkling on salads.
Makes 8-10 (depending on how big you make each individual bagel)
13.5 fl oz of warm water (112-115 deg F)
3 tablespoons sugar (normal granulated is fine)
15g fresh yeast (available from your local Supermarket's bakery - just ask for some and you should get it for free) if using dried yeast, 2 teaspoons (7 grams).
4.5 cups of strong bread flour
1 tablespoon of salt
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
1. Start the yeast, by mixing the yeast and sugar with the water, then leaving to froth up (around 3 minutes).
2. Decant into a large bowl and add half the flour and the salt, mix, then add the remainder of the flour.
3. Knead well until smooth, cover and allow to rise.
4. Let rise until doubled in size - about an hour in a warm kitchen.
5. Divide into equal sized balls. Then press down with a finger in the centre of each ball, making the customary hole in the middle of the bagel.
6. Set aside and allow to rise again for 10-20 mins.
7. Place a large pan of water on to boil, pre-heat your oven to 200deg C (fan) and prepare the beaten egg.
8. Boil the bagels, 2-3 at a time, taking care to handle them gently so that they don't deflate, for 45 seconds, flipping over halfway through. Drain well.
9. Prepare a baking tray with greaseproof or parchment paper, then lay the bagels on the paper and glaze with the egg mix.
10. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray half way through if your oven bakes hotter at the front than at the back - like ours does!
11. Allow to cool.
The bagels are gloriously chewy, with the loveliest of fluffy insides. I've discovered they're perfect with cream cheese and ham, cream cheese and smoked salmon, scrambled egg and smoked salmon, cheese and home made chutney, home made jam, marmite, they're just perfect for dunking in a bowl of soup - the possibilities are endless. They also make great packed lunch sandwiches for schoolboys.
Ours are supposed to last for some 2-3 days, however as yet they have yet to get beyond 2 days, because we've eaten them all!