Bagels – they’re one of the most popular breads in the world, and one of the most well-known polish delicacies that has been adopted by countries all over the world, especially the USA due to the large Jewish communities.
While the ingredients don’t vary too much from most other breads, Bagels, much like another Jewish bread – the Pretzel, are gently poached first before they’re baked in order to give them that skin we associate with them, as well help give them that chewy texture that is unlike most other breads.
Making your own bagels may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not as hard as you may think. Plus, homemade bagels are far superior to anything you can get in a shop. They’re a lot lighter and softer, but still with that great chew you get from a bagel. The hardest thing is getting the shape right, but that will come with time and practice. Besides, you’ll never get the “perfect” shape that you’ll get from factory produced bagel. So give them a try. You might surprise yourself!
- For the bagels:
- 500g Strong White Bread Flour
- 7g Yeast
- 7g Salt
- 350ml Warm Water
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- For poaching:
- A very large pan
- 5 litres of water
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1/2 Tbsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Add the flour into a stand mixer (or a large bowl), and add the yeast and honey to one side of the bowl, and the salt to the other side. Then gradually add in the water and combine until it comes into a dough.
If using a stand mixer, put onto a medium speed and knead for 5 - 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If kneading by hand, then do this for 10 minutes.
Place back into the bowl, cover and leave to prove for one to two hours or until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into equal sized pieces (approximately 65g each wil get you 12 bagels).
Roll the pieces into balls, place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Remove from fridge, and make a hole in the dough by working your fingers through and make into a bagel shape and place back on the baking tray.
Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 40 - 45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 220°C (200°C Fan)/425°F/Gas Mark 7 .
Get a very large pot of water, approximately 5 litres, and add in the honey and bicarb and place on the hob and bring up to a very gentle simmer. You don't want it boiling as the movement of the water will ruin your bagels shape.
Gently lower each bagel into the water and poach for 30 seconds on each side.
Place back onto the baking tray, making sure there's good amount of space between each one.
At this stage you can, if you want, sprinkle with your choice of seeds - poppy, sesame, caraway, or nothing at all. Whatever you fancy!
Bake the bagels in the oven for 25 minutes, or until they're a lovely golden brown colour.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool, and enjoy!