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!
- Dissolve the yeast and malt extract in the cold water, and place to one side.
- Add the flour and salt into a large bowl, pour in the yeast and malt mixture and bring it all together. You'll find that it's a very dry dough, so keep working it until it all comes together.
- Once the dough has all come together, remove from the bowl and knead the dough for 6 - 8 minutes until it becomes smooth and silky. You shouldn't need to flour the surface because it's such a dry dough.
- Cover with cling film and leave to prove for one hour.
- Divide the dough into equal sized pieces (approximately 120g each).
- Shape each piece of dough so that each has a large hole in the middle. The easiest way to do this is to roll out the dough into a long piece about 10 inches long, and the end of each piece and stick these ends together into a bagel shape.
- Leave these to prove again for a short time - about 15 minutes at most.
- Preheat your oven to 220°C (200°C Fan)/425°F/Gas Mark 7 .
- Get a very large pot of water, approximately 3 - 4 litres, and add in the sugar 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 20 seconds on each side.
- Line baking trays with oiled baking paper, and place your bagels onto the baking trays making sure there's good amount of space between each one.
- Brush each bagel with egg white. At this stage you can, if you want, sprinkle with your choice of seeds - poppy, sesame, caraway. Whatever you fancy!
- Bake the bagles in the oven for 15 minutes, or until they're a lovely golden brown colour.
925g Strong White Bread Flour
540ml Cold Water
15g Malt Extract (alternatively, Black Treacle or Honey)
12g Fast-Acting Dried Yeast
15g Fine Sea Salt
2 Egg Whites