Homemade bagels

bagels_47163_16x9We usually like to theme our Sunday recipes around seasonal ingredients or events that are happening, but today, we thought we’d share something that we think is just downright, plain yummy! Everybody loves a good bagel, but instead of buying them from the shop, why not make your own? Imagine serving up a piping hot, homemade bagel, stuffed full of your favourite fillings!

Ingredients

  • 450g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 7g sachet fast-acting yeast
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 tablespoons black treacle or molasses
  • Fine polenta, for sprinkling
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • Sesame seeds, sea salt, poppy seeds, or a savoury topping of your choice (optional)

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, then add the yeast and mix well.
  2. Measure 250ml warm water in a measuring jug and then stir in the honey and oil.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the liquid in gradually, bringing the dough together with your hands.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a clean, dry and floured work surface. Start kneading the dough, stretching it away with the palm of one hand and folding it back again with the other. Knead for approximately 10 minutes, adding more flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is firm and elastic.
  5. Shape the dough into a large ball and place in a lightly oiled, large bowl. Turn the dough in the oil to coat. Cover with cling film or a plastic bag and put in a warm, dry place for 1–3 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. When the dough has proved, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the treacle or molasses. Cover and turn off the heat.
  7. Lightly oil two baking trays and sprinkle with polenta. Remove the dough from the bowl, then punch it down and knead it briefly. Roll it into a rough sausage shape and divide into seven equal chunks. As you work with one chunk, keep the others covered with a clean tea towel. Firmly roll out each chunk into a long, slender sausage shape. Bring the ends together, splash the ends with a tiny bit of water and squeeze them together to seal. Place on the prepared baking trays and repeat with the remaining the dough.
  8. Cover and set aside to prove for a further 10–20 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
  10. Bring the saucepan of molasses and water back to a gentle simmer. Gently drop each bagel into the water (do this in batches of no more than three at a time) and turn over after 1-2 minutes. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes, then remove the bagels from the water, and drain.
  11. Place the bagels on the prepared baking trays, spacing them widely apart. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, sea salt, poppy seeds or a savoury topping of your choice. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden-brown, then turn them upside down for a further ten minutes to cook the bases. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

If you love making bread or are just looking for something new to make, then this is the recipe for you. While there is a fair amount of work involved, the results are totally worth it.

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