Tuesday, 4 September 2012


You chaps out there; you possibly imaginary, possibly not, chaps and chapesses, constantly surprise me with what you like and what draws you in. Sometimes I post things which I LOVE and cannot rave about enough and are easy peasy lemon squeezy...yet all remains a bit quiet. And then sometimes I post things which I love but I worry might come across as a bit faffy, have multiple steps or might just be plain boring to you and suddenly, without warning, everything gets a bit busy.

Yeasty things always do it to me. I haven’t posted many bready recipes along the way because I usually think you lot will not be interested in them; looking at the extended method part of the recipe and be put off...’whhhhhy would I make my own cinnamon buns?’ I imagine you saying. ‘It takes hooooours’. But you prove me wrong and millions of people stop by to check them out (ok not millions, maybe one day).

I think maybe it’s because I really do imagine you sis, reading my words, all alone at the other end of this blog string that connects us, and thinking ‘mmmmm, why yes that lemon tart does sound delicious...ok bbyyyye, I’m off to clack around some more in my fashionista heels’. But it seeeeeems that some people do actually turn their ovens on sometimes and here I am, with a yeasty treat and a half and I am hopinghoping that millions (ok a few) of those imaginary people out there like the idea and have a go.

The thing that makes bagels bagely is their chewiness and you get that my poaching them just before they go in the oven. It is a WEIRD thing to do with a dough and I had aaaall sorts of mess happening in my head before I first tried it, but it’s easier than it sounds and is kind of quite fascinating. I just had one for my lunch, fresh from the oven, and woweeee it was the best bagel eveeeeer. So sis, it’s ok I know you won’t be having a go anytime soon, but, other chaps, let me know if you’re not actually imaginary and you do. With Love and Cake.

From River Cottage Handbook No. 3: Bread

A few notes:
  • You can top your bagels with poppy or sesame seeds just before you bake them if you wish...I just get annoyed when they fall off and make a big ol' mess.
  • Cream cheese is my fav bagel accompaniment...but you go in which ever direction you prefer.
Makes 6 
You will need

a baking tray, lightly oiled

250g strong white bread flour
1.5 tsp dried yeast
1.5 tsp salt
125ml warm water
10g caster sugar
25ml vegetable or other flavourless oil

milk of beaten egg for glazing

  • Making the dough is easy; all you do is mix all the ingredients, apart from the glaze, together in a bowl.
  • Turn it out onto a clean surface and knead for around 5 minutes; until shiny and springy.
  • Pop the dough back in its bowl, cover with a plastic bag or some clingfilm and leave to rise in a cosy place until it has doubled in size; 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Turn the dough out of the bowl and knock it about to release the air. Divide it into 6 equal pieces and roll each one into a sausage shape about 15cm long.
  • Wet one of the ends of each sausage with water and fuse the ends together to make a ring.
  • Transfer the bagels to an oiled board or baking sheet and leave to double in size for around 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°c and bring a big pan of water to the boil.
  • When the bagels are ready bring the water down to a simmer and poach them in the water for 1 minute each side...you'll probably need to do them in batches because you need to leave enough space for them to puff up considerably.
  • Drain the poached bagels on a clean tea towel (don't use kitchen paper, it will stick and make you sad) and transfer to your prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until all the bagels and deeply bronzed.
  • Cool for a bit but then eat as soooooon as poss and tell me how lovely they are.

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