My first introduction to bagels started with books. I imagined how perfect it must be served with steaming hot tea/coffee/hot chocolate on a chilly day. During the ‘pre-blogging’ era even if I had had the recipe I am certain I would not have dared to try breads, but thanks to the wonderful success stories and tips I found post blogging, I have been able to create my own breads and bask in pride as I watch the loaf disappear in a trice!
I saw some wonderful bagels here , here and here. From what I saw during my random browsing sessions, am happy to say that my own turned out as good if not better! Cheers to Sara Lewis for the perfect bagel recipe in ‘The Bread Book’. These were a hit with the family. My children had it with cream while we (P & I) had it plain – They tasted great either way!
Texture: Traditional bagels, I found are basically of Jewish origin and ought to have a crisp exterior and chewy interior – this was how mine turned out. You could try the later versions which use eggs to give a softer, lighter interior. You could also add blueberries for a filled version, or roasted sliced onions for a savoury version. I would like to try out the savory version next time using whole wheat as I feel that would be healthy too! Mmm… why not serve them like burgers – that should be good to! Tell me what you think of this!
What is different about bagels from other breads:
Bagels are boiled in sweet water, drained and then baked just like our very own batis!
(Adapted from Sara Lewis’ The Bread Book)
I halved the recipe and made 8 bagels
2 and 1/4 cups – APF (The Book mentions strong white flour – I would use a little more flour next time as it was really difficult to handle the bagels after the second rise)
1 tsp. + 1 Tbsp. – Caster sugar
1/2 tsp. – Salt
3/4 tsp. – Dry active yeast
1/4 + 1/2 cup – Warm water
I used soymilk sugar mixture to glaze – you could use egg yolk or the same
About a tbsp. of sesame seeds to sprinkle
Thin whipped cream to serve – Optional
1. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4cup warm water and set aside to froth.
2. Mix the flour, 1 tsp. sugar, salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour the yeast mixture. Stir in and make a soft pliable dough using extra warm water gradually.
3. Tip the dough on a clean, lightly floured work surface and knead till smooth for 5 minutes. Place back in the lightly greased bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm. Set aside in a warm place to double in bulk for about an hour.
4. When doubled tip out again on your work surface and knead well. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball. Poke your index finger in the center and gently twirl the dough, slowly increasing the size of the hole till the dough measures about 3″ in diameter and two fingers pass through the hole (It will shrink during the second rise).
5. Transfer the bagels to a prepared baking sheet placing them a little apart. Cover with an oiled clingfilm and set aside to rise afor about 1/2hr.
7. Transfer the cooked and drained bagels onto a prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with glaze. Sprinkle sesame seeds randomly and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 deg. Cel. for about 12 to 15 minutes till they sound hollow when tapped. Mine took a good 20 minutes, and I had to grill them for a further 5 minutes at low temperature to get the brown look.
8. Transfer to a a wire rack to cool.
I call them bagels as that is what they are supposed to be as per the nomenclature, but my son insisted they were sweet buns with a hole, like doughnuts – I know he is right:)! As for the taste – Amazing! They are quite easy, so why not give it a try?
How would you like them?
With piped icing?
Banana Nut Loaf
Crumpets – English Small bread
Focaccia Bread – An Italian Flat bread
Herbed Cheese Braided Bread
Herb Sticks – Flat bread like the one you get at Dominos
Julia Child’s French Bread (Hard Crust)