For Bread Lovers
I have loved bagels since tasting them (the first time) from my favourite store, they had this unusual dense and chewy textured, but at the same time so nice that I didn’t need to add butter or anything else on them. Besides being a self-confessed bread addict, I really think everyone should try bagels. They are absolutely great with fillings such as cheese, green leaves, tomatoes and smoked trout salmon.
Well, for anything I make or write about there’s usually an extensive research behind it, so here’s a definition and the origin of bagels from Wikipedia and I just thought it’s simple and easy to understand to share as is: “A bagel (Yiddish: בײגל baygl; Polish: bajgiel), also spelled beigel, is a bread product originating in the Jewish communities of Poland. It is traditionally shaped by hand into the form of a ring from yeasted wheat dough, roughly hand-sized, that is first boiled for a short time in water and then baked. The result is a dense, chewy, doughy interior with a browned and sometimes crisp exterior. Bagels are generally eaten untoasted, as they have already been cooked. However some people like them toasted. Bagels are often topped with seeds baked on the outer crust, with the traditional ones being poppy or sesame seeds.”
With that said, please do go to your local bakery to first taste the bagel, then make it yourself, below is the recipe of my own version, and I hope you will enjoy it.
315g Unbleached Wholemeal Flour
165g Cake Flour
1 Teaspoon of Salt
300ml Lukewarm Water
15g Fresh Yeast (see note 1)
Water (for boiling the dough)
1 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Egg White
1 Tablespoon Honey (optional)
1 Tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds
1 Tablespoon White Sesame Seeds
2 Teaspoons Black Salt (optional)
- Sieve flours into a large mixing bowl, then add salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar with fresh yeast (in a small bowl) and mix with a teaspoon until dissolved, or liquifies.
- Add dissolved yeast into the flour, then mix honey with lukewarm water, stir and pour into the flour.
- Roughly mix everything with a spatula or wooden spoon, then start kneading with your hands. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough on a clean worksurface, then wash the bowl, dry it and slightly grease it with oil and put the dough back inside it. Cover with a cling wrap and let it rise for 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200℃.
- Cut the dough into 11 equal pieces, if you have a digital scale you can weigh each piece (I weighed each ball to 75g). Then roll each piece into a ball, then in the middle of the dough, carefully insert a finger to make a hole, like you are making a small bracelet.
- Slightly grease a 45cm x 30cm x 2cm cookie\baking tray and line it with a baking paper. Place the bagel dough on the tray and cover for 10 minutes. Meanwhile boil water (enough to fill the pot) and add the teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, boil on high heat then reduce to medium heat just before inserting the dough.
- Boil 2 to 4 bagels at a time for 30 to 60 seconds on each side.
- Place the bagels back on the pan (the pan might take 8 bagels at a time, after boiling). Then use a brush to brush the egg white into each bagel, sprinkle sesame seeds and salt then bake for 15 to 20 minutes (see note 2) or until golden.
- If fresh yeast is not easily available to you, you may use 7g or Tablespoon of instant yeast.
- Understand your oven well, to determine baking time according to the guide given.