Friday, 1 January 2016

Brunch bagels

Happy new year! I've been meaning to bake bagels at home since my bread making class a couple of months ago and the new year seemed like a good time to get to it. Homemade bagels filled with salmon and cream cheese or Christmas ham are nothing like the hard store bought bagels I'm used to. They're also easy to make by hand at home.

This recipe is a mash up of two different bagel recipes. It was an experiment that seemed to work and makes eight bagels. Make the dough in advance and leave it in the fridge overnight to proof. This cuts down the amount of time you need to spend working on it the next morning and means you can actually have fresh bagels ready in time for a lazy brunch instead of lunch!

Brunch bagels

  • 2 t active dried yeast
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 T honey
  • 375 ml warm water
  • 500 g high grade flour
  • 2 t salt
  • cornmeal or polenta to dust
  1. Put the yeast, sugar, honey and warm water in a bowl and stir until dissolved. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Bubbles should appear on the surface and the mixture should be frothy.
  2. Put half the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add salt and the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden paddle, adding the rest of the flour until the dough is stiff.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until smooth and stiff. Add more flour if the dough is too soft or sticky.
  4. Divide the dough into eight portions and roll them into smooth balls. (I weigh my portions so they cook evenly.) Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust with polenta or cornmeal. Set aside.
  6. Roll each ball into a long rope approximately 28 cm long. Dampen the ends slightly but do not taper them. Wrap the dough rope around the base of your fingers to form a circle and seal the seam by overlapping the dough ends by about 4 cm. It should be the same thickness all around with a hole in the middle. Place on the prepared baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and refrigerate overnight (12 hours).
  7. Remove bagels from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking and allow to reach room temperature. Preheat oven to 210°C.
  8. Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to the boil. Using a slotted spoon to pick up and turn the bagels, poach each bagel for 1 minute then turn over and poach for another 30 seconds. (I use the timer on my phone to make sure I don't overcook them.) Drain and place on two lined baking trays.
  9. Brush boiled bagels with egg wash all over and add toppings of your choice. I used sesame seeds to top these.
  10. Bake bagels for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Brunch bagels

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