My first post is about bagels. Because I love them. And because I made them this morning for a lazy, cosy brunch. Fill them with what you like. My favourite is pastrami with French mustard, gherkins, and cream cheese. My boyfriend is partial to poached eggs, paper-thin slices of fried, crisp speck, and sauce mornay. Or just Nutella.
Bagels – 12 pieces
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsb cane sugar
300 ml water
7g dried yeast (1 sachet)
400g strong, white bread flour
100g spelt flour
(1 tsp bicarbonate of soda)
Optional: various seeds (nigella, sesame, poppy)
Mix all the ingredients but the flour together. Once the yeast has dissolved, add the flour. Knead in a food mixer for 5 minutes (or by hand for at least 10 minutes) until the dough is springy and shiny. Leave to rise on the kitchen table for some 3 hours or overnight, covered by a damp kitchen towel or a piece of oiled clingfilm.
Set the oven to 175 C (fan assisted, otherwise 200 C).
Divide the dough into 10-12 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and pierce in the middle. Stick two fingers in the pierced hole and twist the piece of dough around to enlarge the opening. It needs to be big as the dough will contract.
Bring a large (pasta) pot of water to the boil. Once at boiling point, add 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda. Add 2-3 bagels to the pot of boiling water, making sure they do not touch. After 30 seconds of poaching, turn the bagels over and poach for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a lined baking tray, brush with a little milk, and sprinkle with seeds. Repeat for the remaining bagels.
Once all the bagels have been poached, transfer the baking tray to the oven (middle rack) and bake for 14 minutes. Check on them after 12 minutes or so. They may need 2 minutes more, or even 4, depending on your oven. You want them only slightly golden.
Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. They will have a slightly crisp crust at first, but after 15-30 minutes they should turn perfectly chewy.
My 4 year-old happily assists in making these. They only take about 30-45 minutes to make after proving over night, so perfect for a brunch or lazy breakfast.