• Ingredients:
  • 300ml lukewarm water
  • 7g fast action dried yeast
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500g strong white bread flour (or half wholemeal, half white), plus extra for dusting
  • For cooking:
  • 2 litres of water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • For topping:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

Boiling bread?! It sounds odd I know, but it’s that which gives the bagels their classic chewy texture.

Method

If using a bread machine to make your dough, add the ingredients in the order in the manufacturer’s instruction book.

If making by hand:

Place the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and gradually add the water. Mix to a dough.

Dust a clean surface with flour and turn out the dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into 6 – 8 balls (depending on what size you want). Flatten each ball slightly. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a hole all the way through each ball and swirl around your finger to enlarge the hole slightly. The hole should be larger than you want in the finished bagel as it will close up slightly during the rising and cooking.  Place on 2 baking trays, each lined with baking paper and cover with a damp tea towel. Set aside for 10 minutes to rise.

Preheat your oven to 180oc.

Bring the 2 litres of water to the boil in a large pan (I used a stock pot). Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. In batches of 2 or 3 add the bagels to the boiling water and boil for 1 minute on each side (use tongs to turn them over).

Place each boiled bagel in a wire rack whilst you cook the others. Mix together the egg and milk wash and brush over each bagel, followed by a sprinkling of poppy seeds.

Place the bagels back on the baking trays and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Return to the wire rack to cool.

Tip

Halve the bagels, toast and top with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for a filling Sunday brunch.