Of late, I have been baking a lot with yeast. And the smell of bread being baked is so wonderful. A handful of ingredients and the house is filled with magical aromas….
The only thing that stopped me from making bagels earlier was the fact they needed to be poached in hot water. I thought the texture would be extremely dense. But when I tried out the recipe after checking out several sites online and a handy baking book, I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. Here’s a bit of history on bagels from good ol’ Wiki.
A bagel 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, which 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 interior. Bagels are often topped with seeds on the outer crust, with the traditional ones being poppy, sunflower, or sesame seeds. Some may have salt sprinkled on the surface and there are also a different number of dough types, such as whole-grain or rye.
350 grams all-purpose flour
A quarter tsp salt
7 gram easy-blend dried yeast
1 tbsp lightly beaten egg
200 ml lukewarm water
Vegetable oil for brushing
1 egg white
2 tsp water
Caraway seeds, about 1 tbsp
Method: (This makes 10 bagels).
~Sift the flour and the salt in a bowl. Stir in the yeast and make a well in the centre. Pour in the egg and the lukewarm water and make the dough. Tip contents onto a lightly flour-dusted surface and knead till smooth.
~ Brush a bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp tea-towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour or till the dough doubles in size.
~Brush the baking tray with oil and dust with flour. Turn out the dough and knock back. Knead for a couple of minutes then divide the dough into ten pieces.
~Shape each piece into a ball and set aside for 5 minutes.
~Then flatten each ball and make a hole in the centre. Put on the tray, cover, and leave to rise for about 20 minutes or so.
~Boil some water in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to simmer and drop in two bagels. Poach each batch for a minute, turn over then poach for a little less than a minute on the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.
~Transfer the bagels to the prepared baking tray. Add the water to the egg white and beat together. Brush the bagels with this.
~Sprinkle the caraway seeds and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for about 25-30 minutes or until the bagels turn golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.
I’m so glad I made these bagels. What a treat! Crisp on the outside with a little chewy on the inside. My son loved them and so did his friend who happened to drop by.