One of my new years resolutions was to improve my cooking skills and try new things in the kitchen. With this in mind, whilst flicking through the latest issue of Olive magazine, I hit upon their new ‘challenge’ feature. BINGO! I’ve always been a big Olive fan and to date, my most successful blog post continues to be my 7 meals for £35 feature.
So, here we are typing in front of a cooling rack full of bagels. That’s right – I made bagels! I’m fairly sure they won’t win any awards and you’d certainly think twice before putting them in your shopping trolley but at least I tried and.. they actually taste pretty good!
- Golden caster sugar 2 tbsp
- Fast action yeast 7g sachet
- Olive oil 1 tbsp
- Strong bread flour 500g
- Light muscovado sugar 1 tbsp
- Bicarb of soda 1 tbsp
- Egg, 1 beaten
- Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or sea salt to finish
- Pour 300ml warm water into a large bowl and stir in 2 tsp salt, the suga, yeast, oil and flour, mxing with your hands or in a mixer with a dough hook until you have a soft pliable dough. Knead for 10 mins until dough is smooth and elastic and a finger indent pressed into it pops out quickly. Shape into a ball and put in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until double in size (or put in the fridge to prove slowly overnight).
- Heat the oven to 220C/200 fan/gas 7/ Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 10, each weighing about 85g. Start to shape each piece by pulling it down and tucking under to form a rough ball. Cup your dough around in a circular motion to further shape the ball. Take a wooden spoon and use the handle to make a hole in the middle of each ball. Slip the end of the spoon into the hole and twirl the bagel around the spoon to make a hole around 3cm wide – it needs to be this big as it will shrink as the dough expands again. Cover loosely with cling film while you shape the rest.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and tip in the bicarb of soda. It will fizz madly. Slip the bagels into the water, no more than 4 at a time (I did 3). Cook for 1 minute turning over until the bagels have puffed slightly and a skin has formed – if you cook them any longer, they will get chewier and look a bit bobbly after baking. Remove with a slatted spoon and drain any excess water. Put on a oiled tray and glaze with egg before sprinkling any toppings you like.
- Bake for 15-18 mins until golden and crips. Cool on a wire rack.
RESULT! My bagels are delicious and I think their mishapen-ness adds a rustic charm. I went for a mixture of toppings using poppy seeds and smoked, garlic and chilli sea salt. Long winded to make and certainly a challenge, but one I can say I’ve done, with delicious results!
Why don’t you try? I’d love to see your results – tweet me!