Homemade Bagels

I think blogs are great for inspiration. I have a few food and lifestyle blogs that I follow religiously and while not everything ‘wows’ me, as not all my recipes will ‘wow’ you, I do often get inspired to think outside the box, and consider making something at home you would usually dismiss to only come from a supermarket shelf.

Now while I am well aware that it is possible to make your own bagels at home, like most of us, when I needed them, it was to the bread aisle at the supermarket and not to internet for a recipe. So when I saw them on Emily’s blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere, who was also inspired by another blog Sophisticated Gourmet, I thought, as Emily did, what a great idea.

So what better time than a warm and sunny Sunday morning, to wake up that little bit earlier and put in a little bit of effort,  to be rewarded with hot, crispy, chewy homemade New York style bagels. And with some smoked salmon, cream cheese, onion, capers and dill and a macchiato… what more could you want.

I hope this has inspired you to,  remember what is possible, put in some effort and give it a go.

Makes 8 bagels

2 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 tbs caster sugar
1 1/4 cup of warm water
3 1/2 plain flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs honey
Poppy seeds
Sesame seeds

In 1/2 cup of warm water, pour in sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Leave to sit for 5 minutes and then stir until dissolved.

Sift the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.

Pour half the remaining warm water into the well. Mix well to combine, you may need more water, if so, add slowly. You want a result of moist and firm dough.

On a clean, floured bench, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until elastic and smooth.

Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. After an hour punch down the dough, and let it rest for a further 10 minutes.

Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each into a round ball. Now, take the ball and slightly flatten it on the counter top and then gently press your finger into the centre of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring out to about half the diameter of the bagel. Place on lightly oiled baking sheet.

After shaping the round and placing them on the baking sheet, cover with damp paper towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220ºC.

Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon of honey to the boil. Reduce heat. Use a large slotted spoon to lower the bagels into the water. Boil only a couple at a time to not overcrowd the pot. Once the bagels are in, let them simmer for 45 seconds on each side.  You can simmer longer if you prefer a chewier bagel.

Once the bagels have boiled, return them to the oiled baking sheet and top with poppy seeds and sesame seeds, or whatever toppings you have chosen.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack. Once they are cool enough to handle, go for it! I enjoyed mine homemade bagels with the traditional lox and cream with some capers, red onion and dill. What a great way to start a Sunday.


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