Bagels: the real thing

There's something conquering about making your own bread. For me at least, I never made bread much fearing using yeast like an OCD person fears breaking routine. Of course it helps enormously when you have a mixer with a dough hook attachment that does all of the work for you. Now I can't stop baking things especially breads. We have so many things spilling out of our fridge, packed away in the freezer, given away to family and friends that its becoming a worrisome habit.

Bagels by Nigella Lawson from How to be a Domestic Goddess

Today is Tropfest though and I need a snack that will be filling enough to be dinner but transportable too. If there is a criticism of bagels, its that for me, they're almost too filling for a snack or lunch but perfect as dinner fodder. And of course I have plenty of cream cheese and smoked salmon on standby.

I made three different kinds of bagels: onion, poppyseed and sesame seed which simply involved dividing the dough into three. For the onion, I finely chopped up onion and left it to prove in the final stage. For the poppyseed and sesame seed bagels all that was required was a quick sprinkle before popping them into the oven.

Bagels by Nigella Lawson from How to be a Domestic Goddess

I did find that fastening the join in the circle was a bit troublesome, after boiling them, the join would undo. But whilst affected this aesthetically it didn't affect it functionally, as the bagel swelled and was able to contain the smoked salmon and cream cheese filling perfectly. Boxing these smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels up I felt something like a proud Jewish mother making bagels for her brood. Oy vey!

Bagels from How to be a Domestic Goddess

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  • 1 kg of white flour, plus more as necessary for kneading

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 7g of easy yeast or 15g of fresh yeast

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for greasing

  • 500mL warm water, plus more as needed

  • 2 tablespoon of malt or sugar, for poaching the bagels

  • 2-3 baking sheets, oiled or greased

  • Sesame seeds, poppyseeds or finely diced onion optional

Step 1 - Combine the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl, add the sugar and the oil to the water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid, mixing to a dough with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Step 2 - Knead the dough either by hand or with dough hook, trying to add more flour if you can, dough is better drier than wetter, the dough will be stiff and hard work, even with the dough hook it takes 10 minutes.

Step 3 - Form the dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat all around, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave it to rise for 1 hour. It should be well risen, and when you poke it with your finger , the impression should remain.

Bagels by Nigella Lawson from How to be a Domestic Goddess

_Proving (waiting to rise)


Step 4 - Punch the dough down and then give a good knead and divide into 3 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a rope then cut each rope into 5 pieces. Roll each piece between the palms of your hands into a ball and then roll into another rope, curling to form ring. Seal the ends by overlapping.

Step 5 - Put on a large pan of water to boil, when it boils add the malt or the sugar.

Step 6 - Sit the bagels on the baking sheets cover with tea towels and leave for 20 minutes by which times they should be puffy. Preheat oven to 240C.

Bagels by Nigella Lawson from How to be a Domestic Goddess
Bagel poaching

Step 7 - When the waters boiling, start poaching, drop a couple of bagels at a time into the boiling water and boil for 1 minute turning them once, use a couple of spatulas for this.

Bagels by Nigella Lawson from How to be a Domestic Goddess
Bagel boiled and then sprinkled with poppyseeds

Step 8 - As you poach them put them back onto the oiled baking sheets, well spaced and then bake for 10-15 minutes until they're shiny and golden brown. Mine were done within 10 minutes so do check after 10 minutes.

Makes 15 Bagels.

From How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Bagels by Nigella Lawson from How to be a Domestic Goddess

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