Anyone who knows me, knows I can’t follow a recipe. So when I’m asked “can I have a copy of the recipe?” I never know what to say. I read recipes, I just can’t follow them. Sometimes it’s because I don’t have all the ingredients or equipment, sometimes it’s because I think I know better, mostly it’s because I’m lazy and can always find a short cut. But the Bagel is a different beast, I did throw the dough recipe out the window and use my standard bread one, but I found it hard to cut corners with the method until it came to forming the rings. I just could not be bothered making perfect little O’s, so they came out a little “rustic”.
So here is my take on the bagel.
4 cups of bread flour, Pinch of salt and a good glug of olive oil. One sachet of yeast activated in some warm water with a pinch of sugar, and then mix all ingredients together with enough warm water to form a soft but not sticky dough. Knead for ten minutes (or three songs on the radio) until smooth and stretchy. Let rise for an hour or two. Then punch out the air and knead again for a minute or so. Divide into twelve portions and roll into, in my case, not so neat balls. Poke your finger through the middle and twirl it round to form the hole. Place on a oiled baking tray to rise. Whilst they are having their second rise, bring a big pot of water with a table spoon each of bicarb and sugar to the boil. Carefully place the bagels in the rapidly boiling water for a minute and a half on each side. Drain. Dip in milk then top as desired. I rolled half in sesame seeds and the others had jam poked into them. Bake on the greased tray for 20mins. Easy, right?