Fresh from the oven has been baking bread as a group since June 2009. In that time we have baked a lot of bread and the members have changed a lot too. For our first challenge in this new format I wanted a recipe that even our longest standing members wouldn’t have baked as part of the group but also something that was straight forward enough to inspire new bakers to join in. I also wanted a recipe that allowed bakers to get creative if they wished. So with this in mind I have settled on bagels and hope that you all enjoy it.All the details about how to take part are here. I look forward to seeing all your bagels and a round up will be published on purely food at the end of February. Details of March’s challenge will be included in the round up.
This is a recipe that I blogged about even before fresh from the oven was created. It is a Rachel Allen recipe that I have adapted very slightly since I first blogged it. I have baked this recipe many times before without any problems so hope that it will inspire you to give it a go.
You can leave the bagels plain or sprinkle over your choice of topping such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds or sea salt. Or you could play around with the dough it’s self for example by trying cinnamon and raisin bagels. The options are endless. Feel free to get as creative as you like.
450g strong white flour
7g fast acting yeast
250ml warm water
2tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
your choice of topping – I used mixed seeds
- In a large bowl add the salt to the flour and then the yeast (I usually put the yeast in a small well in the centre to keep it a way from the salt).
- Measure the warm water and then stir in the oil and honey.
- If kneading by hand, make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the liquid in gradually, bringing the dough together with your hands. Turn the dough on to a clean, dry and floured work surface. Start kneading the dough by stretching it away with the palm of one hand and folding it back again with the other. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. You may need to add more flour as you go if the dough is too sticky.
- To knead with a mixer, slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients with the mixer on a low speed (I use speed 2 on a kitchenaid). Knead on this slow setting for 10 minutes. Add more flour is the dough is too wet.This dough is stiffer than normal bread dough but will still have elasticity.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat in the oil. Cover with cling film or a plastic bag to create a draught-free environment and put in a warm place (not hot) for between 1-3 hours or until doubled in size.
- Lightly oil two baking trays.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, punch it down to knock the air out and knead briefly.
- Roll in to a sausage shape and divide into 7 chunks. As you work one, keep the others covered with a clean tea towel.
- There are two ways to shape the bagels. One is to firmly roll out each chunk in to a long sausage shape, then form a ring and seal the ends together with a tiny splash of water and squeezing. The other method (my prefered method) is to roll each chunk into a ball. Piercing a hole in the centre with your finger, pull the dough open wide by twirling it round your index fingers (wider than you think you need as the hole will shrink when the dough proves, is poached and then baked).Place on the prepared baking tray and repeat with remaining dough.
- Cover and allow to rise for a further 10-20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan), gas 7. Fill a large sauce pan with boiling water (from the kettle) and return to a simmer. Gently lift each bagel into the water to poach (do not try to put too many bagels in at once as they will expand slightly). Poach for about 90 seconds on each side, turning gently with a slotted spoon.
- Remove the bagels from the water, allowing them to drain first and place on the prepared baking trays spacing them about 3-4cm apart.
- Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with your choice of topping. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn upside down for a further 10 minutes to cook the bases. Cool on a wire rack.