- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 500g strong white flour, plus a little extra for shaping
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- a little oil, for greasing
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…
- 1 egg white, to glaze
- seeds of your choice for the topping
Mix the yeast with 300ml lukewarm water. Put the flour, sugar and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl and mix together. Pour over the yeasty liquid and mix into a rough dough.
Tip out onto the work surface and knead together until smooth and elastic – this should take around 10 mins.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a piece of oiled cling film. Place in a warm area and leave until doubled in size, about 1 hr, then uncover and tip onto your work surface.
Divide the dough into 10 portions and form into balls – I like to weigh them to make sure that they’re all the same size. Line up on 2 parchment-lined baking trays and cover lightly with cling film.
Leave for around 30 mins or until risen and puffy, then remove the cling film.
Use a floured finger to make a hole in the centre of each bagel, swirling it around to stretch the dough a little, but being careful not to knock out too much air. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda to alkalise the water (see tip, below left). Place 1-2 of the bagels in the water at a time and boil for 1 min (2 mins if you want a chewier bagel), turning over halfway through. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the bagels, drain well and place back on the baking tray.
Brush the bagels with the egg white and sprinkle with your chosen seeds. Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before eating. They will keep for 3-4 days, or freeze for 2 months (see How to freeze, below left).
How to freeze bagelsOnce baked, you can freeze the bagels for up to two months. Simply wrap individually first in cling film and then foil. Defrost at room temperature.
The science of bagel-makingAdding bicarbonate of soda to the water contributes to the ‘shine’ and ‘chew’ of the finished bagel crust.
How to make sweet bagelsTo make sweet cinnamon bagels, add 1 tbsp extra sugar and 2 tsp ground cinnamon when mixing in step 1.
Different toppings for your bagelsEdd used sesame seeds on his bagels, but vary this as you like – try linseed, poppy, pumpkin or sunflower seeds – or a mixture.