Classic bagel recipe

20131105-212812.jpgThis is a recipe I’ve been making for years. I first started making bagels when we lived in a tiny flat before we were married. To give an idea of the kitchen the only workspace was the top of the electric hob. They are very yummy and the poaching in sugar water adds a wonderful sweetness and lovely shine.  Makes about 15.


1Kg Srong white bread flour with extra to add in while kneading

1 tsp salt

1 sachet of dried yeast

2 tablespoons caster sugar (with another 2 tablespoons to poach the bagels in)

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

500ml warm water


  • Add the yeast and salt to the flour on opposite sides of the bowl and stir to combine.
  • Dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar in the warm water then add the oil and mix before pouring into the middle of the dry ingredients.
  • Mix until the liquid has combined with the dry ingredients to form a dough then knead with a stand mixer and dough hook (or by hand) until the dough has a smooth texture (maybe 10 minutes). Try to add a bit more flour as the dough is kneaded – if you were to knead by hand on a floured surface the extra flour would be added naturally.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl (I usually wash and dry the mixing bowl, which is then slightly warm to give the dough a kick start) and cover with cling film
  • Leave to prove until roughly doubled in size – at least an hour.
  • Knock back the dough to remove the air and knead before dividing into about 15 sections. If you’re being really accurate I find 20g per piece makes a nice sized bagel.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape and then form each sausage shape into a cricle. Again if I am trying to be accurate I roll all the pieces out to the same length first then make the circles.
    • To join the ends of the circle without a big dent you can stretch dough from the top of the join and pull it down on both sides, tucking under at the bottom of the join. Do this several times and the ends of the sausages should start to disappear.
  • Place the bagels on greased and floured baking trays covered with a cloth to prove for a further half an hour.
  • Add two tablespoons of sugar to a large pan of water and bring to the boil (I always use water from the kettle for speed).
  • Poach the bagels for one minute  – 30 seconds on one side then 30 seconds on the other – turning over with a slotted spoon. Remove from the water after 1 minute and place on kitchen towel or tea towel to remove any excess water.
    • Every time I’ve skipped removing the excess water my bagels have stuck to the trays when baked.
  • Once the excess water is removed place the bagels on greased and floured baking trays and bake in a 220c oven for 15 minutes.

Although Paul Hollywood did pretzels rather than bagels I’m assured by Jenny Paulin that they are close enough to count for The Great Bloggers Bakeoff which she runs with Helen Jessop.

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