New York style bagels

Maybe you buy bagels at the moment because they sound complicated but believe me they are really quite simple, all done in 2 hours or if more convenient mix the dough, leave in the fridge overnight (that’s what I do) and bake in the morning for a breakfast/brunch treat or of course a match snack!

Makes 8 bagels

450g strong flour

4 tablespoons soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 sachet 7g instant dried yeast

300ml warm water

Toppings, any or all of the following, sesame seeds, coarse salt, poppy seeds, onion seeds

Have ready 2 baking sheets, one oiled and one with non-stick baking paper

Place the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, with the hook attachment mix well together, ( you could mix in a large bowl by hand be prepared to knead the dough for 10 minutes). Add the warm water and mix for 5-6 minutes. Set the bowl aside covered for about an hour, until well risen or leave in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to cook the bagels, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape into smooth balls with just a little flour. Flatten slightly, then with a your finger coated in flour, gently press your finger into the centre of each dough ball, stretch out the rings and place each one on the oiled baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Now bring a large wide pot of water to the boil and add the remaining sugar, reduce to simmer. Set the oven to 200c Gas 6.                                                                                  Gently lift 4 of the bagels into the simmering water, use a slotted spoon, allow them to puff up for a minute then turn them over with the spoon and cook for another minute, lift them from the water still using the spoon, shake off the excess water and place on the baking sheet with the baking paper. Repeat the process with the remaining 4 bagels. Sprinkle on the toppings of your choice while they are still slightly wet, they’ll stick better that way or you could give them an egg wash and then the toppings, not essential if you want to keep the bagels vegan. Bake in the preset oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool if you can!  –  Great filled with roast chicken and pesto or the classic smoked salmon and cream cheese, but I think our strawberry jam and salty butter is just about perfect for a leisurely Sunday.