Simple bagels

Out shopping at the weekend I noticed that Tesco were selling smoked-salmon for half price. So, into my shopping basket it went, along with some cream cheese and rocket. The only thing necessary to complete the sandwich? Bagels.

I love making bagels. There’s something very satisfying about poaching the rings of dough, then putting the soggy and rather sorry, wrinkled, looking rings into the oven and pulling out these lovely shiny finished rolls 15 minutes later.

I used Dan Lepard’s Simple Bagels recipe, using the overnight variation and doubling the recipe. I also replaced the sugar with malt powder, although I usually make them with sugar: the result seems much the same either way. Dan Lepard describes the recipe as being the “starting point on your road to bagel excellence“, but for me, they’re pretty much perfect the way they are. I’ve found that, when taking them out of the fridge, it’s possible to stretch the bagel slightly, opening up the hole, before dunking it into the water, which reduces the chances of the hole closing up during baking or poaching. But then again, I quite like the variety in the photo above. Half are covered in sesame seeds, and half in poppy seeds.

Straight out of the oven they have a wonderfully crunchy crust and chewy crumb, while the ones I put into the freezer defrost to a lovely chewy consistency. Far, far superior to those dense ones you buy in the supermarkets, and great fun to make too. A cinnamon and raisin variation, perhaps with a little more sugar, toasted, would make a lovely breakfast.

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