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7g packet easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
25ml/1½ tbsp salt
500g/1¼lb/4½ cups strong white bread flour
250ml/8fl oz/1 cup lukewarm water
Oil for greasing
30ml/2 tbsp sugar
Corn meal for sprinkling
1 egg yolk


Makes: 10


1. In a bowl, combine the yeast, salt and flour. Pour the lukewarm water into a separate large bowl.

2. Gradually add half the flour to the lukewarm water, beating until it forms a smooth, soft batter.

3. Knead the remaining flour into the batter until the mixture forms a fairly firm, smooth dough that is easy to handle without being too sticky.

4. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough by hand for 10-20 minutes or, if using a bread machine, 5-8 minutes, until shiny and smooth. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour. (The dough should be much firmer than ordinary bread dough.)

5. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough in it and turn to coat it completely in oil. Cover with a clean dishtowel and leave in a warm place for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.

6. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and punch down (knock back) with your fists. Knead for 3-4 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

7. Divide the dough into 10-12 balls. Poke your thumb through each one then, working with your fingers, open the hole to form a bagel measuring 6-7.5cm/2½-3in diameter. Place on a floured board and leave to rise for 20 minutes, or until doubled in size.

8. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Bring 3-4 litres/5-7 pints/2½-3½ quarts water to the boil in a large pan and add the sugar. Lower the heat to a gentle boil. Lightly oil a baking sheet and sprinkle with corn meal. Beat the egg yolk with 15ml/1 tbsp water.

9. Add the bagels, one at a time, to the boiling water, until you have a single layer of bagels, and cook for 8 minutes turning occasionally so that they cook evenly. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, drain and place on the prepared baking sheet.

10. Brush each bagel with the egg mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until well browned. Cool on a wire rack.

VARIATIONS:- Add dried onions, garlic granules or poppy seeds to the bagel dough or top the bagels with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, dried onion or garlic granules before baking.

Energy 188Kcal/801kj; Protein 5g; Carbohydrate 42g of which sugars 3.9g; Fat 1.2g of which saturates 0.3g; Cholesterol 20mg; Calcium 74mg; Fibre 1.6g; Sodium 985mg

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