When I woke up this morning and saw the sun shining, felt the warmth in the air, and the smell of wattle blooming I realised that spring is just a breath away.
Slow cooked comfort food is over for another year and it is time for us to create outdoor eating food. Outdoor eating for me is long picnics with great food and good friends. What better way to impress with home made bagels?
These are the proper Jewish bagels that are boiled before baking. This makes them slightly chewy and sweet when you eat them. Better yet, my mum has always said that she does not like bagels…. She ate 3!
6-7 cups bread flour, plus some for kneading
1 tablespoon salt
1 sachet rapid rise yeast, or 1 tablespoon fresh yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetables oil
2 1/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar, for poaching the bagels
Combine flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. Add the sugar oil to the warm water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid, mixing to a dough with a spatula, wooden spoon or machine.
Knead the dough by hand or with a dough hook, adding a little more flour as you go. The more flour the better; this dough should feel quite dry and not sticky and wet.
The dough will be stiff to work with, but continue to knead until very smooth and elastic. This can take up to 15 minutes by hand.
Form the dough into a ball, and place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rise for an hour. After an hour punch the dough out. Knead it slightly and divide into 3 pieces. Using your hands roll each piece into long ropes. Cut each rope into 5 pieces. Roll each smaller rope into a longer rope around 20 cm long. Allow to rest as your roll the others. Curl each rope to form a ring, overlap the ends and pinch to seal.
Lay bagels on greased trays and cover with a damp cloth to rise once again. This will take around 10-15 minutes. In the meantime fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Also turn the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
When the water comes to the boil add the sugar. Drop a couple of bagels in at a time, after a minute turn over, and continue to poach for another minute, continue with all bagels. Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 15 bagels.
Serve toasted or fresh with any desired filling.