Growing up in Northeast America, bagels were a common occurrence for meals, whether it be breakfast or lunch, maybe even dinner! My husband had never visited America before meeting me and on his first trip the states he discovered many new foods! One of his favourite things we eat while in America is bagels. Every year for his birthday I make him a batch to eat for breakfast. Here is the recipe I use:
500g strong white flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
10g dried yeast
1 tbsp neutral oil
4 litres water
2 tbsp brown sugar or golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
flaked sea salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic granules, caraway seeds and/or onion flakes
Place the flour in a mixing bowl, add the yeast to one side and the sugar and salt to the other side. Add three quarters of the water and turn the mixture around with your finger or if using a mixer, begin to mix. Continue to add the remaining water, a little at a time, until all the flour is incorporated and you have a rough dough. You may not need all the water. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes or mix on low speed using the dough hook until well-developed, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the dough back to the bowl, cover it with cling film and a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until double in size about for 1-2 hours. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface, and use a knife or dough scraper to divide the dough into 10 pieces (or more, for smaller bagels).
Roll each piece of dough into a ball then poke a hole in the middle of the ball, all the way through and stretch to form a hole in the middle. Repeat with the remaining dough, and let the bagels rest for 15 minutes.
While the bagels are resting, preheat oven to 220C/200Fan/Gas 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange small plates with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and onion flakes next to the baking sheet. And bring 4 litres water to a boil in a large pot. Add brown sugar or golden syrup, if desired. This is typical of New York-style bagels that have a golden crust.
After the rest boil the bagels, four at a time, until they rise to the surface of the pot, about 1 minute per side. Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Dip the tops of the wet bagels into a bowl containing all of the toppings being used and arrange them, seeds up, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired. Bake in the preheated oven until the bagels begin to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.