1 June 2012


I love waking up on Friday mornings (the start of the weekend in Qatar) and knowing there's not much to do but hang with the little chefs. The most energetic we get is to pop over to the pool for an hour or so. Lately, I've been baking a lot on Fridays, so today I'm boiling and baking bagels. I'll prepare the dough and let it rise while we're swimming and an hour or so after we get home we'll be sitting down to the heavenly smell and delicious taste of New York style bagels.

The beauty of bagels is that you can play around with the flavours depending on what kind of mood you're in. I like to top my bagels with sesame seeds or sunflower seeds. I quite often make them with chapati flour, which is an indian unrefined flour for a healthier version. And if I'm in a sweet mood I'll make them with mixed spice, cinnamon and some raisins (they're delicious topped with cream cheese).
Try these, you'll be amazed how easy they are to make.

New York Style Bagels

  • 2 teaspoons of dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of warm water, you may need a little more
  • 3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour, you can use plain flour, but they won't be quite as chewy
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


Mix the water, sugar and yeast together and let it sit for a few minutes until frothy.

Put the flour and salt in a mixer with a dough hook (if you're lucky enough to have one), or into a bowl, add the yeast mixture and bring together, add more water if the mixture seems too dry. Knead, with the dough hook, or on a floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Put into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, leave for an hour to rise (the dough should double in size). Punch the dough down and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 balls. To make smooth even balls, cup the ball of dough in your hand and roll it around the work surface, gently pulling the dough into itself as you roll.

Poke a whole in the middle of each ball and while stretching the hole shape the bagel into a 'bagel shape'. Put onto an oiled baking tray, cover with a damp tea towel and rest for 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 210 degrees celcius (425 degrees fahrenheit)

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and put the bagels in 3 or 4 at at time and boil for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and drain. If you want to top the bagels with toppings, brush with beaten egg yolk and water (1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water) and dip into your topping of choice. Today I'm using sesame seeds for us and leaving them plain for the little chefs.

Place the bagels onto a greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.

My advice...slice one of them open, smother in butter and scoff. There is nothing quite so tasty as a freshly baked bagel, hot out of the oven.

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