Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE bagels; any filling, any topping, hot or cold, for any meal I just love bagels!! So I thought it was time to try and make my own, this recipe from a blog called Sophisticated Gourmet gave me an easy to follow recipe with VERY minimal ingredients and complete free reign on the toppings! And the best part? Because of the minimal ingredients and your own choice of toppings, these bagels are 100% vegan! So, if you’re still powering through Veganuary (good on you, let's try and get through February too?) then I think you’ve just found something very fun to add to your vegan recipe book.
Makes 6-8 Bagels
6g Dry Active Yeast
19g Granulated Sugar
300ml Warm Water
440g Bread Flour (or high gluten flour)
1 1/2 tsp Salt
Your choice of toppings; I used sesame seeds, cinnamon, and raisins
To start with, put 120ml of warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top. DO NOT STIR IT! Let this sit for 5 minutes and then stir it to combine the water, yeast, and sugar together.
Now, put your flour and salt in a large bowl and combine these together, make a well in the centre of the flour.
Pour your yeast mixture into the well of flour.
Pour an extra 80ml of warm water into the well with the yeast mixture.
Begin mixing the dough together, you’ll find it is quite a dry dough so you can slowly add the last 100ml of warm water a tbsp at a time, making sure you fully mix the water in each time before adding more. You should end up with a scraggy dough that’s a little moist but firm.
Now, pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for around 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. You can add more flour in at this point until you get a dough that’s stiff and firm.
Take a small bowl and lightly cover it with oil, place the dough into the bowl and turn it over a couple of times to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave it in a warm place to rise for an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Once your dough has risen, punch it a couple of times to release the air and then let it sit for another 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, take the dough from the bowl and divide it into either 6 or 8 equal pieces, I did 8 but I felt some of mine were a bit small so 6 pieces will give you more evenly-sized bagels. You can also grease a large baking tray too.
Now, take each piece one at a time and shape them into balls. The blog I got this recipe from suggests making your hand into a “C” shape and placing it around the edge of the dough ball rather than putting pressure on top and simply roll the dough in circles between your hand and surface until you get a round ball!
At this point I also rolled 3 of my bagels in some ground cinnamon and pushed some raisins in the cinnamon bagels too, if you do want to do cinnamon and raisin then I suggest cutting the raisins up into small chunks (pea-sized) or using tiny raisins as these were huge and started to fall out a bit later on.
Repeat this process with your other segments of dough and then place them on the lightly greased baking tray.
Next, we’re making the hole in our bagels. To do this take 1 dough ball and put it on a flat surface, coat a finger in flour and press your finger straight through the middle of the ball, wiggle your finger around until you break through the bottom of the ball, and start to see a hole appear. Gently stretch the hole until the hole is about a third the size of the overall bagel. Repeat this with the other dough balls and place them back on the greased tray.
(I had to use a picture from slightly further on in the process to show you the bagel holes so don’t add your toppings on yet!!)
Once you’ve made all your bagel holes and put them back on the baking tray, cover the baking tray with a damp tea towel and let the bagels rest for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200 Fan/ Gas Mark 6.
Now, bring a large pot of water to a boil, once the water has boiled lower the heat to simmering.
Using a slotted spoon, pick the bagels up from the tray and gently lower them into the water. They’ll sit on the bottom for a minute or two before floating back up to the top, if they don’t float back up after a minute try and move the bagels around a bit as mine got stuck to the bottom.
Once the bagels float to the top, let them boil for two minutes on that side.
When the bagels have boiled on one side for two minutes, gently turn them over and let them boil on the other side for another two minutes! As you flip them you should feel that they have firmed up.
After the bagels have boiled, take them out one at a time with the slotted spoon and place them back on the baking tray. At this point you can add the toppings you want to, I had already done the cinnamon and raisin ones so I just added some sesame seeds to three of the bagels and left two plain.
Once you’ve topped all your bagels place them in the oven for about 20 minutes (they may need a couple of minutes extra but mine were golden within 20 minutes).
And your bagels are ready to eat!! So this isn’t a quick process, and there are quite a lot of components to come together with proving/resting time BUT you cannot deny that when these golden beauties come out of the oven there is a huge sense of pride. Although mine are far from perfect, I was really happy with this first attempt ( I mean…they look like bagels right?). This is definitely not for people who haven’t made dough/bread before as the process is so lengthy but if you’re looking for a challenge and have the time to follow the recipe through then absolutely go for it! I’m definitely gonna try these again at some point, maybe using different toppings and trying out some sweeter toppings to see how that goes, but nevertheless, I ended up with some tasty bagels to have vegan sausages with for breakfast!
The only thing I would say is that I transferred these to a tin pretty much as soon as they came out and the heat from them gave off so much condensation in the tin that the bagels went rock hard :( so when you store your bagels PLEASE let them cool fully first (unless you’re gonna eat them all right away), once they’re cold they’ll be fine to store in a tin/bread bin for around 3 days.