Sunday before work is still like the Sunday before school. Feelings of apathy and low-level fear. No, I don’t have any homework to do but I have e-mails to check and respond to, reports to correct and clinical queries to attend to. I have not opened my work laptop since December 23rd and quite frankly I’m dreading the moment that I do. I will have to take a look this evening, I don’t do Monday morning suprises and it will help to have some degree of control the first day back, I’m on call tomorrow so I know it will all fall to pieces within the first few hours.
So, what better way to soothe these anxieties than an afternoon of baking. I thought bagels would be good to make. This is now my third batch in a week, I feel like I am a little obsessed. However it would also provide a very practical solution for my work-food situation. I found another bagel recipe on BBC good foods, which I followed and produced ten perfect bagels (they are looking a bit rounder now).
I’m all about the poppy-seed toppings at the moment but at some point I will explore others. Variety is afterall, meant to be the spice of life.
So that’s it for me now.
I’m heading to my work-laptop, back to reality and down the rabbit-hole I fall.
But it’s all good, it’s all good.
- 7g sachet dried yeast
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 450g bread flour
- poppy, fennel and/or sesame seeds to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Tip the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar into a large bowl, and pour over 100ml warm water. Leave for 10 mins until the mixture becomes frothy.
- Pour 200ml warm water into the bowl, then stir in the salt and half the flour. Keep adding the remaining flour (you may not have to use it all) and mixing with your hands until you have a soft, but not sticky dough. Then knead for 10 mins until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and put in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1hr.
- Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 10 pieces, each about 85g. Shape each piece into a flattish ball, then take a wooden spoon and use the handle to make a hole in the middle of each ball. Slip the spoon into the hole, then twirl the bagel around the spoon to make a hole about 3cm wide. Cover the bagel loosely with cling film while you shape the remaining dough.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and tip in the remaining sugar. Slip the bagels into the boiling water – no more than four at a time. Cook for 1-2 mins, turning over in the water until the bagels have puffed slightly and a skin has formed. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain away any excess water. Sprinkle over your choice of topping and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake in the oven for 25 mins until browned and crisp – the bases should sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then serve with your favourite filling.