These soft and chewy bagels are so delicious and surprisingly easy. I've topped mine with black sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic chips and poppy seeds. Bagels are best eaten on the day, pop them in the freezer to keep them fresh.
SOFT & CHEWY BAGELS
Makes 9 bagels
4 teaspoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
300mls (1 & 1/4 cups) water, lukewarm
1 medium egg, beaten
500g (4 cups) high grade flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium egg, beaten & toppings of your choice to finish
Place the sugar, yeast and water in a bowl, stir then leave to sit for 5 minutes or until sugar and yeast has dissolved.
Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and create a well in the middle. Pour the beaten egg and yeast mixture into the well and mix until well combined. Leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead* for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Leave dough to rise in a warm spot (but not directly in sunlight) for one hour or until doubled in size.
Transfer the dough out on to a floured surface and briefly knead the dough (3 - 4 times). Roll the dough out into a long log shape and then cut into 9 equal pieces.
Roll the dough into smooth round balls and then with a floured finger, gently push your finger through the centre working the dough until your hole is around 1/3 the diameter of the bagel.
Place bagels on a lightly oiled tray and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Gently lower 2 bagels (depending on size of pot) into the boiling water, once they reach the surface, flip them over and boil for another 3 minutes. Place on a baking tray and repeat with remaining bagels.
Preheat the oven to 220ºC and place a deep based tray in the bottom of your oven. Fill a cup with water and set aside.
Brush boiled bagels with beaten egg wash and sprinkle over toppings of your choice.
Reduce the oven temperature to 200ºC. Place the bagels in the oven, pour the reserved cup of water into the deep dish tray (this is so help create steam) in the base of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove steam tray and bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes or until golden brown.
*My dad taught me how to knead dough when i was little and I've been doing it this way ever since. He called it 'push-fold-turn'.
Push the heel of your hand into the centre of the dough and push the dough forward away from yourself. Then, fold the furthest edge of dough back towards you (creating a semi-circle) and then turn dough 90º. Repeat these steps until dough is smooth and elastic, then shape into a ball.