A couple of weeks ago my parents surprised me with Leila Lindholm’s beautiful book One More Slice. I first saw this (Swedish) cookbook when I was visiting my friend Jessica, in Sweden. I’m really happy that the book has since been translated into English and Dutch. It’s a really gorgeous book, with lots of beautiful pictures and awesome looking recipes. The first thing I baked out of her book were bagels! It was my first time making bagels, and I must say it was a complete success!
25 grams of fresh yeast
500 grams of lukewarm water
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of honey
850 grams of (bread)flour
What to do
01. Poor your flour onto your work surface and shape it into a little heap. In the center you’re gonna dig a little hole with your fingers. Crumble up your yeast into this hole. Get your salt and pour it on the edge of your flour-heap. It’s important to know that salt and grease (so butter or oil) destroy yeast so you want to keep them as far away from each other as possible until you’ve already got quite the dough going on.
02. Poor a little bit of your lukewarm water (this temperature will help you yeast activate) into the hole with the yeast. With your fingers stir in the water, and crush the yeast until it’s dissolved in the water. Keep stirring/kneading the water into the flour. Keep adding water.
03. Once you’ve added about half the water, add the two table spoons of honey and get them in there as well. Keep adding water until you’ve got all your flour into the dough. You know you’ve got enough water in your dough not by how wet or dry it feels, but if when you squeeze the dough it’s fairly soft. You don’t want a hard ball, but a really workable dough. It could be that you have to add more than 500 ml/grams – this depends on what kind of flour you’re using.
04. Now that you’ve got a dough it’s important to knead it enough. It’s important to put a lot of strength in kneading it, you want to really knead it into submission. You’ll have to go at it for about 10 minutes.
05. Put your dough into a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Put it in your microwave (turned off), or somewhere else quite warm, for 50 minutes.
06. Get your dough out and divide into 12 equal portions. Shape your twelve pieces into balls before sticking your finger through to make a hole. Hula hoop the bagel around your finger to make the hole bigger. Repeat this until you have 12 bagels and put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper (I put 4 on one tray). Cover with a tea towel and put in a warm-ish spot again. Let them rise a second time for 45 minutes.
07. Put a big pot of water to the boil. Boil the bagels (I put 4 in at a time) for 1-2 minutes on each side. Take them out and let them dry a bit on a towel.
08. Finish by brushing with lightly beaten egg white. If you want to add seeds or red onion to the bagels, like I did, this is your moment!
09. Bake for 25 minutes at 180°C
Dough after the first rise: nice and puffy. Now when you ball them in 12 equal parts it’s okay to really push all the air out of it again. I know it seems counter-productive but this will give the dough the chance to rise again and even bigger!
So about the shaping of your dough in little balls I suggest that you watch this video - this is also how they taught me how to shape bread rolls in school, with one exception (I don’t know what kinda dough this lady is using) that you do have to put some pressure on the dough with the pinky-side of your hand. You want your roll to be really tough – when you give it a little poke it shouldn’t be too bouncy, but really tight and strong.
They swelled up so much when I boiled them. It was awesome.
Bagels are the best with cream cheese and veggies!