I loveee fresh bagels, especially toasted and buttered, but I’d never thought about making them before. Then The Great British Bake Off, a.k.a. socially-acceptable-porn-to-bakers, demonstrates some show stopping bagels. HAPPY DAYS! Last week I had the absolute joy of a whole day alone in the house so I had a rare jubly day of baking and listening to loud country music, as you do.
Anyway, that day I made these onion bagels. I’m a tad obsessed with onions and generally think they go with everythinggg. The only reason I made them whole-wheat was because we’d ran out of strong white bread flour, so feel free to completely ignore that aspect. You’ll see from the pictures that my bagels are misshapen, oddly proven, tiny holed balls of oniony goodness but bare with me because this was the first time I’d ever made bagels, so obviously they weren’t going to look like the amazing array on GBBO! Most importantly despite their funky appearance they still tasted amazing and I will definitely be trying them again.
450g bread flour
7g sachet instant yeast
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 large onion
In a large mixing bowl tip in the yeast and 1 tbsp of the sugar then pour over 100ml of warm water. Leave for about 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
Pour 200ml of warm water into the mix. Stir in the salt and about half of the flour.
Continue to add the remaining flour a little at a time until a soft but not sticky dough is formed.
Knead for a good 10 minutes until the dough feels smooth and elastic.
Pop the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to prove for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Whilst the dough is proving, prepare the onions. I had half a red onion knocking about so used that with half of a white onion, chopping it all into chunks. I like my chunks chunky but if you’re not as much of an onion nut like me you could whizz the onion in a food processor for a bit to get smaller pieces. Dry fry the onion for a few minutes until they start to turn clear- this gives the bagels a glorious savoury sweet flavour! Leave them on the side to cool.
Heat the oven to 200⁰C. Lightly flour your work surface and knead the cooked onion into your dough. Now for this next bit I’m sorry there are no photos but my dad would kill me if I got dough all over his expensive camera…
Divide the dough into 10 equal balls. To make the bagel shape roll the dough into a small ball, then flatten it with the palm of your hand. Take a wooden spoon and pop the handle through the middle of the ball. Lift the spoon into the air, dough still on the end and twirl it around like you’re going a bit mad at a Britney concert. I’m actually quite glad there’s no photo evidence of me doing this because it was all a bit of a shambles really. Quite a few times the dough flew right off my spoon across the kitchen. Don’t let this put you off however, I think it’s just one of those practise makes perfect things.
When you have 10 perfect bagels (hah) cover them with a clean tea towel and leave them to stand for half an hour.
Now it’s time to poach the bagels! Bring a large pan of water to boil with the remaining 3 tbsp of sugar. Slip the bagels into the boiling water, about 3 at a time. Poach them for 2 minutes, turning them over after 1 minute. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and leave the dry on a cooling rack.
Line two trays with baking parchment and plop the poached bagels on. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until browned and hollow sounding when tapped.
I wanted my bagels to be a bit more poofy so I think next time I try them I’ll prove them for longer maybe? Also as you can see my holes are a bit small so that my bagels kind of resemble oddly shaped bread rolls, so I need to work on that. They’re great for breakfast…if they last that long!