Glossy bread rolls with a hole in the centre often masquerade as bagels. The real deal, traditionally hailing from Eastern Europe, have a dense, chewy, doughy inner with a tanned and occasionally crisp exterior.
5 tips for perfect bagels:
1. Source a strong flour
The more protein in the flour, the more gluten that will form in the dough which gives the bagel it’s unique, chewy texture.
Bagel dough has much less water than bread dough. Hand kneading, although not easy, will give the correct texture.
2. Fat and sugars
If you'd prefer your bagels to not be so chewy, adding an egg or some oil to the dough will make the bread lighter, softer, and less chewy.
Sugar helps to give the bagel its shiny brown crust in addition to a pleasant flavour.
3. Time is the magic ingredient
Long, slow, cold fermentation is essential. Any good baker knows this and extends fermentation overnight.
Punch a hole in a ball of dough, or more traditionally, roll the dough into a sausage and stick the two ends together, leaving a disproportionately large hole in the centre.
5. Boiling then baking
Brief boiling, similar to poaching, sets the bagel crust. Once boiled, they are drained, dipped in toppings, and baked in a very hot oven.
Turning once gives them a nice glow all-round. Cool before tearing them open and enjoy within a few hours of baking.
Source: The Guardian
How do you like your bagels? With salmon and cream cheese or bacon and scrambled egg?