When I saw Terri doing her bagels, I was really excited and so very tempted. And I am thankful that Terri pointed out some dos and donts, which saved me a lot of trouble. I did some extra research with cook books and websites, tried some recipes out a few times, and the results are generally very good with the following recipe where I substituted sugar with honey instead.
I was fortunate enough to be able to try some at Bagel Street at London Heathrow. They looked so good and tasted as good, & after that, I was convinced mine should be ok.
In case some readers may not know what a bagel is, it somewhat like a hard roll in a ring form with a glossy, puffy, brown exterior (sometimes topped with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt and onion, herbs). It has a chewy and dense interior. It is the only bread product that I know that has to be boiled and then baked in the oven. Bagels are usually eaten as sandwiches, slicing through a bagel to half it and to sandwich various fillings.
Bagel and Cream Cheese is a match made in Heaven. According to Jo and it is true, bagel, cream cheese and smoked salmon is to die for. And we all would agree that Bagels taste and look like Foochow Kompia. I really wonder about the link there.
Make 8-12 (New York Style)
450gm of bread flour or high protein flour
1 teasp of salt
2 teasp of yeast
1 heaped tbsp of honey
225 gm of water
2 tbsp of corn oil/canola oil
One medium pot of simmering water and 1 tbsp of sugar
Egg to wash
some sesame seed, poppy seed or salt and onion to top
1) Sift the dry into a mixing bowl. Add active yeast. Beat on medium. Add honey to 90% of the water. Slowly add honey water mixture to dry. Add oil. Add rest of water if too dry. Continue beating on medium till gluten develop. Do the film/membrane test.
2) Set aside to rest for 50 min or so till the dough double in bulk.
3) Shape into 65 (make 12)- 80 gm (make approx 10) balls. Make sure each ball surface is smooth. Rest for 15 min.
4) Punch a finger into the middle of each ball and jiggle and lightly pulled it to form a large hole about 1/3 of the overall bagel diameter. Rest for another 20 min.
5) Generously oil baking tray. Get ready a pot of simmering water. Drop the bagel one or two at a time into the water and boil about 1 min each on one side. This step is essential in creating the puffy and glossy surface later but bagels look all crumpily at this stage. Dish onto baking tray leaving some distance apart as bagels puff up during baking. Egg wash the top surface and sprinkle on toppings as suggested.
6) Bake at 175 deg cel fan forced for 25 to 30 min till nicely brown. Cool slightly before cutting and sandwiching.