29 December 2010


It's half past three here in Korea, and only now are both of us up and dressed.

Today is the first day of our five-day holiday, so naturally we didn't wake up until 11:30. Somehow I decided that baking was more important than showering, or dressing, or brushing my teeth, so two separate batches of dough were made before I did anything to make myself presentable. Or clean. Now I'm really cooking in pink pyjamas (and extra thanks to my parents, because the pyjamas have half-length sleeves so I'm not constantly pushing them out of the way to stop flour from getting on them).

I had found a bagel recipe yesterday and already decided to make it today; when I woke up, I saw a recipe for crescent jam and cheese cookies and immediately added that to my list. The recipe for the cookies will come later today, because the dough is still chilling and I need to go out and buy square cookie cutters anyway. On a barely related note, I also need to cast on a new knitting project today, because tomorrow we're going on a road trip, and I'll need something to do with my hands!

Anyway. Bagels.

(Printable Recipe)
Makes 8-12 bagels (depending on size)

8g instant yeast
4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
300ml warm water, divided
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour

Empty the yeast sachets into a large bowl with one tablespoon of the sugar. Put the kettle on but turn it off before the water reaches boiling point. Pour 100ml of the warm water over the yeast and sugar, and leave for ten minutes. (The original recipe says to leave it until the mixture becomes frothy, but mine never developed more than one or two bubbles.)

A very unfrothy mixture.

Pour the remaining 200ml warm water into the bowl, reheating it beforehand in the kettle. Add the salt and 2 cups of flour, stirring everything through. I needed to add one more cup of flour to make the mixture into a firm dough, you may need more or less.

Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead for ten minutes until the dough is stretchy and elastic. Gently coat the dough and the inside of a bowl with oil, and put the dough in the bowl to rise. Cover with plastic.

Leave to rise for an hour.
It doesn't look much bigger, but that's just because the camera was further away. Honestly.

After an hour, pull off small handfuls of the dough and shape them into slightly flattened balls. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the centre, and with your fingers make the hole bigger by spinning the dough slowly around the handle. Make 8 larger bagels, 10 medium bagels, or 12 small bagels this way.

Don't worry if they come out a little misshapen.
Boil a pan full of water and add the remaining three tablespoons of sugar to the pan. Stir to dissolve. After boiling, the bagels will be baked, so grease either some parchment paper or just your baking tray with butter. I forgot until halfway through the cooking time, when I pulled bagels off paper and quickly greased it. That wasn't much fun, so grease now.

 Using a slotted spoon, boil each bagel for a couple of minutes, turning them in the water. When they come out, they should be slimy to touch. Drain as well as possible (it doesn't matter if a little water gets on to the paper) and put the boiled bagels straight on to the baking tray. I recommend not boiling more than three at a time, but it depends on the size of your pan.

Bake at 200 degrees C (390 Fahrenheit) for twenty minutes.

Delicious with butter.