Poppy Seed Bagels

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Poppy Seed Bagels

A bagel is a bread product, traditionally shaped by hand into the form of a ring from yeasted wheat dough, roughly hand-sized, which is first boiled for a short time in water and then baked.
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Author: The Cook


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 heaping teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 - 8 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • poppy seeds


  • In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and allow a few minutes to soften. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the oil, 6 cups of the flour, and the salt. Mix thoroughly until the dough forms up and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead, adding small amounts of flour ¼ cup at a time as necessary. Bagel dough should be stiff. Work in as much extra flour as you can comfortably knead. The dough will soften slightly as the gluten develops. Knead until smooth and elastic (12 to 15 minutes).
  • Rising: Roll the dough into a ball, place in a large oiled bowl (grease the bowl with 1 teaspoon of oil), and turn to coat. Cover loosely with saran wrap and let rise fully, until an impression made with your finger remains and does not sink into the dough. About 1 hour.
  • Shaping: Punch down, cut into thirds, and roll each piece into a rope between your palms. Cut each rope into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope 5 cm longer than the width of your hand. Flip the rope around your fingers to form a ring, with the ends overlapping about 1 cm. Seal the ends by rolling your palms on the work surface. If the dough slides and resists rolling, dab on a drop of water with your fingers. Evenly space the bagels on 2 nonstick baking pans or very lightly oiled baking sheets. Cover and let stand until puffy, 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Boiling: Bagels are boiled before they are baked. While they are proofing, fill a 4 litre pan two-thirds full with water, add the 1 remaining tablespoon of sugar, and bring to a boil. Spread whichever toppings you desire in individual plates or pans.
  • Carefully lower 2 or 3 bagels at a time into the boiling water and wait until they rise to the top. If they float, cook for about 1 minute on each side, turning once. If they have proofed too long, they will float instead of sinking, but this won’t affect the final product.
  • Carefully lift out each bagel with a slotted spoon or skimmer. Drain momentarily, then turn into one of the dishes of toppings, if desired. Flip over if you prefer both sides to be covered. You may prefer to leave some plain. Evenly space 6 bagels on each baking sheet, topping side up. Save about 3 cups of the boiling water, see below.
  • Baking: Preheat the oven to 260°C. Bake with steam by placing an oven safe dish half-filled with the reserved water on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the baking sheets on the middle or top rack, then bake, turning once when the tops begin to brown, until well browned on both sides. About 15 to 20 minutes.
  • To make these bagels with a stand mixer: In the mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and allow a few minutes to soften. add 2 tablespoons of the malt syrup or sugar, the oil, 6 cups of the flour, and the salt. Using the flat attachment pulse with the on/off switch until the flour is incorporated enough that it won’t be thrown out of the bowl, then mix at first speed until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. More flour can be added ¼ cup at a time.
  • Remove the flat attachment, scrape down the sides of the bowl and attach the dough hook. Run at first speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 12 to 15 minutes. Bagel dough should be stiff. Add flour cautiously, and do not exceed the capacity of the machine. Because the dough is so stiff, it is especially important not to leave the mixer running while unattended. The dough will soften slightly as the gluten develops. Proceed as instructed in the rising, shaping, boiling and baking sections above.
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