Adapted from Nigella Lawson – how to be a domestic Goddess

  • 1 kilo (8 cups) strong (high gluten) white flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 7g (2 ½ teaspoons) fast action/easy blend yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for the bowl
  • 500ml (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (for boiling water)
  • 4 tablespoons topping (poppy seed, sesame seed, onion, salt, everything…)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, and yeast, using the dough hook attachment, give the flour a good mix. In a measuring cup or a bowl combine the warm water with the sugar and oil, pour the liquid on to the flour in the mixing bowl. Using the dough hook or sheer elbow grease, knead the dough for about 10 minutes (in the mixer, longer by hand) until smooth and elastic. This is a tough dough and for the first 8 minutes it will look as if nothing is happening, persevere – it’s worth it!

Take the dough out of the mixer and knead a couple of times by hand to form the dough into a ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover tightly, and let rise for about an hour until doubled in size.

At this point heat your oven as high as it will go (around 220℃ – 450℉).
Place a large pot of water to boil and add the 2 tablespoons of sugar to the water.

Punch the dough down and knead a couple of times, before dividing the dough into four equalish pieces. Roll each piece into a thick rope and divide into 3 equalish pieces. Allowing the dough to rest between each process even for just a minute or two will make it easier to handle.
Roll each piece into a rope with tapered ends, then attach the ends to each other, either by pinching them together or overlapping. Insert your hand into the hole you have created and roll the ends together to form the bagel shape.

Place the bagels on a baking sheet that has been oiled or lined with baking parchment. Cover the bagels with a clean tea towel and let rise for 15-20 minutes until puffy.

Now it’s time to boil (rather poach) the bagels. Drop a couple of bagels at a time into the boiling water, boil for a minute and flip over and boil on the second side for a few seconds, fish out the bale place on the prepared baking sheet, as soon as the bagel come out of the water, sprinkle with topping, before you repeat the boiling process with the remainder of the bagel, if you don’t sprinkle straight away the bagel will dry and the topping won’t adhere.

Place the bagel on the baking sheet well spaced, you should be able to fit six bagels on each baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bagels are shiny and golden brown.