Poppy Seed Bagels

On Monday morning, I’ll be flying off to New York with my boyfriend for a week. I’m looking forward to it so much, that I’m a big ball of squee, so I thought I’d get myself in the NY mood by making some bagels.

Now, regular readers will know that I’m wheat intolerant. They’ll also know that when faced with a yen for something tasty I tend to forget that fact, eat what I want and deal with the consequences later. I do love a good bagel, so it’s totally worth it.


I love the chewy exterior of a bagel, which is caused by poaching the bagel for a minute or so before baking. A little fiddly, but a necessary step to achieving a bagel instead of a bread roll. These lasted for a few days, so I filled mine with pastrami and cream cheese and took them to work with me. A proper New York lunch!


Makes 10.

  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 1tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 beaten egg
  • poppy seeds to finish
  1. Pour 300ml lukewarm water into a bowl and stir 2tsp salt, the sugar, yeast, oil and half the flour. Keep adding the remaining flour, mixing by hand until you have a soft, pliable dough.
  2. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and a finger indent into the dough pops back quickly.
  3. Shape into a ball and put into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size (about an hour).
  4. Heat the oven to 220c/fan200c/gas7. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and split into 10., each about 85g in weight.
  5. Roll the pieces into a ball, by pulling it down and tucking under.
  6. Take the balls and, using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole through the middle. Slip the end of the handler into the hole and twirl the dough around it to make it wider. The holes need to be at least 3cm wide, as the holes will close up while cooking.
  7. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Tip in the bicard – this will fizz.
  8. Slip the bagels into the water, no more than you can comfortably float in the pan. Cook for 1 minute, turning the bagels until they have puffed slightly and a skin has been formed. If you overcook them at this stage, they will be chewier than you want.
  9. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain away excess water. Put on an oiled baking tray, glaze with the egg and top with the poppy seeds.
  10. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden.