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  • 400 grams strong white bread flour
  • 230 grams warm water
  • 30 grams barley malt syrup or honey
  • 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • [optional: poppy or sesame seeds]


  • Mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl

  • Add the water and malt syrup or honey

  • Mix with your hand to make a very stiff dough

  • Prove for about 1 hour, folding at 15-20 minute intervals

  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces, of about 85 grams each

  • Shape each piece into a tight ball and rest on the worksurface for 5 minutes

  • Push your thumb through the centre of each ball and stretch into a ring about 10 cm wide with a 3cm hole

  • Arrange, well spaced, on a floured worksurface or tray, cover and prove for 20 minutes

  • Get ready - prepare the following:

    • Preheat the oven to 240 C conventional or 220 C fan

    • A wide saucepan or deep frying pan half filled with boiling salted water to which a teaspoon of malt syrup or honey is added

    • A cake cooling rack close to the hob

    • A large baking tray lined with non-stick greaseproof paper

    • A slotted spatula or tongs

    • A timer set to 30 seconds

    • [optional: A cereal bowl with poppy or sesame seeds in for dipping]

  • Working in batches, quickly and carefully:

    • slip as many bagels as will fit in a single layer into the boiling water and start the timer

    • After 30 seconds, use the spatula/tongs to flip the bagels over and restart the timer

    • After another 30 seconds, lift the bagels onto the cooling rack to drain

  • When all the bagels have been boiled, transfer them to the baking tray, well spaced

  • Bake for 15 minutes at the top of the oven until golden brown

[optional: To make seeded bagels, dip one side of the drained bagels into the seeds in a bowl and place seeded side down onto the baking tray. Halfway through baking, flip them over so that they are then seeded side up for the remainder of the baking time.]


This recipe is adapted from Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Bagels. The quantities have been adjusted to fit my basic bread recipe.