Bagels, however, I only buy when the moon's dancing and have never even thought about trying to make myself before, so having promised myself that 2012 will be the year I venture into new territory bagels it was.
The first few steps of Dan Lepard's bagel recipe are familiar territory apart from the slightly less common addition of wine vinegar to the bread dough. I knew the dough texture should be firm so stuck with the amount of water stated despite wanting to add some more.
I think it was when it came to the shaping that I was a little concerned about how uneven things were looking but still felt I had done my best. I had scaled out each piece of dough so I knew they were the same weight even if the shapes were getting a little random.
The next stage was the quick poaching and I had read somewhere the longer the poach time the chewier the bagel so I wanted to stick to the timings given which I found a bit tricky even with just four bagels at a time in the pan.
So I did my best to keep the poaching to no more than one minute per side and to scoop each one out and onto a baking sheet without taking a pool of water with it.
I tried to sprinkle on the sesame seeds as soon as they came out of the pan so that they would stick better but this may not have made any difference to their ability to drop off rather too readily.
Once they were all poached it was into the oven for a twentyfive minute bake. Here they are just as they go in to the hot oven.
And here they are just as they come out of the oven:
I am no bagel expert so am not sure if I should have retained a bigger hole in the centre and if they should really be a bit flatter in shape. The picture below shows the inside where you can see I have a few big air holes and I suspect a more open crumb than a traditional bagel. No complaints though as they were delicious and I was actually quite proud of them. They made a perfect Sunday brunch with soft cheese and smoked salmon and I will definitley be making them again.