Friday, 1 July 2016


“Here is bread, which strengthens man’s heart, and therefore is called the staff of Life.” - Matthew Henry

We made these bagels today instead of bread. They are rather fun to eat and reminded us of those times in Greece when we bought these bagels from sellers in the street. They are eaten in the morning with coffee or tea for breakfast or as a snack on the go at other times during the day. Many sellers sell individual portions of cheese together with the bagel. The black sesame seeds give them a delicious flavour, but make sure the seeds are fresh. You may use poppy seeds if you like or white sesame.

Melted butter, for greasing and brushing
500g plain white flour
2 tsp (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
175ml lukewarm water
100 ml lukewarm milk
½ cup olive oil
Extra water, for brushing
2 tbsp black sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Brush three 30x20 cm baking trays with the melted butter to lightly grease. Measure all your ingredients.
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water and stir to mix. Add the milk and stir well.
Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the water/milk/yeast mixture and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball. Brush a large bowl with the melted butter to grease. Place the dough into the bowl and turn it over to lightly coat the dough surface with the butter. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and then place it in a warm, draught-free place to allow the dough to rise.
Leave the dough to prove until it is double its size, between 45-75 minutes at 30˚C. When the dough is ready, it will retain a finger imprint when lightly pressed.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down in the centre with your fist and knead on a lightly floured surface again for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic and returned to its original size.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and shape each into long cylinders about 3 cm in diameter. Take each cylinder and cut pieces of dough off to make bagels about 12-15 cm in diameter, with thickness about 2 cm. Place bagels on the baking trays.
Stand the trays in a warm, draught-free place, as before, for about 30 minutes or until the dough has risen about 1cm about the top of the pan.Gently brush the loaf with a little water and then sprinkle with the black sesame seeds. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Turn the bagels immediately onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
Once cool, store in a well-ventilated place at room temperature.

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