Sustainable Earth Network Bagels Recipes Simon Toohey

“Old School” Bagels

I have travelled to New York quite a few times and there are a couple of things I crave like crazy…1 – the classic pizza slice. I love, love, love the classic good old New York Slice. The other, the bagel – the beautiful, chewy, heavenly, undeniably mind blowing, thing that is the bagel. Lashings of cream cheese, great quality smoked salmon. Really you can put anything you want with these. But I (if you haven’t noticed yet) LOVE THEM.

So down below is a recipe I have been trialling so many times to get the perfect bagel. In my mind, they can never be perfect-perfect, so I will continuously play around with measurements. The aim is to get a beautiful shine on top, to have very little obvious air bubbles and to make sure there is that quintessential chew. THAT chew is the thing for me that makes me want more and more. I’d happily be the size of a bagel in the belly if it meant I got to eat them every day.

So, this recipe goes out to my amazing uncle! I will make these for you mate as soon as you land back in Australia! Much love mate.

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)


  • 600ml Warm water
  • 50g Treacle
  • 3g Instant yeast
  • 1000g Bread flour
  • 27g Salt

Poaching Liquid

  • 3 litres Water
  • 10g Bicarbonate Soda
  • 40g Treacle

Step 1

Firstly, pre heat your oven to 220°C. Mix half the flour with the warm water and treacle and instant yeast and let rest for an hour.

how to make bagels

Step 2

Mix in the second lot of flour and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is super smooth, dry and springy to poke. Place into a bowl and let rest for another hour.

Bagel recipe

Step 3

Take the dough out of the bowl and portion into 125g pieces. Take each individual piece and push down with the palm of your hand to make it flat (it doesn’t have to be very round at all). Fold in the edges to make a rectangle and then roll up into uniform cigars. Place on baking paper.

How to make bagels

Step 4

Once they are all cigar shaped, one at a time roll them to 10inches in length. Pick up one end of the dough between your thumb and forefinger then wrap the dough around your hand until two ends connect. While it is still in your hand, place the ends that a touching and slightly overlapping onto the bench and roll lightly till it joins together. This might seem weird at first because nothing is rolling except that part of the dough. But I assure you… Tradition works in this sense… and we all know I’m not a traditional kind of cook…

Step 5

Bring 3 litres of water to the boil along with all the other ingredients. Turn down to a simmer and poach each of the bagels for 30sec each side.

Step 6

Place them back onto oiled baking paper the rounded side facing up (basically out them back on the tray the same way they were on there in the first place). Place in the oven 6 Minutes on one side turn the tray around and cook for another 12 minutes.

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Step 7

Take the bagels out and let them rest briefly on a baking tray. It is, although extremely hard to do, important to leave bread to cool. As like a lot of things that are cooked, need time to rest and relax. Although I also say that you have made about 10 bagels, so what’s the harm in cutting one open early and smearing it with cream cheese.

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