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Recipe: Paul Hollywood's Bagels

Full disclosure, this recipe is originally from

You're going to need:

  • 500g of strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 7g of instant yeast

  • 1 tbsp of dark soft brown sugar

  • 7g of salt

  • 320ml water

  • Oil for greasing

  • 2 tbsp of molasses

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the toppings, you can use almost any seed you want; poppy, pumpkin, sesame, caraway and fennel seeds all work, so just take your pick!

Place the flour in a mixing bowl, add the yeast to one side and the sugar and salt to the other side. Add three quarters of the water and turn the mixture around with your fingers. Continue to add the remaining water, a little at a time, until all the flour is incorporated and you have a rough dough. You may not need all the water.

Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until you have a soft, smooth dough. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1 to 3 hours or until doubled in size.

Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 10 equal pieces, weighing about 80g each. Roll each piece into a ball. With your finger, poke a hole through the centre of each ball and slowly ease the hole wider. Place these on the prepared trays. Cover and leave to prove for a further 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200c/Gas 6. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the molasses (this will add a sweetness to the bagels) and the bicarbonate of soda (this helps to form the shine and chewy texture of the crust) to the water.

Plunge the bagels, two at a time or more depending on the size of your pan, into boiling water. Cook for 30 seconds, then turn over and cook the other side. The bagels should puff and the circular shape should set. Use a slotted spoon to remove and place back on the trays. Sprinkle the top of the bagels with your chosen topping.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the bagels are golden brown and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.

Want to read about why Ellie made bagels during lockdown? Take a look at her full story here!


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