(Makes about 15-16 bagels)
1 tsp quick yeast
4 heaped tsp barley malt extract
500ml lukewarm water
1000g Shipton Mill Untreated Organic White flour (No. 4)
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
70g poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
Stir malt extract into the water to dissolve.
Add the flour, quick yeast and salt and work slowly for about 5 minutes until it comes together into a dough. Mix until it starts to come together, then turn onto a clean work surface (no need to flour), and work the dough until smooth, bearing in mind it will be very stiff compared to bread dough. Cover and leave to rest for 2 to 2.5 hours or until about doubled in size.
Line two baking sheets with lightly greased baking parchment. Turn dough out and punch the air out of it. Divide dough into balls about 85g each.
Roll each ball into a log about 20cm long. Several of mine ended up a bit too thin, and I found I preferred thicker bagels, in the end. Wrap it round your knuckles, with your hand flat and the two ends flapping at the palm side. Pinch them together, then roll your hand along the work surface to seal the ends together. Place on the baking sheet and repeat. Cover each sheet well with a large plastic bag or cling film and place in the fridge right away to rest. Refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours, then remove from the fridge about half an hour before cooking.
Put a large pot of water on to boil and add a generous amount of salt. Heat the oven to 240°C (220°C fan) and put a baking stone in there, if you have one. Put a cooling rack near the hob and tip the seeds, if using, into a bowl just slightly larger than the bagels.
Add as many bagels as will fit comfortably in one layer to the pan (don't overcrowd them). Boil for 30 seconds, then flip over and boil for another 30 seconds. Drain on the rack and repeat.
Dip each bagel into the seeds, then put seed-side down on the baking trays. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip over and bake for another 7 minutes or until golden. Cool on the racks. Next time, I am going to try these with a pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven, to provide steam, which seems to really improve most types of dough.
Adapted from Felicity Cloake's recipe