A ring better than diamond: Nutty bagels

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My love affair with bagels started when I naturally became chuffed with the first-time effort batch, and our relationship continues to thrive ever since. This ring-shaped bread’s distinguishing characteristics are the charming, smile-resembling hole in the middle… and the fact that it’s boiled during cooking. This makes the crust chewy rather than crisp: a good bagel should challenge even healthy teeth. I’m no purist when it comes to baking but the traditional pure bagels have everything that is to die for.

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Ingredients:

7 g dried yeast

250 ml water

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp oil

450 g flour

2 level tsp salt

chopped nuts, depending on taste

Preparation

Combine the water,oil and honey in a bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the yeast and allow this to sit for 6-8 minutes. In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, nuts and salt. Once the yeast mixture has had time to activate, pour it in to the flour mixture and stir until a crumbly dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 6-7 minutes until the dough begins to become elastic-like. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into eight equal pieces. Shape into a ball and press your finger through to form the center hole. Once you have shaped all the bagels, allow them to rest for 10 minutes or so. Now place them into a pot of boiling water with little molasses in. They should float. Let them cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side, then remove to your prepared baking sheet.
Whisk the egg plus 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl and brush this over each bagel. Sprinkle on some chopped nuts! The egg wash will help them stick as well as add a pretty brown sheen to the bagels. Bake them on 220 degrees Celsius in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes.

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My eternal love!

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