It wasn’t until I was in my very late teens/early 20s that I discovered the wonderful world of bagels. I was working in a small family-owned shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia and just down the road from the shop was a fabulously quaint coffee shop called Mr. Bean’s Cafe. They sold all sorts of specialty teas and coffees and best of all bagels. Giant, homemade bagels loaded with at least of inch of cream cheese flavoured with assorted herbs and seasonings. Oh my goodness gracious me they were delicious and they made the most perfect lunch.
Shetland doesn’t do bagels. There’s nowhere on this little island in the North Sea that makes them and the ones available in the supermarkets are utterly dreadful. So, if I want bagels I’ve got to take matters into my own hands, so to speak, and make my own.
This half wholemeal half white bagel recipe from Spark Recipes has a lovely chewy bagel texture and wholesome wholemeal flavour, without being overpowering. It’s perfect toasted and liberally spread with cream cheese (the way the children are fond of) or with lemon prune honey butter (my preference).
- 2 1/4 tsp active dried yeast
- 1 1/2 cups strong wholemeal bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups strong white bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 bagels