The Sheffield Vegan Plain Bagel

Bagels are not ordinary bread. After all they have a hole in. And they are poached before baking.

There are plenty of recipes for bagels – you can find one easily by searching on google

the-bagelry-cafeLater this week i am off to the wonderful people at The Bagelry to find out how they do it.

There are many differences that seem to align with regions – the New York bagel versus the Montreal bagel, the prove-once-and-poach bagel versus slow proven and refrigerated bagel, the bagel with leven versus the bagel with egg versus the water bagel, the 113 gram bagel  versus the 105g bagel…

It goes on and on (baked on burlap or baked on tray, flip or not flipped) – and you thought it was just some bread with a hole in.

So here to get us started, a basic Sheffield Vegan Bagel.

Its distinguishing features are that it is not a supersize (a la New York) or have a large hole ( a la Montreal) or left to prove in the fridge overnight (to be blogged about later…). It is the recipe (or nearly) that Claudia Roden has in her book of classic Jewish food.


This makes 6 or 7 bagels. The quantities are based on Forge Bakehouse amounts

Yeast (fresh)10g
Malt syrup17g


  • Prepare some trays with a some baking paper. You can dust them – i have used flour and seen advice to spray with a thin coat olive oil. But best effect in my experience is to use semolina which i saw first at Forge Bakehouse.
  • Add the dry ingredients together and mix and make a well.
  • Add the water (make it slightly warm to the touch)
  • Add the salt in to the water (salt slows the activity of yeast so adding it this way minimises its negative action)
  • Add the malt syrup : its a dollop or you can measure it exactly
  • Now mix and kneed. (Stop when you get the signs –
  • (If you are using a mixer use a slowest speed, as the dough is stiff, for about 3 to 4 minutes. And then on one step higher for 2 minutes. You may need more time or less. It depends on the rotation speed of your mixer and the efficiency of your dough hook, in the main. Use the same signs as above for a dough that is ready)
  • Now measure out into 120g lumps and make into balls
  • Roll out each ball until they are about 25cm long and either. You can use a spray to genty sprinkle the douhg with water to make it easier to roll (and this will help hold the join)
  • Turn into a circle and pinch the two ends together and then grab some dough from where the pinch is made bring it over the top of the pinch as if closing an eye-lid. This makes the join neater and stronger.  
  • OR
  • Wrap the dough snake around the widest part of your fist and with the overlap on the palm side bring your hand firmly on to the table and roll back and forward.
  • Lay on the trays for about an hour in a warm place.
  • In enough time to get it up to gas mark 6 (450 degrees C) put on your oven
  • When the proving is nearly done and the oven is ready, bring a large pan of water to boil. Add another dollop of malt syrup to the water. This helps the crust develop.
  • the south towerAdd each bagel to the pan for about 15 seconds a side. They should float straight away. Place on a cooling rack to drain.
  • This is when you can add sesame seeds if you wish (or poppy seeds) by dipping one side of the bagel in a bowl of them. You do not need an egg wash!
  • Now bake for about 20 minutes. Tip out when done and enjoy.
  • You should see a nice crust develop. The bottoms should sound hollow when knocked



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