Love Mondays

Since my last post:

…we have been Trump-ed, and alt-righted – all of whom ought to be behind bars with Jo Cox’s murderer – and further Brexited, proponents of whom probably do not deserve that same sweeping statement. (or maybe they do?).

sun dried tomato and rosemary with butternut squash and spinach
sun dried tomato and rosemary with butternut squash and spinach

I mention this because having a handle on the real world is more important than the next Bagel.

On the other hand , i can only control the next Bagel so what’s happening?

Well, delicious things like the offering from cafe#9 is what has been happening. They have been getting a delivery on Mondays of freshly baked bagels and doing wonderful things inside them, like this butternut squash and spinach filled bagel.

You can follow then on twitter also.

Next Monday they are getting another batch of sundried tomato and rosemary bagels. Check it out.

If you are a cafe and check out our wholesale services


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



Don’t grow volts?

I went off to Lincoln today to see Matthew who runs a wheelys cafe there. The Wheely’s product seems great and i am keen to see it – but due to a misunderstanding Matthew was not there.

So instead i got to thinking about bigger and probably more important things.

If you got to Lincoln by train from Sheffield before you get to Saxilby, you will see out of the left hand window, acres of solar panels.

food or solar panels?What do we think about this? I cannot work it out. Every so often i think – how good it is that technoloy has come so far. And then when looking at the ones outside Lincoln, i think: this is not marginal land; this should be growing stuff.

Instead it is growing volts so we can microwave some processed chemicals from the supermarket.

What do you think?

Poppy’s a winner for Sheffield CAB

students : get 20% off!
students : get 20% off!


winner septemberDon’t forget to colour in October’s adventure for your chance to win half a dozen filled bagels.



Well done to Judy who is the winner of September’s colouring comp.

Judy and 5 of her fantastic colleagues at Sheffield Citizen’s Advice will be having a bagel lunch – just tell me what you would like !


Where do bagels come from – a New Year story

Some say that bagels come from a time after Austria was saved by the Polish king. Famed for his horsemanship, they were formed in the shape of a beugel which is the Austrian word for stirrup.

Others say that when there was a famine, shaping rolls with hole in made it feel as if there was the same amount as before. There were also easy to carry on the long journeys to find better food supply.short tower of bagel

But actually they do not come from either of these things. Rather than being created as a present for the rich, or under times of famine, the bagel was created to remember how people helped each other at the time of the floods on New Year [read more…]

Half way to one scholarship – thankyou

half wayA while ago I announced that i would be looking to raise the cost of one scholarship for a Palestinian Woman to got University within the first year.

So far, we are half way there. Thank you everyone who has helped.

Small things from you:

  • every time you say keep the change, the money goes in the pot
  • every time you buy a lovely card painted by local artist Maggie Norman, £1 goes in the pot
  • at least 20% of profit from the cafe – so keep coming by to get your Monday lunch!


Canada bagels 24 * 7

Having traveled in Canada this summer – actually a postage stamp part of it really – Vancouver and Vancouver Island, which is about as big as England in itself – there is an array of places to discover as far as ating is concerned. Food trucks galore – and elaborate in the way only north amercians can do.

So we fund the following places by chance – it is not meant to be the best of BC, just places i went to who i though were great: good food, reasonable pricing and friendly service.

Jiggers fish and chips ( was mouth wateringly good and would appear on any good food guide too, not just mine. They are truck in Uvclcuelet with inside and outside seating.

Bread and Honey cafe ( was an oasis in Parksville : wonderful hash browns and was rather taken by serving cherry jam with the eggs.

Siegel’s Bagelsseigels fire ( in Vancouver is a must: watch the wood oven with wonder as bagels come out 24 * 7. Great Rosemary and rocksalt bagel with just cream cheese is wonderful.


The power of a true bagel

Yesterday I catered for an event about writing across generations,  at Theatre Delicatessen in Sheffield.

TD is a special place; they are nearing the end of their ‘fringe’ season; and in September they will be putting on Departure Point – a space for new theatre.

feedback frm thetare delicatessen eventI was really flattered when someone who had been at the writing event made a special effort to come to me to say what delicious food it was. She also said how wonderful the bagels were.

more feedback from theatre delicatessen eventSo what makes them special? They are vegan and organic and handmade, well yes that’s ok. Lots of bread is and it does make a difference.

Supermarket or mass produced bagels on burlapbagels often tastes like manufactured  bread with a hole in it. When the bagles are t in the oven they are steam injetced first.

In contrast true bagels are boiled before baking (there is a science to this too!).

And before the boiling that the long, slow second proving.

This is the power of the true bagel.


Look out for book and bagels from September

So these past 7 weeks at Union Streetshort tower of bagel has been great. Thanks to everyone who has helped and supported The Tower of Bagel.

The Tower of Bagel will be back in September: za’atr bagels will be set to return after good feedback on Monday, new styles of cream cheese mixed and a change of cakes.

Watch out too for books and bagels, a monthly event through the Autumn to encourage community reading and eating and talking.

Have a good summer, The Tower of bagel will be back on September 5th