Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Poppy seeds bagel sandwich with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, cuke and rocket.

I added the rocket (arugula) which came all the way from Adelaide, thanks again to Yolanda.

I just love the little delis and sandwich shops in New York that serve all kinds of breads with an unlimited choice of spreads and fillings. Bagels, like pretzels, are so New York to me. Here in KK, you can't find these chewy doughnut-lookalike bread anywhere, not even at Hyatt's bakery or Starbucks. Why did I suddenly make a batch of bagels today?

Because Vero's back! She is back! Vero's back! (*sing to Eminem's Without Me*) Now I can go back to baking without getting upset and flustered over the washing up. Nothing makes you appreciate a person until she/he is not there for you. From the clothes to the floors to the drinking water, we depend on dear Vero. Her two months of holidays made me realise how terribly useless we have become, like we have no hands as my mom put it. And when Hub came up to tell me this morning "Vero's back," I can tell you it was like (as my mom put it again) "The skies have cleared." It's good to know the feeling's mutual because Vero reported to me about the low wages and widespread unemployment in Indonesia.

Another reason I made bagels is W came back from Canada with a pack of smoked salmon for me. Because of the long travel hours, she brought me hot-smoked salmon which tasted more like canned trout, and it was packed in a sweetish liquid which spoilt the taste of the sandwich. I hereby declare I prefer cold-smoked salmon so anybody who intends to bring smoked salmon for me, remember that.

I've made bagels a number of times, and each time I wasn't fully satisfied with the results because although they tasted pretty okay, most of my bagels would be wrinkled and compressed at some spots. I read Hungry Hamster's and BakingBites' (teaches you how to shape the bagels step by step) bagel posts, and their perfect bagels upset me. How come their bagels look so puffed and smooth? I know the only thing I didn't follow according to my recipe is the final proofing time. I usually proofed the bagels twice as long, thinking that the airier they get, the better. This time however, I obediently followed the instructions and sure enough--none of my bagels shrunk or wrinkled. It is like I have finally cracked a secret code.


5 cups of bread flour
2 t dry yeast (make sure it's active)
2 T fine sugar
1 t salt
1 1/2 cups water

sesame and poppy seeds for topping
1 egg, beaten
2 T sugar

1. Put the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water into your mixer bowl and knead at low speed, 10 to 15 min. until dough is smooth and springs back when you press it with a finger.

2. Cover the bowl with a wet tea towel and let it rise for an hour in a warm place like the oven.

3. Take dough out, punch it down, then divide into half and half and half again to get 8 equal pieces of dough. These will make pretty large bagels so if you like them small, divide dough into 10 or 12.

4. Roll each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface until it is a smooth ball. Let it rise for 30 min.

5. Take a ball of dough and press your thumb and forefinger through the middle to make a hole, then jiggle the dough with your fingers until the ball of dough becomes like a doughnut (but with more height) with a hole of about 3"/7 cm in diameter. Place the bagel on a well-floured surface and let it rise 30 min. While waiting for the bagels to rise, boil a large pot of water (I prefer using my big wok because it has a shallow but larger surface area) and switch oven on to 200 C. Add 2 T sugar to the boiling water. Prepare two oven trays lined with greaseproof paper (I didn't have grease-proof paper so I used al foil, dusted with flour).

Oh no, I thought, not again! But when they baked in the oven, these wrinkled rings puffed up again. Take a look at BakingBites' bagels--how did they stay so smooth in the water??

6. Carefully drop the risen bagels, 2 or 3 at a time, into the boiling water, cook 2 min. on each side at medium boil, then scoop them out using a slotted spoon, drain on a clean tea towel and place them on the greaseproof paper-lined tray, spaced slightly apart.

7. Brush the top of the bagels with the beaten egg, sprinkle your choice of seeds on top and bake for 25 min, or 20 for smaller bagels.


Note: I've seen a recipe that includes 1 T veg oil, and I wonder if that'll improve the bagels? Next try.


Lily Anette said...

The yummiest thing... salmon plus cream cheese on a bagel.... life is perfect and complete like that bagel circle!

Hungry Hamster said...

Hey Terri! Congrats your Bagels success! Mine looks exactly like yours when I boiled them and they eventually puffed up after I baked them. I have no clue how BakingBites does it either.

Anonymous said...

I love eating bagels. Haven't had one since Toronto. Sigh. Can order from you?

Anonymous said...

I love eating bagels. Haven't had one since Toronto. Sigh. Can order from you?

Precious Pea said...

2 congrats here:

First is for Vero's return!
Second is for the successful yummy bagels!

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

very prettie bagels.

I truly understand how bad it is without Vero. (assistant). ha!
my 5 days without mum already make me AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ;D

ok, S.O.S, do u have rosemary seed? & Can i pay for ur mint? wanted to plant that 2 herbs.

ganache-ganache said...

Hi, I'm so glad to find someone here in KK who loves to bake & cook like I do. I've tried making bagels too but only blueberry bagel, got the same problem too, they looked wrinkled after taking them out of the sugar syrup, hubby commented they look diff from the usual bagel ! Chk out this lady's blog, in Mandarin though,, she's a fan of bagels .......

Mandy said...

homemade bagels! Kudos to you Terri. I have always wanted to make that, but alas, I don't have Vero! *wink wink*

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

lilyann: the way u put it, i'm almost convinced. but it'll get perfect if i can have tt piece of cake in ur profile pic.

hungryhamster: i read in some other blog where those irregularly-surfaced bagels when being boiled were likened to cellulite, n tt's so true! i think Bakingbites' pic was taken b4 the bagels were turned over. hey, i'll get around nominating the sites for that award soon ok.thnks again!

r: ai ya, can make for u anytime!sigh, i miss toronto too. heck, even miss winterpeg.

pp: u read my feelings well :0

denise: as far as i know, rosemary are propogated frm cuttings n not seeds bc they r perenials. i am looking for the plant too. my friend su had a bay leaf plant, smuggled in frm england n it's growing well. of cos u can have some mint plants. i'll come by with some soon.

ganache: hey, same here, n can i advertise ur cakes for u on my blog? i also got into baking bc i didn't want my family to eat all the fake stuff. high 5!

mandy: mandy, mandy, i miss U. how have u been? i still have to wait a long time to get to ur site, n worse, when i want to read the next page (eg ur recipe on fried kwey teow), it takes forever to load! hasn't anyone complained, n don't u have tt problem urself? another website with the same prob for me is rasa msia, takes so long to load.

hey, if u can bake like u do, bagels r a breeze. n u have OCT to help!

ganache-ganache said...

Yes Terri, my pleasure, thank you....

Lychee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jade said...

i love bagels!i really enjoy reading your blog..mainly because you really remind me of my mum:) the yummy looking pictures help too..esp when u're in the UK n craving home cooked food

Greg Wee said...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I had these in the States in Evanston Illinois at the bagel shop. I bought the ones with Cheese & Ham. Excellent Jewish food.

Jonathan said...

I just love your website! Everytime I log on and look at your posts about food I'll start drooling! And through reading your blog I got to know a lot of recipes that I've been dying to know and thanks a lot for sharing!!

Margaret said...

WOW!!These look fantastic. You did good, girl. I have been afraid to try bagels for obvious reasons, but now that I see you had such an easy time, it is my turn. Have you tried the Pita bread yet?

NEE said...

Greg has been bugging about bagels. now that you blog it...i have no excuse to delay hehehe...very inspirational.

Hungry Hamster said...

Haha, Take your time Terri. It took me quite a while before I nominate mine too. I was caught up with work before :)

Bento Pet said...

Terri, I hope my second daughter doesn't see this post. (She's yr fan too) Otherwise I will have to put my apron on and download your recipe! I just need to find some time.

Anonymous said...

muffinman: your bagels looks really yummy. do you take orders? i'll go and collect it, no need for you to deliver them...hehehehe.

cream cheese,tomatoes and black pepper on bagels are yummy!!!!!

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

ok TQ
When I'm ready with my soil & pot, I ring u.

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