Poppy Seed Bagels

12 people

Don’t be afraid to bake a bagel. They may seem daunting, but are as easy to make as a regular loaf, and a bit more fun. Your first bake will be your worst bake, but it will taste better than any shop bought one, and you’ll get better and better the more you make. They keep for about a week too.

Ingredients and Method


  • 500g Strong Bread Flour
  • 1 x 7g Fast Action Dried Yeast
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 250ml Water, at room temperature
  • 15g Honey
  • Bicarbonate of Soda, for boiling
  • Poppy Seeds


  1. Using a Size 12 or Size 18 Mixing Bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt together before adding the water and honey and combining to form a rough dough. It will seem really dry compared to regular loaf dough, so don’t be tempted to add more moisture.
  2. Knead thoroughly for 10 to 15 minutes. It will seem very dry and will tear easily for a long time, but eventually becomes stretchy. When the dough is stretchy and holds itself together return it to the cleaned and oiled bowl and cover it with a baking stone, baking tray or cling film for about an hour until it doubles in size.
  3. Next, tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a very long sausage shape. If it’s tough to roll on the surface, roll the dough between your floured hands one area at a time, working down the sausage shape.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 equal lengths and roll a little more until you have 12 sausage shapes approximately 3cm thick. Form each length into a ring crossing over at the two ends. You may want to wet the two ends slightly before pressing them together slightly. Then, stick your index, middle and ring finger into the bagel ring and roll each ring forwards and backwards on the floured surface for a few seconds to seal the seam.
  5. Preheat the oven to 240°C. Place each bagel onto a non stick surface or on some baking paper, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 40 minutes.
  6. Place your poppy seeds evenly on a plate or saucer and bring a large pan of water to the boil and add some bicarbonate of soda (roughly a teaspoon per litre). Boil each bagel for 1 minute turning them with a spoon or spatula half way through (30 seconds each side), and then dip them in the poppy seeds on one side, before putting them onto a baking tray poppy seeds faced down. Bake for between 15 and 20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Easy wasn’t it? Enjoy with smoked salmon and cream cheese, or toast with butter - however you like them.

Products you will need