Bristol-style Bagels

Basket of bagels

Basket of bagels

I’ve been living in the South West city of Bristol in the UK for just over four years now. It’s a really unique place; diverse, fun, vibrant and sometimes bizarre. It also happens to be a brilliant place to be vegan – having worked on the doorstep of Stokes Croft, an area where the alternative rules and soya milk is more common in coffee than anything from a cow.

During my pregnancy I’ve gone through phases of eating different things. When I’ve not been tucking into my boyfriend’s bread, I’ve often found comfort in hot buttered bagels. While enjoying a New York-style Onion Bagel the other day, I thought it would be fun to have a go at making some of my own.

But we ‘aint in New York, we’re in Bristol, so I’ve decided to crown mine Bristol-style Bagels, on account of where they are made and the fact that they are vegan. Some bagel recipes I researched used eggs, some did not. I’ve included an new egg-replacer product I’ve been experimenting with in mine, called The Vegg.  It’s a powder made using black salt and nutritional yeast flakes, which gives food a light egg-flavour, colour and texture. Read a previous blog I’ve written to learn more about it and where you can buy it from. It’s a fun ingredient to include in this recipe if you can get your hands on some, but is not essential. Ever wondered why vegans don’t eat eggs? let Viva! tell you why.

Cooling bagels

Cooling bagels

Bristol-style Bagels
Makes 12 small bagels
Preparation/cooking time 1 hour 40 mins

450g/ 1lb strong white bread flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1 sachet easy-blend instant yeast (7g)
1 tsp Vegg powder blended with ¼ cup water (optional)
1 tsp brown sugar or agave syrup
2 tsp olive oil|
200ml/ 7 fl oz lukewarm water

1. Sieve flour into a large mixing bowl and mix in the salt and yeast.
2. If using Vegg, blend 1 tsp of the vegg powder with ¼ cup water, in a small food processor. Add in sugar or syrup and olive oil and mix again. If not using Vegg, just mix together sugar/syrup and oil.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid. Mix in with a wooden spoon before adding the lukewarm water. Stir until the flour and liquid combine to form a dough.
4. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 mins.
5. Place in an oiled mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place somewhere warm to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
6. Remove dough from the bowl and lightly knead again, before rolling into a sausage shape and dividing into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball in your hands.
7. Press your thumb into the centre of each ball to make a hole. Insert a second finger and roll both fingers around each other to widen the gap, stretching into a bagel shape.
8. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
9. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop the bagels in and let them bob around on the top for around 30-40 seconds, turning with a slotted spoon.
10. As you remove each bagel from the water, shake off any water and place them on an oiled baking tray. Brush with a little oil.
11. Bake the bagels for around 20-25 mins until golden brown.
12. When they are cooked, place on a wire rack to cool. Either serve as they are, or cut them in half, lightly toast and serve with vegan margarine or cream ‘cheese’.

Bagel ready to eat

Bagel ready to eat

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