Historians of the bagel recount that in 1683 an anonymous Viennese baker decided to honour the King of Poland's favorite pastime, riding, by making a bread roll in the shape of a stirrup.
The German word for stirrup is beugel ? hence the modern bagel.
The controversy over what makes a proper bagel continues to rage.
But there is no dispute that the true bagel is boiled first and them baked, giving it a dense texture.
makes 12 bagels
1 packet active dried yeast
450 ml (15 fl oz) warm water
25 g (1 oz) sugar
475 g (17 oz) flour
4.5 litre (8 pts) water
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl.
2. Add the sugar, salt and flour and stir to form a soft dough.
3. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
4. Cover the dough with a tea-towel and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
5. Flatten the dough and roll out to a thickness of 2.5 cm (1 in).
6. Cut the dough into strips 30cm/12in long and 2.5 cm (1 in) wide.
7. Roll each strip into a cylinder with a diameter of 1 cm (1/2 in).
8. Cut each cylinder in half. Pinch together the ends of the strips to form circles.
9. Cover the bagels with a tea-towel and leave them to rise for 20 minutes.
10. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the bagels in batches of 4 to the boiling water, reduce the heat, and simmer for 7 minutes.
11. Remove the bagels, drain well, and place them on baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C (375°F) Gas 4.
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