Dinky Christmas bagels served with smoked salmon and cream cheese

Do try making your own bagels – they’re a million miles away from the prepacked variety. At first it feels like a leap of faith when you’re asked to boil the dough but trust us, the bagels don’t fall apart and the boiling is what gives them their special chewy texture


  • 500g / 1lb 2oz strong white bread flour
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 300ml / 10fl oz warm water
  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 3-4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp poppy seeds

To serve

  • smoked salmon
  • cream cheese


  1. In a food processor, blend the flour, yeast, salt, honey and beaten egg until well combined. Gradually add warm water until the mixture comes together as a dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth. Place the dough into a bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place for at least an hour to prove.
  3. When the dough has proved, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back to reduce the volume of the dough.
  4. Using your hands, divide the dough into twelve portions and roll each into a ball, then flatten slightly.
  5. Make a hole in the centre of each of the balls using the handle of a wooden spoon.
  6. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper onto a baking tray and grease lightly with vegetable oil. Place the bagels onto the greaseproof paper and cover with cling film. Set aside to prove for about 45-50 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8.
  8. When the bagels have proved, bring a pan of water to the boil and lower the bagels into it in batches. Poach for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the water using tongs.
  9. Scatter the sesame seeds onto one plate and the poppy seeds onto another. When the bagels are still wet press one side into the sesame seeds and the other into the poppy seeds.
  10. Place the bagels onto the lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown. Set aside to cool.
  11. To serve, cut the bagels in half and fill with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

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