• The original Polish word for bagel is bajgiel.
  • It is a yeast based wheat bread product, which is parboiled and then baked.
  • They are similar to obwarzanki, which were known in Medieval times.
  • They are shaped by hand into a ring.
  • Bagels are often topped with salt, sesame seed or poppy seeds.
  • They appear to be first mentioned in the early 17th century.
  • The Jewish name beygal name stems from German beugal, which means a ring or a bracelet.
  • One legend, which does not have much substance, is that they were named in honour of the King of Poland, Jan Sobieski III, who led forces to save Austria from Turkish invaders. The baker, aware of the king’s love of horses, shaped the yeast dough into a circle and called it a beugel, which is Austrian for “stirrup.” Or the Germn bügel, a stirrup
  • The best sweetener in the dough is honey.
  • The ingredients are mixed and kneaded to form the dough.
  • The dough  is shared into a circle.
  • The bagels are best proofed for at least 12 hours at a low temperature of around –  4.5°–10 °C
  • Each bagel in boiled in water for 2-3 minutes that may contain additives such as lye or honey. 
  • Remove and drain.
  • Brush with egg white.
  • Sprinkle tops with salt, poppy or sesame seeds.
  • Then baked at GM6 -200°C for around 10 minutes
  • *
  • This is the first time I have made them and had looked at many different recipes – I was so pleased with these – they were super.
  • Best eaten fresh but good split and toasted the next day too.


  • 450g plain flour
  • 250ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • *
  • 1½litres of water to boil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • *
  • Egg white – beaten
  • Poppy or sesame seeds or salt


  • Mix the yeast, warm water and honey and leave for around 10 minutes.
  • Mix the flour and the salt
  • Add the yeast mixture to the flour.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  • Leave the ball of dough in a covered bowl for 1 hour.
  • Take the bowl into a cool place or fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
  • *
  • Cut the dough into 8 equal parts.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten it.
  • Using your fingers and thumb make a hole in the middle and stretch out to form a ring.
  • Place on a board these on a board and leave at room temperature for 1- 1½ hours.
  • *
  • Pre-heat oven to GM6- 200 °C.
  • Flour a couple of baking sheets
  • *
  • Heat the water with the honey, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  • Parboil each bagel for 2-3 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove them.
  • Drain on a cooling rack.
  • *
  • Brush the tops with beaten egg white.
  • Sprinkle with poppy , sesame seeds or salt or leave plain.
  • Bake for  around 10 minutes till golden.
  • Take off the baking sheets and leave to cool on a baking rack.
  • Bagel served with egg mayonnaise and chives on a  W.H. Grindley & Co Ltd – Hawaii design plate from the 1960s.

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I love cooking and baking. I love trying out new recipes and currently am trying out many old favourites from my Polish cookbooks and family recipes. I am trying out many variations, often to make them easier but still delicious. I collect glass cake stands and china tableware, mainly tea plates, jugs and serving dishes, many of which I use on a daily basis. They are an eclectic mixture from the 20th & 21st century.

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