RECIPE: Thyme and Grilled Halloumi Bagels

RECIPE: Thyme and Grilled Halloumi Bagels

29 Aug 2013

Assia Othman shares her Middle Eastern twist on morning bagels


7g sachet dried yeast
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
450g bread flour
Poppy, fennel and/or
sesame seeds to sprinkle on
top (optional)
Tomatoes, sliced
Halloumi cheese, sliced
Fresh thyme
Extra-virgin olive oil

1. Put the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar into a large bowl, then pour over 100ml warm water. Leave for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
2. Pour 200ml warm water into the bowl, then stir in the salt and half the flour. Keep adding the remaining flour (you may not have to use it all) and mixing with your hands until you have a soft, but not sticky dough. Then knead for 10 minutes until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and put in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 220C. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 8 pieces, each about 85g. Shape each piece into a flattish ball, then take a wooden spoon and use the handle to make a hole in the middle of each ball. Slip the spoon into the hole, then twirl the bagel around the spoon to make a hole about 3cm wide. Cover the bagel loosely with cling film while you shape the remaining dough.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil and tip in the remaining sugar. Slip the bagels into the boiling
water – no more than 4 at a time. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning over in the water until the bagels have puffed slightly and a skin has formed. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain away any excess water. Sprinkle over your choice of topping and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until browned and crisp. The bases should sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
5. Grill the sliced halloumi in a pan until lightly browned.
6. Fill the bagels with lettuce, tomato, halloumi and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.