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I decided to join a baker’s challenge group Fresh From the Oven because of another blogger Sam of From Samwiches to Samosas. She recently posted some Jalapeno/Cheddar bagels that looked amazing and talked about the challenge so I decided to join up as well.  Thanks Sam!  But what to make?  I love Jalapeno/Cheddar as well but she had just done it.  I decided to go with my heritage and give them a Greek flavor with basil, oregano, sun dried tomato and feta! Yum!  But would it work?  How would putting all those things in there affect the dough?  Experimenting is the whole point of a challenge correct?

I got the recipe straight from the challenger’s site.  You can find the original here.

  • 450 g white flour (I used all purpose unbleached)
  • 7 g fast acting yeast
  • 2 tsp salt (I reduced to 1 because feta is salty)
  • 250 ml warm water
  • 2 Tb honey
  • 1 Tb veg oil

My additions

  • 1/2 tsp fresh  oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp diced sun dried tomato
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta

In a bowl mix the flour, yeast, basil & oregano.  Add the warm water, honey & oil.  Mix this together and then add the salt, tomato & feta.  Mix on med for 10 mins or by hand. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let sit until doubled, 1-3 hours.  (I let it sit three because I was doing other things!) 

Risen dough

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured work surface.  Divide the dough into 7 equal pieces.

Now the fun part.  You have two options, one roll into a sausage shape and form a ring and seal the ring shut with some water. OR…..form the dough into a ball, push your finger through the middle and spin around your finger!  Turns out Jason is really good at this!  We made a video for your enjoyment.  Cover the bagels and let them rise again for about 20 minutes.  You’ll notice we also have a braid instead of a ring.  Jason got carried away with the spinning and decided the hole was so big it should be turned into a braid.  The bagels will expand during this stage and during the next (water) stage so make sure your holes are large enough.  I had a few that ended up not really having holes….so lesson learned.


Preheat your oven to 425.  Fill a large skillet with enough water to float the bagels and bring to a  simmer.  Gently place the bagels in the water, don’t overcrowd as they will expand a bit here and poach for about 90 seconds a side.  Turn them with a slotted spoon or spatula.  Let the water drip off and then place on a baking sheet.  I used a silpat, the directions said to grease the sheet, parchment would probably work too.  Oh! AND you’re supposed to brush with a beaten egg before baking but I forgot that part.  It didn’t seem to affect them too much so do it….or don’t!

Bake them in the oven for 15 minutes, turn and then bake another 10.  I put the baking sheet on a pizza stone in the bottom of the oven and the last 10 minutes browned the bagels more than I would have liked.  Next time I will cook them in the middle of the oven without a pizza stone.  Oh and my pizza stone cracked!?!!!   It’s been in the oven all the time and I’ve read about the cracking problem.  I think I will go buy some quarry tiles at the local home improvement store and try those.  I’ve heard that thicker stones don’t crack as easily.  The bagels were good but I also think that next time I should add more of everything.  The feta seemed to melt into the dough as it was being mixed so I’m not sure when to add it.  Maybe next time after the rise the feta can be mixed in?  It will be fun to experiment on this and other flavors.