Beautiful bagels with the ultimate toppings for the festive breakfast table this Christmas.

Makes 8

4 cups (600g) 00 flour (bread flour), plus extra for dusting
1 tsp caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra for boiling
7g yeast
1 ⅔ cups warm water
1 tbsp sea salt
1 egg white, whisked
2 tbsp polenta
2 tsp each of white and black sesame seeds
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds

Place 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, yeast and 1 2⁄3 cups warm water in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Sit, covered in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until bubbles form. Sift over remaining flour and salt. Stir with a fork until a coarse dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary, or until you have a soft dough.

Transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Coat in oil. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Knock back dough to expel air. Divide into 8 equal pieces.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Form each piece of dough into a ball by stretching dough and pinching at the base. (Tops of bagels should be smooth.) Push your finger through the middle to form a hole and work to enlarge the hole to form a 10cm wide bagel. Place onto prepared trays. Sit in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sprinkle trays with polenta. Bring a large pot of water and remaining sugar to a gentle boil. Cook bagels in batches for 3 minutes, turning once.

Arrange on trays. Brush with egg white. Scatter with seeds.

Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a rack to cool and then serve with your choice of topping.

Candied Bacon & Avocado

4 black sesame seed bagels, split
1 avocado, sliced
⅓ cup garlic aioli
Roasted Tomatoes
4 small (300g) roma tomatoes, halved lengthways
1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tsp brown sugar
100g streaky bacon
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp chilli powder

To make roasted tomatoes, preheat oven to 180°C.

Arrange tomatoes, cut side up on a large baking tray. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Scatter with thyme and brown sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until just collapsing. Cool.

To make candied bacon, increase temperature to 200°C. Arrange bacon in one layer on an oiled baking tray. Scatter with combined sugar and chilli powder. Bake, turning regularly for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Top bagel bases with avocado, tomatoes and bacon. Spread lids with aioli. Top with lids.

Smoked Salmon with Fried Capers, Chilli & Garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup capers, drained
½ medium red chilli, seeds removed and finely diced
1 small clove garlic, crushed
4 fennel seed bagels, split and lightly toasted
⅓ cup spreadable cream cheese
8 radishes, trimmed and finely sliced
200g smoked salmon
Thin wedges of lemon, to serve
Caper berries, to serve

Heat oil in a small frying pan. Fry capers and chilli for 3 minutes.

Stir in garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes or until golden.

Spread bagels with cream cheese. Top with radish, salmon and fried capers, chilli and garlic. Place lid of bagel on top. Serve with lemon wedges and caper berries.

Strawberry & Maple Butter
250g unsalted butter, softened and chopped

¼ cup maple syrup
250g punnet strawberries, hulled
4 sesame seed bagels, split and lightly toasted
Icing sugar, for dusting 

To make maple butter, place butter, maple syrup and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on high for 5 minutes or until pale and creamy. Finely chop half the strawberries. Fold into butter mixture. Refrigerate until needed.

Slice remaining strawberries. Spread maple butter over bases of warm bagels.

Top with fresh strawberries and dust with icing sugar. Top with lids. Serve immediately.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese, Banana & Caramel
125g white chocolate, finely chopped
250g block cream cheese, softened and chopped
4 poppy seed bagels, split and lightly toasted
2 bananas, sliced on diagonal
Dulce de leche, to serve

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in a small bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Add chocolate and beat until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

Spread bases with cream cheese mixture. Top with banana and drizzle with dulce de leche. Serve immediately.


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