Bagel Bread Loaf

My parents are bagel snobs. Having lived in New York for a number of years, they both have very high standards when it comes to this particular breakfast item. You can get alright bagels here in the supermarket (and really good ones from Brick Lane but, allow, that’s the other side of London) however apparently they’re not as good as the ones in NYC.

In fact, my mum is so insistent on boycotting the ones here that a few years ago after visiting her friend in New York she came back with half a suitcase of bagels from The Bagel Store in Brooklyn. She brought me a French Toast one – heelloooo yes, yes I will eat that. (Maybe that should be the next bagel bread loaf flavour adventure?). They were much chewier than the ones I was used to with a kind of sticky texture which welcomed a layer of cream cheese.

Bagel Bread Loaf

 Due to this bad bagel situation I did attempt making them once in the past – half of them worked beautifully and the other half kind of looked like someone had sat on them… They just deflated :/ So I was like eff that, I can live without bagels and resorted to spreading poppyseed-sprinkled cream cheese onto my regular toast. (It does taste pretty good but not as good as the real deal)

I think that recently bagels have started to have a bad rep due to how ‘calorie dense’ they are. I’ve seen breakfast suggestions on health websites being all like ‘half a whole wheat bagel topped with 1 tsp of low fat peanut butter’. Errrm I don’t know about you but if I’m eating a bagel I am committed to it. I will put the whole damn thing in the toaster, spread on as much cream cheese as I dare and eat it all. I do know people who would probably only be able to eat half  of one and some who could eat WAY more than one so I came up with a solution.

Bagel Bread Loaf

 A sliceable bagel loaf.

Want half a bagel? Sure! Grab a slice, the rest won’t go stale.

Ate one bagel and still feel like you want another half? GO FOR IT. Three slices and you won’t piss anyone off by leaving half a bagel in the bread bin.

It applies the same method as regular bagel making – boil risen pieces of dough briefly in some water pre-bake – but simplifies the shaping step and is baked in a loaf tin instead of separately.

Of course, this is just a basic recipe here (the only slight twist was using some whole wheat flour because I like the flavour, but you can swap that out for plain if  you wish) so you can change it as you please. I adore cinnamon-raisin bagels (who would have guessed?) so next time I make it I’ll probably knead some into the dough after the first rise and maybe sprinkle the outside of the loaf with cinnamon-sugar.

Whatever, the world is our bagel oyster. All hail bagel-loaf!!

Bagel Bread Loaf



- Recipe adapted from the ‘New York Bagel’ recipe in Hand Made Baking by Kamran Siddiqui
I’ve used all the water stated in the recipe every time I have made this but, as Kamran says in the recipe, you may need less water depending on the flour you’re using.
- If you don’t have anywhere to leave the dough to rise you can create the perfect environment using your oven: boil some water and pour it into a shallow bowl or tray, place this inside your oven right at the bottom then turn the oven light on. Place your dough into the oven to rise – it should stay nice and warm in there without being too hot.
- Some bagel recipes require you to egg glaze them, some don’t. I added the egg glazing step to the recipe to ensure the pieces of dough stuck to each other after baking so the loaf would stay whole and also so the seeds on top would adhere well.

Bagel Bread Loaf
2 cups (250 g) white bread flour
1 1/3 cups (160 g ) wholemeal bread flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp active dried yeast
1 1/4 cups (310 ml) warm water
For boiling & finishing:
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp golden syrup, malt syrup or sugar
1 egg, beaten
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for sprinkling

Stir together the flours and salt in a large bowl.

In a jug, mix the sugar, yeast and roughly half of the water together. Set aside for 5 minutes until slightly bubbly. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the yeast mixture in. Add half of the remaining water to the bowl as well. Stir it all together with your hands, adding more water as needed*. Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a clean work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and firm.

Lightly oil the bowl, return the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour.

Punch the risen dough down and divide into 5 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and flatten into a thick oval. Place onto a floured baking tray and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to prove for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Meanwhile, bring about 2 litres of water to the boil in a large pot. Stir the baking soda, salt and syrup/sugar into the water and leave to simmer. Oil or butter a large loaf tin and use the sesame or poppy seeds to 'flour' the tin (if you don't want to use seeds, just oiling the loaf tin is fine).

Preheat the oven to 350 F (200 C). Use a slotted spoon to drop one oval of dough into the simmering water - boil for 1 minute then flip and boil for 1 minute on the other side. Remove from the water with the slotted spoon then place into the loaf tin. Repeat with the other ovals of dough, lining them up inside the tin next to each other. Brush the cracks in between the dough ovals with beaten egg to ensure they stick together during baking. Brush the top of the loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle on more sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake for 30-40 minutes until dark golden. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

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Brunch at St Clements - Parsons Green {Review} - 201 New Kings Road, London

I’ve mentioned it before and I’m gonna say it again: I LOVE BRUNCH.

As a maple syrup enthusiast, it’s the perfect opportunity to seize that bottle and get pouring – pancakes, waffles, crepes and baked oatmeal all become way better with some syrup. The thing is, I’m perfectly capable of making some kickass pancakes myself. I’ve been disappointed many a time from ordering pancakes because a) they’re always boring as heck in the UK (the word ‘buttermilk’ is the most extravagant it gets) and b) NOT ENOUGH MAPLE SYRUP. They usually give you a drizzle of syrup already on the plate and when the dish itself costs more than a bottle of the stuff, ummmm I’d like a bit more. I’m a maple monster, guys. Plus drizzling it onto the pancakes? That’s a big no-no for me (unless it’s for aesthetic reasons, yo). I like to have a little puddle of syrup for dipping cos then you get to taste all that tree sap goodness.

Big pancake rant over. Sozza for that, had to get it off my chest and also explain why I keep ordering eggs at brunch places.

So yes, the primary reason is the pancake disappointment (although I WILL keep searching for a good pancake place in London) the secondary reason is that I suck at cooking eggs. I even had to come up with my own method for frying eggs because it was the only way I could make them the way I like.

Enter this new series on here – it’s brunch review time! I’m going to be going around London hitting up some fancy cafés and brasseries all for the sake of pancakes and eggs. If you have recommendations you’d like me to check out, please tweet me that jazz! I’m also working on a ‘London’ page on here for visitors! It’ll have little tips and my personal fave places with hyperlinks to any reviews I do.

Brunch at St Clements - Parsons Green {Review} - 201 New Kings Road, London


First up, St Clements – a relatively new café in Parsons Green, a little area in my West London borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. It borders on Chelsea so I knew the vibe would be quite chic with that messily-organised edge. Weck jars and tinted bottles stacked up on shelves, big beautiful salads and sky-blue tiled tables. Not an overly-extravagant pastry in sight but a large variety of goodies from brownies to streusel cake, you know, the type of thing your mum would make for you as an after-school snack. This was just to my liking!

Me: Of course I had to have a coffee so I went for my usual, a cappuccino – I was pretty impressed that they had a proper barista there as evident from the latte art, because I’ve only ever experienced this in places where the primary reason to go is the coffee. It wasn’t as strong as I would have liked (although I did have a cold so that probably contributed) but it had a good amount of foam, they used organic milk and the coffee had a great flavour so thumbs up from me!

He: Freshly squeezed orange juice and no complaints about it. Orange juice is pretty much always a fail-safe option.

Me: I was feeling the avocado vibe so I went for a pretty simple choice of fried eggs piled atop some thick, crusty sourdough and served with rocket, chilli flakes and an avocado half. The eggs were perfectly cooked – runny yolk and crispy edges with NO gross, undercooked egg white, thank goodness. As they have a griddle just behind the counter the eggs were piping hot, and as cold fried eggs suck I was very pleased by this. The only thing I would have liked more is if I had a bit of flaky salt to mash up with the avocado, 1/4 of which was also bruised. Sad face.

He: Is always hungry so ordered probably the heartiest dish on the menu – two eggs baked in a personal skillet with chorizo, tomato and spinach served with the same chunky, delicious bread. I had been eyeing this dish on the menu too and was planning to taste as much as possible so insisted on eating some. Again the eggs were great with a perfectly runny yolk, a quality which can be difficult to get when you’re baking them as it’s really easy to let the eggs go too far. The sauce was quite rich but not too acidic and, as I think eggs don’t stand up to acidity very well, it was appreciated. Surprisingly we both found that the flavour of the chorizo didn’t come through very much. It could’ve been that the type of chorizo used was a mild because I really couldn’t taste that smoky, spiciness which usually dominates any chorizo-infused dish. If you’d ordered it mainly for the paprika flavour of the meat I’d say you would’ve been disappointed, but it was still completely delicious in its own right.

Brunch at St Clements - Parsons Green {Review} - 201 New Kings Road, London

Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any of the treats in the photo above but, as I’m 200% sure I’ll be going back, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so in the future! So if you ever find yourself in Parsons Green, hungry and needing a caffeine boost, I’d recommend moving your legs asap past that Pain Quotidien by the tube station and over to this charming café.

St Clements Cafe 
Brunch and coffee for two – around £25
201 New Kings Road,
Parsons Green,

Triple Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Crumb Cake 057

Cake is a celebration food to most people – you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘a party without cake is just a meeting’ – so I thought it would be ever so appropriate to make one for celebrating Jessica from How Sweet It Is’ virtual baby shower!! If you haven’t heard of her blog somehow you know I’m going to tell you to go read it, pronto, especially if you’re in need of some serious food porn inspiration and a good laugh. Jessica is the sweetest, most upbeat person and I’m pretty sure her kid will have the happiest life ever (who wouldn’t when you get to eat the food she makes every day). Now, I’ve never been to an actual baby shower before but if it consists of a bunch of friends making hella food and eating it together, I’m game. Sounds like the only type of party that should exist to be honest.

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Healing Green Tea & Chickpea Soup with Garlic Tortilla Triangles

A problem I’ve discovered from hanging out with freshers* and going to freshers’ parties is that it’s really really easy to become ill.

You might remember that I visited Leeds a couple of weeks ago when I wrote my post about mini lemon cakes. What I didn’t know as I sat there blabbing about food is that the next day I’d have the ‘flu. Ahhh I was so blissfully unaware. A 35p packet of paracetamol, a lot of travel tissues and a few mugs of Lemsip and I was on the mend…or so I thought.

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Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin and Rye Bundt Cake

Now that I’ve broken the metaphorical cake-seal on the blog in my last post, it seems that the floodgates have opened and all I’m making is cake. There’s this pumpkiny one (because I had yet to make a pumpkin recipe this season), a maple pecan one from Linda Lomelino’s NEWLY TRANSLATED CAKE BOOK!!!! (coming soon…) AND this carrot cake I made for Design Sponge (piccies below). It’s been advantageous for me because I usually get what I call #cakerage during these cake baking sessions. It’s always all fine up until the frosting time. Then I break down and want to give up and eat the cake with my hands, animal-style.

I did get…a bit angry…maybe…when the frosting for my carrot cake starting melting after the sun came out to say hello :| ugh of course. Then I learned that if you put desiccated coconut on the edges of cakes it doesn’t matter if it’s messy as heck cos nooo one will knoooow shhhhh. The whole process went a lot smoother for subsequent cakes so I have a bit less hate in my heart for making layer cakes now!

Carrot Cake Carrot Cake

I made this Chocolate chip, Pumpkin and Rye cake for the GB chefs blog so if you want to surf the cake wave with me, stop over there to check out the recipe – or just look at the snaps here and feel all cosy and autumnal. Then go get yoself some hot chocolate just because.

Meanwhile I’ve got a cookie recipe and two savoury recipes (lasagne and soup! because right now I want all of that kind of hot, curl-up-with-a-blanket food to eat whilst catching up on Homeland) that are also in the pipeline for el blahg so stay tuned, chickies :*

Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin and Rye Bundt Cake

Small Batch Lemon Cakes {Gluten Free, High Protein}

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October 1, 2014

…we’re going to catch a big one..(?) (I hope someone got the bear hunt story reference there) Hola everybody, The blog tour of my cookbook kicked off this week as it has just been released in America! For the next few weeks bloggers all over the place will kindly be posting recipes from my book […]

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September 21, 2014

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Top With Cinnamon Book Launch at West Elm

September 5, 2014

I’m in Chicago this week and headed down to New Mexico next week but I still need to tell you about my book launch! I’ve already instagrammed and facebooked it but if you haven’t seen the details yet here ya go! The book launch will be held at the West Elm London store (Tottenham Court […]

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Top With Cinnamon, The Cookbook!!

August 23, 2014

It has been about a year since I started making my book and today is when I finally get to tell you as much info as poss about it. Mainly I wanted to show you the cover, cos unless you’ve looked it up or seen it on instagram you probably have no idea what it […]

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