I know the above photo is of dough, but I have a very important unrelated comment to make - Sydney has an obsession with coffee. From single origin beans and personalised signature blends, to onsite roasting, to fancy shmancy rosettas, to cafes that refuse to offer anything but full cream milk and no sugar. Restaurants and cafes all over town are buzzing with caffeine fuelled punters, keen to get their daily fix.
And I think I know why.
It's because of the sexy baristas.
Seriously take any old standard looking dude, place him behind a coffee machine, add some 3 day old facial growth, a grubby t-shirt, casually but purposefully ripped jeans, some battered up sneakers and shazam you've got yourself some serious eye candy.
There is a cafe in Bondi called Harry's and honestly the barista there with the ridiculous green eyes is the main reason my friend Sarah and I spend so much unesecary time there when we really should be doing something else more productive. The presence of so many young mothers down there too only confirms my suspicions about cafes employing attractive young men in front of shop to reel in the customers. And while I definitely appreciate the rugged goodlooks of those working there, I have to be honest in saying it's the bagels that keep me coming back for more.
Along with the lure of a good coffee, there are always a plethora of breakfast options on offer as well. Bircher muesli, ricotta pancakes, eggs benedict and sourdough toast seems to be the well kept standard.At Harry's they have amazing seeded bagels on the menu - chewy and covered in carraway seeds, they are toasted, smeared with avocado, drizzled with olive oil, salt and some lemon juice. Eating them is one of the most pleasurable things in the world, just like the service offered with a wink and smouldering smile.
4 Seed Bagels
2 teaspoons of dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of raw sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water
3 ½ cups of plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup of each carraway, fennel, poppy and sesame seeds
1/4 cup sea salt flakes
To activate the yeast, place in a bowl with the warm water and raw sugar and set aside for a few minutes. Make a well in the centre of the liquid and pour in the flour and salt. Slowly incorporate the mixture together with your hands to form a ball that you can then place on a floured benchtop to knead (or, if you are feeling particularly lazy like I was you can use a machine - either bread machine or dough hook on a kitchen aid). Knead for a good 5-10 minutes to get a tough, dense dough. I didn't bother with resting my dough for this recipe purely because I am impatient and my bagels rose well.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and then poke a hole through the centre of each ball to make a ring. Stretch out a little and set aside on a floured surface. Repeat for all 8 balls.
Combine all 4 seeds with the sea salt on a plate and mix together thoroughly. Have the whisked egg standing by with a brush ready. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Get a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a rapid boil. Going in sets of 2, slot each bagel into the boiling water and let to boil for 2 minutes. Once boiled, place each bagel on a plate with paper towel to lightly remove any excess water. Brush the boiled bagel with egg wash, and then roll in the seed mixture. Make sure the bagel is completely covered with a very generous amount of seeds before placing on a lined baking tray. Repeat for all 8 bagels.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until brown and risen. Leave to cool before toasting and enjoying!