I have been addicted to bagels for as long as I can remember. Whether with smoked salmon and cream cheese, butter and jam, chicken salad and mayo, scrambled egg and bacon... I'm not fussy really. My ultimate bagel, however, is one I fell in love with on a family trip to Florida when I was eleven, and give or take the odd hour, haven't been able to stop thinking about ever since. Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal- it just has all the best food- and on this holiday the breakfasts we had were worth skipping Disneyland for. Massive juicy watermelons (which only ever seem to taste right in hot countries when you know that your skin is going to see some sun at some point- it's just not quite as tasty in the miserable English drizzle), followed by one of the best breakfast foods- actually, scrap that, just general foods- I've ever eaten. Blueberry bagels. Simply toasted with butter, they were incredible. But it turns out they're an endangered species back in this country.
After reading a couple of bloggers' posts about making their own bagels, something that for some reason I've just never even considered an option, I decided to give it a go, with the view that if they were successful, I would be able to make my very own blueberry ones and stockpile them in the freezer. I used this recipe from the trusty BBC Good Food website, and they worked quite well. I kept them plain with a few poppy seeds sprinkled on top of half of them (I didn't want to be too adventurous on my first go, I'm far too afraid of failure for that), and having just eaten one warm from the oven with lashings of cream cheese, I was rather impressed with my efforts. They are a little bit fat and round (they remind me a little of hot cross buns, which in turn is making me crave hot cross buns- not entirely appropriate in November), but they taste... well, like bagels. Chewy, doughy, delicious bagels. Which means that I'm that little bit closer to having my very own taste of American blueberry breakfast yumminess baking in my oven. Which is far more excting than it should be.