HIGH COUNTRY BEETROOT COLD SMOKED SALMON & CAVIAR "BIG IS BETTER" BAGEL

High Country Beetroot Cold Smoked Salmon is a thing of great, tasty beauty. Make sure you have time to marvel at its colour and indulge in its aroma before you eat it. Cured in beetroot before the cold smoke, it has a slightly earthy flavour and the texture, like raw salmon, is smooth, velvety and almost buttery. It’s absolutely delicious. And the King Salmon Caviar? What a fabulous ingredient. Not only beautiful to look at, it has the most mouth watering, juicy, 'pop in your mouth' crunch. Mmmmm. Get some.

High Country Salmon are bred in the crisp clear waters of the MacKenzie High Country and spend their days swimming against the current of the cobalt blue hydro canals. They are the fittest salmon you’ll ever eat and this results in a lovely lean, not overly fatty flavour. It’s the best salmon in the world! Even the experts agree.

When I set to thinking about how to showcase this incredible product, I realised that the salmon really doesn't need anything done to it. It’s perfect. And then my aha moment. What is the most famous thing to eat with smoked salmon? Bagels! I love making homemade bagels, they’re super simple, super chewy, super yum. If you haven’t tried. Do. Basically it’s a simple bread dough rolled in to a circle, then boiled. This is what gives the bagel the chewy texture. Then it’s baked for that crunchy crust.

I wondered if the Legacy Pan was up to the task in creating a big-is-better bagel and indeed it is. You might like to engage a loved one to help you with getting it into the pan for the boil then out of the pan for the dry off. But apart from that it’s really very simple. Make sure you follow each instruction. The key to keeping the rise in the dough post boil is to handle it with care and not bang it about too much which risks deflating the still rising dough.

Good luck! Double the recipe and make two. Have fun making this and tell all your friends about High Country Salmon. It’s the best.

YEAST SPONGE

2 t yeast
1 T flour
½ t sugar
4 T warm water

DOUGH

2 ½ c white flour
1 warm water, plus a little more
1 t salt
1 T toasted fennel seeds

TO BOIL

4 c water
1 t salt

TO COOK

¼ c sesame seeds
Olive oil
Flaky sea salt

TO ASSEMBLE

3 T Butter
400g High Country beetroot cold smoked salmon, sliced
40g High Country king salmon caviar
200g Cream cheese
4 T Horseradish cream
Lots of gherkins
3 T Capers
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced and marinated in white vinegar and salt
Lemon juice
1 bunch asparagus spears, steamed
Fennel leaves or herbs of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste

THE DOUGH

Combine yeast sponge ingredients and leave in a warm place until frothy.

Mix the yeast sponge into 2 c of the flour, salt, fennel seeds and warm water, and stir with a spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn out onto a floured bench top and knead in the remaining flour, plus a little more, until a firm dough, that doesn’t in any way stick to the bench, forms. Knead for 2 minutes. Form into a ball, cover and leave in a warm place to double in size - about an hour depending on the heat of the day. If it’s a cold day you can turn the light on in your oven and place the dough in a covered bowl inside the oven.

Turn dough onto floured bench top and knead for a couple of minutes. Roll the dough to about 50 cm long. Form into a circle pinching the ends tightly together. Transfer onto a very well floured sheet of grease proof paper. Cover and let rise again for 10 minutes.

Lay a tea towel over a cake rack and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds - this will prevent the wet bagel sticking to the tea towel.  Have a fish slice standing by as you need to work with speed when you take the boiled bagel out of the water.

Heat the oven to 200°C.

THE BOIL

Fill your legacy pan with water and heat until boiling. Sprinkle in 1 t salt.  

Gently pick up the grease proof paper with bagel dough atop with both hands. Any excess flour will fall off the paper. Slide the dough circle into the boiling water. Boil for 4 minutes, flicking boiling water with a spoon from the centre of the pan over the top of the bagel.

THE DRY OFF

Carefully drain most of the water out of your pan into the sink and using the fish slice loosen the bottom of the bagel if it’s a little stuck, then slide it out of the pan and onto the tea towel. Pat the top of the bagel lightly with the tea towel then sprinkle with sesame seeds and sea salt whilst it’s still damp.

THE BAKE

Clean out your still hot Legacy Pan, spray generously with olive oil and using the fish slice again, slide the damp bagel off the tea towel and into the greased pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crunchy to the touch.

Remove Bagel from the pan to a cake rack and leave to cool a little. Whilst still warm slice in half and butter each side of the bagel and pan fry one at time butter side down, only until brown and crunchy.

TO ASSEMBLE

Smear cream cheese on each side of the buttery, crunchy bagel.

Layer with half the caviar, the smoked salmon and all the other ingredients, finishing with another sprinkle of those delicious crunchy caviar jewels.  

Serve whole to the table, slice and enjoy.

Yes. You did that. You made your first Big is Better Bagel!

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