August 26, 2011

Finnish Bagels with Quick and Easy Queen Jam

When I was a young girl growing up in a small town in northern Finland, there used to be markets held twice a year - in spring and autumn. It used to be the biggest and the most anticipated event, and we'd rush to the markets after school to browse the stalls full of fascinating bric-a-brac, lollies and other not so fascinating things like rugs and brooms (yes, everything was available at the markets).

I would admire the candy stall with a sparkle in my eyes and imagine what goodies I would choose if I'd ever be allowed to buy a whole bag full of treats. My parents were quite strict about eating candy, so instead of getting a full bag full of sweets, I'd be allowed to buy a long string of liquorice instead. Another treat readily available at the markets were bagels - water bagels (plain), vanilla bagels, cinnamon bagels. Mum or dad would always bring home a bag of these, but I didn't find them very exciting back then.

I must admit I had never made Finnish-style bagels prior to this. I've of course changed the original recipe a bit by using whole spelt flour instead of plain white, raw caster sugar instead of normal white one, and olive oil instead of vegetable oil. I also made a cheats queen jam that is literally no effort at all, but makes such a nice addition to these bagels! They may not be the prettiest bagels in the world, but they certainly brought back a lot of memories and I wholeheartedly enjoyed them.

 Finnish Bagels
(makes 12)
(recipe adapted from Anja Hill)

175 ml warm water
11g dry yeast or 25g fresh yeast
4 tablespoons raw caster sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large free-range eggs, plus a beaten egg to glaze
1 teaspoon salt
450g whole spelt flour

1. Put the water, yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar in a bowl. Mix the ingredients together and leave for about 10 minutes or until bubbly. 

2. Add a further tablespoon of the sugar, along with the oil and two eggs in the mixture. Stir until smooth, then add the salt and half the flour. Stir into a smooth paste. 

3. Knead in the rest of the flour, then knead for 10 minutes (incorporating more flour or warm water) until the dough is smooth and soft. Leave, covered, for at least an hour or until doubled in size.

4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, then roll the pieces into balls. Roll each ball into a long cigar, then loop into rings. Press the ends together. Place the rings on a baking tray lined with baking paper and leave to rise for a further 15-25 minutes or until soft to touch. 

5. Preheat oven to 200C. Bring a large pan of water to boil and add in the rest of the sugar. 

6. Drop 3 bagels at a time into the boiling water, boil for one minute, then remove using a slotted spoon. Transfer the boiled rings to a baking tray and brush with a beaten egg. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack.Serve the bagels warm with Queen jam.

Quick and Easy Queen Jam

250g mixed frozen berries
1-2 tablespoon rapadura sugar
1 tablespoon potato starch
cold water

1. Put the berries and the sugar in a bowl and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir, then return to the microwave for a further 3-5 minutes. 

2. Whisk the potato starch into some cold water to form a smooth, runny paste. Whilst still piping hot, pour the paste slowly into the berry mixture, whisking continuously to form a thick 'jam'. Serve warm.


  1. Such a great looking bagel!

  2. drottningsylt!!! i just made some a week or so ago too :)

  3. These look really good! I remember the markets being held in southern Finland, and how I used to buy those long strings of liquorice too :) Great memories! Have a great weekend Maria!

  4. Yum! I love homemade bagels, and with homemade jam it's made all the more delicious :)

  5. Delicious and this jam colours;)

  6. Beautiful and so tempting! I love the fact that they are made with spelt flour.



  7. I love colorful candy too :) Your bagels look perfect, I really like the color of this sauce!

  8. you are amazing! wow! I would buy this in a bakery!

  9. I miss bagels! These look fab. I love your stories of home, too :). Makes me want to travel to Lapland!

  10. Who would have thought that jam could be that quick and easy to make? It looks like a great bagel topping!

  11. Maria, that looks like the best whole wheat bagel recipe I've seen yet! I really must give homemade bagels another change. I'm amazed at how simple and easy your jam is, too. Thank you!

  12. homemade bagels!? damn girl! I wish I could bake well. I am just such a savory gal :) kuddos

  13. Nothing like home made treats, especially when they bring back such wonderful childhood memories! Looks delicious. :-)

  14. lovely. I think I'll have a bagel for lunch in your honor :)

  15. Looks beautiful! Love the colour of the jam :) I have never tried baking bagels will definitely try it!

  16. Love the quick jam. Will it keep in the fridge?

  17. I loved that you shared this. I can recall similar memories from markets here in Sweden when I was little. So exciting then!

    I have never made bagels and you made it seem so simple. My kids LOVE bagels and we used to have the best Jewish bagel shop near our place in Sydney. We miss it sorely now that we are here in Sweden.. But! Now we can make our own - yay!

    Incidentally I found a brilliant organic bakery the other day. The first and only where we live. I bought a big bag of spelt flour (Dinkel in Swedish) - now I know what to use it for..! :)

    Happy weekend and hugs from our beloved North..

    x Charlotta

  18. I think the bagels are pretty and the jam is a wonderful accompaniment. Lovely!

  19. Hei, I just discovered your blog and love to see Finnish food here! I never realized there were bagels in Finland. My mother grew up in a tiny town in Keski Suomi, not too far from Jyväskylä. I look forward to exploring your blog :)
    Nicole Milman, near Baltimore Maryland, USA

  20. Love bagels :) you're jam looks so fab. What a great Sunday breakfast! Or anytime really ;)

  21. Thank you all!

    Erin, the jam will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. It's great with yoghurt or spread on toast as well.


  22. I love making bagels but haven't done so for ages, after reading all your recipes with spelt flour I really must buy some. Cheats jam is the best and ready and fresh when you want it.

  23. Those bagels look wonderful! And the jam - perfect breakfast!

  24. Fantastic! I've just come back from NYC where it was bagels galore - but GOOD bagels, not the stale kind I grew up thinking were normal here in Aus. I should most definitely make my own to continue my love affair. Lovely.
    Heidi xo

  25. Terrific! I want to try that bagels and jam.

  26. You make the bagel making process look so easy Maria! Love these with that gorgeous quick jam!

  27. the bagels are interesting, but my heavens--i'm in love with your quick jam!

  28. I've never made bagels before but am now inspired. Your jam recipe is a lovely bonus!

  29. I love bagels but have always thought they would be too difficult to make & perfect with that jam.


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