Mix the yeast with the water. Put the flour and chopped herbs and salt in a bowl and mix together. Pour in the yeast liquid and mix into a rough dough.
Leave for 10 minutes.
Tip the dough out onto an oiled work surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Pop your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film or a damp cloth. Leave on the side until doubled in size, this takes about an hour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface then divide the dough – a lightly dusted knife or dough scraper works well - into 10 and form into balls.
Pop the bagels onto the Sassafras stone and leave covered with lightly oiled cling film or a damp cloth, until risen and puffy, (this takes about 30 minutes).
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the water.
Once the bagels have risen using either a floured or oiled finger, make a hole in the centre of each bagel. Swirl it around to stretch the dough a little, but be careful not to knock out the air or you will get dense bagels. Pre heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Using a slotted spoon pop no more than 2 bagels in the water at a time and boil for exactly 2 minutes then lift out, drain well on a cooling rack and then return to the Sassafras stone, which you have now dusted with flour. Repeat until each bagel has been cooked in the water.
Brush the bagels with the egg wash and sprinkle liberally with poppy seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. They keep well for up to 3 days and may be frozen. For softer bagels put them straight into your bread bag while still warm to cool.
9g sachet of organic yeast
325g water, 28C
500g Mulino Marino Buratto Type 2 flour, plus a little extra for shaping (Soffiata Type "00" is a good alternative)
A handful of fresh garden herbs such as oregano, chopped (or a tablespoon of dried is fine)
10g sea salt
Olive oil, for greasing
1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 egg mixed with a little milk
3-4 tbsp poppy seeds
Medium mixing bowl
Sassafras baking stone