19 January 2012

Boiled Bagels

First ever bagels

I lived in New York for 5 weeks on Criffer's couch. Technically, that could be called visiting, but I consider anything over a month living. I also lived with bagel snobs in college, including Jersey-born Sarah, who took me to NYC for the first time, and Manhattan-born Maia, who introduced me to the term "bread circles."

Bread Cir•cles noun
1. An inferior bagel that has not been properly boiled, lacking the interior/exterior texture of a true bagel. See also: Roll with a Hole.

For these reasons I, too, have become a bagel snob. I'm also a pizza snob, but that's another story. The life of a bagel snob living in Midland, Texas is a sad one. For the past few years, I have lived at least 5 hours away from a decent bagel in any direction, and any excursions to large cities have required forward planning and internet scouting for a true boiled bagel.

I'd like to take a moment to plug Rockstar Bagels in Austin, Texas. The owner, Joe Humel, is very nice and helped me in this quest on more than one occasion.

Back to my sad story. The saddest, most depressing part about it is that I made bagels tonight and they weren't too hard and taste pretty accurate for a first attempt. I can't believe I could have been doing this all along!

With practice, this bagel snob will never suffer the unsatisfied craving again. I might, however, suffer weight gain from this newly available supply.

I've dubbed these an "almost everything" bagel, because we didn't have onion flakes on hand. I used sea salt, poppy, sesame & sunflower seeds, and fresh minced garlic. We also don't have cream cheese, but I'm going to have to remedy that tomorrow.

In case you're wondering, I used this dough recipe (in a bread maker) and this method. I think I will try the second website's dough recipe next time to see if I like it better. The egg wash was unnecessary, as the just-boiled bagels were damp enough to pick up the toppings.

The first website said to poke holes in a ball of dough to get the shape, but I went with the technique below, as the guy on the second website used to work in a NY bagel shop. It's 4 seconds long and sideways, but I found it helpful.

I'll keep tweaking the recipe and let you know what magic combination I come up with.

See the perfected recipe here.

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