Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bagelology

In this time of travail a bunny must look to nicer things.  In his travel Eli has noted the spread of bagels now worldwide, but some things have not travelled well.  Now as a general rule Eli holds to the principle that when you are in a strange place, eat their strange bread, drink their strange wine.  Generally the bakers and vintners know what they are doing otherwise they would be not baking and vining.  Of course, there are exceptions, local bread in China and wine in the UK being two that spring to mouth, so bagels outside the NY metro area are always a chancy thing, but, there are exceptions and there are exiles.


The first thing is that bagels have to be boiled before they are baked.  It gives a delightful crust and makes the interior dense.  That means that if your bagel isn't really shiny and is really flat on the bottom and the torus is not very round, you have a baked bagel that never saw a tub of boiling water is really a lump of bread.  Do not bother.  Shun the bakery/bodega/scamwich shop/whatever.

Earlier this year Eli started baking his own under the supervision of Ms. Rabett, whose first job was working in a bagel bakery, but, as with home brewers, the problem is that you are always your own best customer and you always have more than a bunny could reasonably consume, but throwing away a good bagel is a sin.

However, the consumption of bagels is, by itself a fine art, much abused in the world today.  The first law is that bagels are not bread, but carriers of cream cheese.  Eli starts with the neufchatel cream cheese and whips air into it in the food processor.  Adding some soft goat cheese improves the taste even more, and, one can cut in scallions or carrots (yum) or even smoked salmon.

The second law is never to cut the bagel, but break it in half.  This exposes four rough edges.  Rough edges are much better for holding the cream cheese than cut edges and maximizing cream cheese loading is the first law.  Of course, after a bunny nibbles (bunnies are nibblers)  off the cream cheese loaded end with a bit of chewy dense bagel to boot, a new surface is exposed, ready for cream cheese loading.

The third law is that anybunny who toast a bagel really needs to find a decent bagel bakery, or make their own.

20 comments:

Arthur said...

I have NEVER tasted a good bagel outside of the NY metro area. It's such a routine disappointment to see breakfast at some conference in Denver, say, with "bagels" that bear no resemblance to the real thing. Is it really just that non NYers don't know about the boiling bit?

Fernando Leanme said...

I know how to make pancakes. Mix the white flour with wheat bran, add egg and cook in a pan smeared with olive oil. Then take a slice of mozzarella and place it on the pancake.

Before you start, hot to put yellow apples and ripe strawberries in the oven at 180 C. Bake until the apples burst and release the juice. Take a baked strawberry (it will be mushy) and put it on the mozzarella that's on top of the pancake, pour one spoon of the apple and strawberry juice on top, sit down and eat that for breakfast with a cup of coffee. It's called "Pancake Fernando Style".

John Garland said...

Arthur: Try Montreal bagels.

JamieB said...

Ahem, there are some very highly regarded Enlgish sparkling wines, thanks in part to our changing climate.

Andrew H said...

Ah! Bagels. I had a post-doc position in Houston. I got into the swing of things and bought bagels and cream cheese for the weekly lab meeting when it was my turn. But after searching high and low, after months of pleading with relatives to send some by post, we finally found a shop selling all things Australian, including Vegemite, that great Australian spread. A long craving finally satisfied.
I decided that Vegemite and bagels might be just the thing for the lab meeting. Out of about 20 people, most smelled it, wrinkled up their nose and went back to the cream cheese backup, 3 actually tried it and had to throw out most of their bagel, while I slathered it on and turned everyone else off. Bagels and Vegemite. A moment to remember.
Andrew

Jim Eager said...

Arthur, in Toronto there's Gryfe's Bagel on Bathurst St.

David Appell said...

In grad school on Long Island, loved me a salt bagel with cream cheese and grape jelly, and the big Sunday NY Times. It seemed so simple then....

Bernard J. said...

The bunny should get thee to some corners of Denmark...

E. Swanson said...

While the Bagels were toasting, the rats were eating the cheese.

Bernard J. said...

Ed Swanson, I try to tell my tax person the same thing:

"The potential economic implications of Bernard's income tax are staggering, and its effect on his everyday life is unprecedented, without offering any measurable national benefit. "

And yet, they keep arguing that I have to participate in the program. Why, oh why?!

afeman said...

Any suggestions for fellow DMVers?

Brian Schmidt said...

Eli finally caves to the inevitable. I wrote a while back that all blogs eventually talk about food and show photos of their pets. I personally caved a while back.

BBD said...

Ah but Brian, NY bagles and cream cheese isn't just food. That's like saying that a 1959 Les Paul is just a guitar. Or that a Mexican Hairless is just a cat :-)

jrkrideau said...

New York makes bagels?

Montreal bagel with smoked meat.

EliRabett said...

Eli is a pet. Talk to Ms. Rabett

Phil Clarke said...

Bagels at a time like this?

A curious world needs to know... WHO IS NILS ROMCKE?

https://cloudup.com/iHcBpTDmCNu

Russell Seitz said...

Acursed are those innumerate minions of the Deep State that have so ordered chromatographic drug testing as to banish poppy seeds from bakeries,, lest the bagel artistes be sued by consumers fired as druggies for testing positive for bagel metabolites.

Gingerbaker said...

Careful with the bagel-making! I already melted the plastic gear of my Kitchen-Aid making a batch, and I have read that even the full metal full-pro version is not made for that kind of abuse.

Bagel shops use Hobarts, which unfortunately, even after 20+ years, really keep their value at used auctions.(Yeah - I dreamt of buying a Hobart just to make bagels - c-razy!)

Russell Seitz said...

Gingerbaker sayeth metallurgical sooth-

the critical parts of the mighty Hobart mixers, grinders & slicers are forged from the penultimate cobalt superalloy, Haynes Stellite

DiLina said...

Bagels are supposed to be a healthier replacement choice for the donut. But even the bagel has hidden evils, especially with calories in a bagel content levels.