Making the perfect bagel is not exactly an easy task.  It is even more difficult to find two people who agree on what the perfect bagel should be.  I should probably preface this article by letting the Montreal bagel fans know that this one won’t be for them.  Today we are talking about New York Style bagels!

Hilariously, my favorite recipe comes from across the pond where they set out to find the perfect bagel recipe to share with their readers.  The recipe is absolutely fantastic, but I ran into some major problems when trying to transport the leavened but raw bagels from the pan to the boiling water.

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These look great, but now what?

The problems began because the recipe does not call for any spray, oil or flour between the parchment paper and the sticky bagel dough.  In order to lift them the first time I made the recipe, I had to basically rip them off the paper which mutilated the bagel shape and I had some odd, hard and lumpy results.  That is just unacceptable.

A great way to avoid this problem is to spread a conservative amount of corn meal on the parchment paper before placing the raw bagels down to rise.  The downside to this technique is that the bottoms do become a little thicker and tougher than they would otherwise be.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this recipe made a perfect baker’s dozen on the first go around, but the size was very unusual.  They were too large to be mini bagels but far too small to be considered standard.  I have found that if you make 9 bagels out of the dough instead of 13, the size is perfect for a breakfast sandwich.  I would say the use of a kitchen scale is absolutely essential to getting this recipe right.

The other thing I wish someone had told me before trying this recipe out is that when you take the bagels out of the water and dip them in the everything topping, they will flatten out a bit, but that’s okay!  I was completely paranoid about how flat they would come out.  My worries were unfounded as they rose a bit in the heat and plumped right back up.

No great bagel would be complete without the perfect cream cheese to top it.  I prefer a good chive and onion cream cheese made with just a touch of sour cream.  What is your favorite bagel topping?  Share with us in the comments!

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