/ Jason Weisberger / 9 am Thu, Nov 16 2017
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  • Baking fantastic bagels is supremely simple

    Baking fantastic bagels is supremely simple

    I love bagels. I wanted to learn to make delicious ones at home. I was surprised at how simple it really is.

    I recently got a jar of Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel seasoning. I spent a couple days thinking about odd things to season, and decided to try this on some soft pretzels I was baking. An everything homemade bagel pretzel tasted exactly like an everything bagel. I experienced one of those disquietingly odd food-a-tory illusions. Expecting pretzel, my tastebuds instead got bagel with every bite.

    Later that evening, I spoke with my cooking consigliere, a gentleman who claims to be the best chef in the greater Puget Sound area. He laughed at my bagel/pretzel revelation, and called me something you'd hear on Fox News. I share with you a refined version of his culturally insensitive commentary: depending on your frame of experience and reference, a pretzel is merely a salted and twisted German bagel OR a bagel is a lazy Jewish pretzel.

    I'm a lazy Jew. I decided to bake some bagels.

    After consulting with the Oracle of Delphi (internet forum searches,) I settled on a recipe I suspected would make really great "New York-Style" bagels.

    I am honestly confused by the assertion that New York bagels are the best bagels. Having spent considerable time on the Island of Manhattan, and in the borough of Brooklyn, I can say sometimes bagels and pizza are good. I've also lived in Chicago, and the pizza there isn't special. Regardless, that is the bagel I modeled after even though I feel it is same-same with the Los Angeles' renowned "Western Bagel." San Francisco, the region I currently live in, can't make a bagel, or any culturally Jewish food outside of Americanized Chinese. I think it's all about someone wanting to make good stuff, and not so much "the water."

    As my insensitive chef friend said, both the recipe and process for bagels is quite similar to pretzels. If you're an amateur baker who can already make half-decent pretzels at home, I believe that like me, with this recipe you will discover that you can make a bagel to be proud of.

    Boing Boing's Lets Make Bagels, Bagel Bonanza recipe

    Ingredients:

    1. 1 1/2 cups warm water
    2. 1 1/2 tablespoons of white sugar
    3. 2 teaspoons your favorite active dry yeast
    4. 3 1/2 cups bread flour
    5. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    6. Your bagel seasoning(s) of choice

    Gettin' to it: