25 March 2010

A GOOD HOMEMADE BAGEL ("and from a deli-owner that's a rave...")

Over the holidays I decided to try my hand at making home-made, whole-wheat bagels. My recent New York City sojourn was the impetus: having regular access to real bagels made we want to see if I could re-create them at home in San Francisco, where pretty much all we have are typical, 21st-century, American pseudo-bagels that are fist-sized and spongey.  I wanted to see if I could create the small, dense, chewy authentic bagels I remember fondly from the Sunday brunches of my New York youth.  And I wanted to see if I could do it with whole-wheat flour.

With a little experimentation, trial-and-error (the first batch resembled pretzels more than bagels), and tweaking of recipes, I think I crafted apretty good version in terms of taste, consistency, density, and look.  And people, including other native New Yorkers seemed to agree.  The multi-step process of kneading, proofing, boiling, and baking was more fun than hard.  I'll definitely be doing them again, and a couple of people have expressed interest in learning, so I may host some sort of bagel-making get-together-cum-workshop!  Especially if there's real interest...

Of course, it being me, Project Bagel steamrolled from there to include making home-made soy cream cheeses, home-made whitefish salad, home-made braunschweiger (liverwurst), and home-brined pickled onions and kosher-style dill pickles.  And of course I had to include two old favorite go-alongs: home-cured gravlax and home-made chopped liver.  I'll post the bagel and other recipes soon.

It was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.  "And from a deli owner, that's a rave!"  Anyone know where that's from?


  1. Why wasn't I invite to come and eat some of these?

  2. I am so glad you posted about this!

    I can personally attest to the utter GOODNESS of your amazing homemade bagels. And your soycreamcheez spreads. And pickles.

    Yum yum yum. Will you post the bagel recipe? Or is it secret? Maybe after Pesach, so as not to taunt us all. :-)

    ALSO: do you not like Katz's Bagels in SF? I agree with you that most bagels outside of NYC are LAME, but I actually like Katz's. Also the Marin Bagel Company in San Rafael makes some yummy chewy ones. (Noah's Bagels should not even be allowed to be called that. They should be Noah's Bread Rounds. Ugh.)

  3. thanks! i was thinking i'd post when i do my little bagel-making 'workshop' soon. katz's bagel's themselves are really pretty good--the prob there is that old man katz's grandson's mis-managing the biz now, and trying to do too many things (pizza!) not very well. there's also more authentic ones on 24th in noe valley...

  4. oy--posting a bagel recipe right pre-pesach--what a meshuggeh!


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