Bagels boiling, Wallisellen, 7 November 2011

The problem with taking a week in New York and coming back to Zürich is that you miss the bagels. Bagels, however, are made by humans, and we are humans, so how hard can it be?

Turns out, quite. Basing our recipe on one we found on an American cookbook written in German (the author’s blurb assurs us that her husband is a real, actual American from Bedford, Pennsylvania, of all places), the results of our first attempt are shown here. Ariane gets most of the credit for these, she made the dough while I was still reading the Economist on the 751. I just did the photography, and formed a couple of rings.

Bagels finished, Wallisellen, 7 November 2011

What we got were a little too soft on the inside, a little too hard on the outside, and, while they were certainly among the best-tasting bread to come out of this kitchen, they weren’t really bagels. Things to try next time:

  1. tweak the recipe (the Internet has a lot of opinions on how to make bagels, because the Internet has a lot of opinions on everything; sadly, most of these are wrong.)
  2. boil longer (two minutes a side seems a bit short) with saltier water
  3. let them rise a bit less (because they fell quite a lot in the oven)
  4. buy bagels in New York like everyone else (the flight’s not free, but hey, the dollar’s cheap…)
Brian Trammell
Brian Trammell
Scientist, Synthesist, Cyclist, SRE