I just adore bagels-you know those slightly chewy on the inside and crisp and shiny on the outside? I do not know what it is about these things, but I am crazy about them! What water, flour and a bit of yeast can do? I can certainly understand the love for the Brioche or the Focaccia, with all of the added oil or butter; it puts an entirely new dimension to the water- flour- yeast combo. But the bagel, had no added fat, and yet!!!
Well, today I finally gave into my craving for bagels. I have been pining for them since-well, since last month actually. It all started when I called my brother last month-just my normal frequent big sister-little brother calls to say hello. He was in New York visiting my cousin and well, what do you think they were doing when I called? They were in the midst of eating New York bagels and yes! I was very very envious!!!
A toasted bagel smeared with butter and then smeared again with cream cheese is the way I love it best! As I imagined my brother and cousin eating their bagels, my mouth literally watered. It has been quite some time since my last bagel, and it was time again!
When I lived in Cambridge, I would always purchase bags of Bagels during my day trips to London where I thought that Brick lane had the best bagels. However, once I moved to Berlin, it took me a while to find a bagel source. In the interim, I was happy to contend with the second runner up to the bagel for me-which is the Laugenbrezel, (pretzel). The two actually they are rather similar in their production, both yielding that wonderfully chewy consistency (when done well!). I bought Laugenbrezels almost everyday during my first couple of months and spread each torn piece with cream cheese.
…..until I found Salomons bagels in Potsdamer Platz!!! http://www.salomon-bagels.de/index.htm This is THE Berliner Bagel shop, as far as I am concerned. And so began the great love affair! This went on for quite some time, and perhaps even today, would be still going strong if it were not for the fact that I was told by my doctors to cut down on my wheat and increase my intake of organic foods. So, we were forced to part and I hit the cookbooks for recipes!
So this morning I set out to make my organic bagels and prepared the sponge.
I used the recipe (more or less) from Peter Reinhart’s book, the Bread Baker’s Apprentice (pictured above). Click here for the Bagel recipe!