July 26th is National Bagelfest day! Bagels are unique in the bread world for their hard chewy outsides and their soft, warm insides. There are so many varieties of bagels like the everything bagel, sesame seed bagel, blueberry bagel, etc. There are even rainbow bagels to keep up with food trends.
Bagels first arrived in the U.S. in New York City within the Polish-Jewish community in the 19th century. The bagels or Beigels were much different than the bagels known today. Their traditional bagel was made smaller and it would take work to eat one due to their chewiness. Today, bagels are mass produced to be soft; however, there are still bakers that make bagels the old fashioned way.
More about bagels and their history here.
How to make a bagel:
Bagels aren’t very complicated and can easily be made at home. All you need is bread flour, active dry yeast, and water to create a sponge. Once the sponge is formed, mix in more flour and salt until a dough is formed. Like all yeasted breads, let the dough rest to rise double its size. The next step can be done two ways. One, act like you are making pretzels and cut the dough accordingly. Roll it out than form a circle and press down. Two, make small dough balls and using a hole cutter, cut a hole in the middle, like a doughnut. The most important step is to boil the bagels before baking them. This will cause that nice glazed and chewy crust.
Here is a neat how-to on making bagels at home.
So, whip out your favorite cream cheese spread and toppings and enjoy a bagel today!
Comment below on what your favorite bagel is!