I have been looking for a great bagel ever since I moved from New Jersey. It has been a kind of obsession for me, which peaked when I moved in Portland Oregon and I could not find a good bagel.
For a few years, I wondered in a bagel dessert that was Portland until Kettlemans opened up. They bagels were good, and boiled they way they should.
During my wonderings, I attempted to make bagels at home. I am still working on recreating the bagels of my homeland.
Now living in Ann Arbor there are a few bagels to choose from.
There is Barry’s bagels. They are right near my house and next to the library, so they are my go to. I like their vanilla cinnamon. I am not a raisin fan but like cinnamon on a bagel.
I give Barry props for cinnamon vanilla.
No Ann Arbor Bagel conversation is complete without talking about Zingermans. People love their bagels and they have their own appeal as “traditional” style bagels, but for myself who grew up on the New Jersey (and NYC for that matter) super puffy bagels Zings are not my thing.
The best bagel in town, the one closest to my favorite, Hot Bagels of Fairfield, in Fairfield NJ is Elaine’s out of Detroit.
With that said, I am still working towards making bagels myself.
Here is my latest attempt.
I used the bagel recipe from Best Recipes. They were good, but I still think they need some work. I might add a little sour dough starter for a little kick and use sugar in the boiling water.
Best Recipes technique (and other sources) requires rolling out the bagel and placing them on a sprayed baking sheet covered with plastic for 13-18 hours in the frig to create a slow, flavor creating rise.
The problem is that my frig is only so big and if I wanted to make more than 6 bagels (one sheet pan) I would kind of be out of luck.
So I took the dough and put it in a plastic tub to rise over night then I rolled them out the next day to rise.
This solved for the space issue, but the dough was cold and hard to form and it would take hours to poof up again, but I went with it anyway.
I let the dough poof up at room temp for two hours and boiled and baked them. I think they could have benefited from a little more proofing. Maybe next time I will proof them in the oven with a pilot light on, or let them rise longer.
The idea here is to make bagels to offer for sale at the Westside Farmers Market and for special orders in town.