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Schmendricks- Real bagels? Who in NY bakes on a cookie sheet?

You've actually inspired me to try something that I have never tried (but always wasted to do) and that is make bagels at home! I thought I had to sacrifice either the boiling or the baking on a pizza stone, but maybe you can share with how to keep the boiled bagels from sticking to the stone without boards? Everywhere I've seen on the internet for making bagels at home has them dumped from the water onto a cornmeal (or floured! egads!) sheet pan. I don't even want to try it if I don't think it will be 95% of the way there.

May 16, 2012
abbott in San Francisco Bay Area

Schmendricks- Real bagels? Who in NY bakes on a cookie sheet?

OK, cool. Thanks for the info. Glad to hear it.

May 07, 2012
abbott in San Francisco Bay Area

Schmendricks- Real bagels? Who in NY bakes on a cookie sheet?

I've never had Bagel Hole bagels (though I've had my share of bagels in NY), but I would be shocked that they are baked in sheet pans. Imagine a pizza baked in a sheetpan (think scicilian style versus NY style). These guys remind me of the now deceased Spot Bagel. Exciting marketing and a lot of great hype, but a crappy product when you get around to it.

May 05, 2012
abbott in San Francisco Bay Area

Schmendricks- Real bagels? Who in NY bakes on a cookie sheet?

Read the article in the Chronicle and it was bothering me. Is Schmendricks making bagels on cookie sheets? Every legit bagel shop I've been to boards them and puts them directly on a pizza stone in a big old oven-- Katz, House of Bagels, and the Bagelry have been boiling and baking bagels directly on a stone oven for years and years.

This is what real NY bagel production looks like, NOT what I saw int he article.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0TRO1...

Don't know what is new about these guys except that they are baking their bagels on cookie sheets, not directly on stone. What is so special about that?

I smell marketing pulling the wool over bay area folk's eyes once again.

May 05, 2012
abbott in San Francisco Bay Area

Bay area Pletzel?

Definitely try the House of Bagels on Geary. They make "Onion Flats" and my father in law insists that it should be called a pletzel (who knew!). I know they do a lot of custom stuff, so if you want some with sesame seeds you should ask one of the owners/managers and see if they will make them for you.

Aug 10, 2011
abbott in San Francisco Bay Area

SPoT BAGEL

Really? I thought they couldn't be any more different from a NY bagel. I found it very tough and difficult to chew and gummy in the middle. Maybe they are still getting their act together. Who else has tried them?

Jul 27, 2011
abbott in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting SF in a month, need good places to eat!

How about Dottie's, Kate's Kitchen, or Brenda's French Soul Food for breakfast? I love those places. Also Rosemund's Sausage Grill in in a league of its own for lunch, especially the one on Haight with a pint from next door.

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Kate's Kitchen
471 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Brenda's French Soul Food
652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Jul 27, 2011
abbott in San Francisco Bay Area

ny style bagels/pizza

It would be a marketing scheme which would work on anyone with little understanding of food science (most people). There was a “NY Bagel Company in Florida” that did import the water from NY.

Any way, bagels’ (and bread, for that matter) flavor and crumb has everything to do with the flour and other ingredients you use, and has relatively little/nothing to do with the minor discrepancies of the water from one municipality to another. Add to this that ALL bagel producers filter their water to get rid of chlorine and the whole water argument really goes out the window (turns out yeast will turn out really nasty flavors when chlorine is present).

For example, one could make bagels with very hard (i.e. High gluten) flour and also with a lower gluten flour. You boil and use NY H2O in the lower gluten flour bagels and some other city’s water with the high gluten flour. You will love the non-NY bagels and hate the "NY" bagels.

Also look for the presence of oil in the dough. Noah's and Einstein bagels put soy oil in the dough. This gives you softer bread and also keeps the bagel from drying out and acts as a preservative. But it lacks good bagel characteristics of crust and chewiness.

If you feel the bagels you get from your local bagel maker outside of NY are too soft, and have no crust and aren’t chewy enough, they are probably using cheaper flour (or adding oil). If they were to move to a higher gluten flour they'd get a better product (higher gluten = higher cost, though). In any case, a lot of east coast bagels these days are no better than Noah's. Steam oven technology is widely used today on the east coast because it is cheap and you don't need very much skill to bake steam bagels off.

SO HOW DID THE URBAN LEGEN OF THE NY BAGEL WATER START? The first bagels in California were made in LA. These were neither boiled nor steamed. They were truly rolls with holes inferior even to Noah's. People would say that "it is the water" that made the difference. AND THEY WERE RIGHT!!! Because at that time, they meant the difference being the time the bagel spent in the boiling water!

It wasn’t until the 60's that bagel shops on the west coast started bringing over kettles to boil bagels. People would still (rightly or wrongly) ask why the bagel they remember in NY was better, and "it is the water" still is given as an explanation; only now it was misconstrued to mean some magical properties of NY water. A better explanation is basic psychology. We tend to idealize certain things from our past and put things on pedestals. When the atmosphere or the experience isn’t in accord to our idealized memory, we search for an explanation.

The NY water makes a better bagel myth has been tested many times at peoples homes (bagel parties—guess the NY bagel?) and I have never heard any case EVER of people being able to tell a good NY bagel from a good non-NY bagel at a better than chance level. Don’t believe me? Try it your self!!

Nov 14, 2006
abbott in San Francisco Bay Area