Food Blog | Cooking Blog
New York bagels boast global recognition as the world's finest. Why are they so damn good? Bagelries typically poach the bagels prior to baking them. The bagels spend a few minutes simmering in a pot of water before entering the dry heat of an oven. It is this pre-gelatinisation process that is thought to produce the especially chewy interior and slightly changed flavour or the finished product. The result is unbelievable. Following my return to London, the I attempted to satisfy a habituated craving for a breakfast bagel first thing in the morning. M&S's finest sesame bagel, sliced, toasted and buttered. The result? Unremarkable. Immediately, I wanted to do my very best to achieve the perfect balance of textures and flavours that I had experienced when eating even a $1 bagel from a deli diner in Manhattan. If I can't alter the London bagelries production practices, what can I do?
1. Try and get hold of the freshest bagel possible. If you can't find poppyseed, go for plain. The sesame flavour is too much with all of the other fun we want to be packing into this baby, and onion is a no when anything apart from butter is involved.
2. Do NOT over toast. New Yorkers often eat their bagels untoasted, and when they are toasted it is only slight. You want the bagel to be as soft as it can possibly be. Nothing dry, crumby or brown. Light, slightly golden, chewy all the way through.
3. Smear lots of full-fat Philadelphia on either side of the bagel. Don't go into the hole, we don't need to get that messy, but do make sure that both sides are well covered. New Yorkers par the reduced fat options, which I was told is because it doesn't retain the same consistency in the heat as the full fat stuff does. As I have said before... Calories shmalories.
4. Brush your bacon rashers with maple syrup using a kitchen paint brush. Once each rasher is coated, fry your bacon until it is very very crisp. We want thin, streaky rashers fried to the point that they are rigid (not bendy). When it is finished, blot it on a piece of kitchen paper so as to get rid of a bit of the oil and lay 4 or 5 rashers onto one side of the bagel.
5. A generous grind of coarse black pepper is an absolute necessity at this stage, and your lid can be closed.
6. Serve with a mandatory black coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice for maximum authenticity.
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Queen of Tarts
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