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All about Bagel

10/8/2012 1:01:37 PM | by Anonymous


Traditionally shaped in roll-with-a-hole design, bagels are bread products that are constructed into the form of a ring by hand and made from yeasted wheat dough. Unlike other bread, bagels are first boiled for a short period and then baked, giving them a dense chewy interior and a browned and crisp exterior. Instead of boiling the dough, some bakers may choose to steam it instead to give the bread a slight variation in taste. The chewy interior and crisp exterior of the bread is achieved through proper handling of the bread dough before it is cooked, preventing the dough from rising too much which gives the bagel a bread like texture. Seeds are often used as a topping for these breads, although other toppings can also be used, depending on a consumer’s preference. Traditional bagels are made with poppy and sesame seeds. The variations of bagels are vast, just like any other bread where unique combinations can be made. Bagels may sometimes be sprinkled with salt on it, with a number of different dough types used in the baking of these breads. An example can be whole-grain or rye dough.


Traditionally associated with Jewish cuisine, bagels have now become popular in many countries worldwide. Cities that have rather large populations of Jewish people tend to have bagels as one of the popular bread in their local cuisine. Countries such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia have bagels as one of the most popular bread product. These various countries tend to have slight variations to how the bread is cooked and the taste of it, with a slight influence of the local culture of the region. Bagels can also be bought ready made from supermarkets in frozen form with varieties of flavors. They can also be bought freshly baked from bakeries. As mentioned earlier, the typical design of bagels in the shape of a ring has several advantages. Aside from being able to cook the bread more evenly, the design offers other benefits such as that a string could be threaded through the bagels to hold a similar flavor of bagels together. Also, it allows for easier handling and display of bagels.


Bagels have been around since a very long time; therefore it is uncertain where the origin of the breads lies. It is believed that bagels originated from Jewish people of Eastern Europe. There are writings about bagels dating back to 1610. It is also uncertain when they burst into popularity amongst people of other cultures. The designs of bagels are meant to be kosher or pareye, which means that they must conform to the rules of Jewish dietary laws. Lox, or otherwise known as cured salmon is a typical side-dish along with traditional American Jewish Cuisine.


Although they might require some effort, bagels can be made easily at home. The ingredients that make up bagels are bagel dough, which usually consist of flour, yeast, salt and water, along with a sweetener which can be honey or sugar. Eggs can also be added to the bagel to give it a more chewy texture. On the other hand, ingredients such as cinnamon, raisins and fried fruits along with flavored accents can be added to the dough. Once the ingredients are all together, the dough is mixed and kneaded. The following step is to form the bagel into small round logs which are then joined at ends to give it a ring shape with a hallow centre. Before the next step, the bagels are allowed to rise for a while before they are slipped into boiling water. The bread can then be removed and allowed to be baked. If toppings are desired on the bagel, the top of the bagel can be brushed with egg and toppings such as nuts, seeds or onions can be sprinkled over the top before the bagel is baked. Once that is done, the bagels are allowed to be cooled before consumed. As the steps to making bagels are rather simple and allow room for creativity, the combinations and variations of bagels are unlimited. Different types of flours can be used to give the bread a different taste. The simple recipe and unique taste allows for bagels to be made easily.

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