BBA Challenge 2011: Week 3: Bagels!
Although I was totally excited to try this recipe out, I'll admit that I didn't have high hopes for this third week of the BBA challenge. Three reasons jump out at me immediately. First, the bagel procedure involves a few atypical steps that I haven't done before. Since it takes at least a few trials to get the hang of new baking procedures, I didn't have high hopes for attempt number one. Second, I'm a New Yorker, and that means that I'm a horrible snob when it comes to bagel quality. As Reinhart himself says, New York City is the center of the bagel producing universe. It's true - I grew up with the freshest bagels baked every morning from a whole host of mom and pop bakery joints (there were three with a four block radius of my childhood home). There was no way I was going to match my own memories of fresh authentic bagels right off the bat. Third, and on a related note, I know that in New York City, the bagel making industry is (or at least used to be) ridiculously secretive. Apparently the bagel-making union in NYC used to only accept as new members the sons of the present members. The method of bagel making was closely guarded and protected -- kept literally "in the family". Some schlep stranded out in the Midwest ain't going to miraculously reproduce that kind of mystery in his kitchen oven. Sigh. In the end, surprising, it turned out good!
The rest of my discussion is here, at my blog where me and 10 others are doing the BBA Challenge: http://akuindeed.com/?p=3282