Bagels - or thank you Jeffrey Hamelman
Sometimes baking bread seems to be about the challenge and developing the skills and trying new things and so forth. And sometimes it is all about making what you want to eat. When I started bread-making in earnest in January, I suddenly lost my taste for the supermarket bagels I'd been eating happily for several years. Since there is no good bagel place in my immediate area, I simply stopped eating bagels. But then many of you just kept posting and posting and posting your various bagel bakes, and I couldn't stand it anymore. So I decided to try Hamelman's approach, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was it relatively simple, but geez, it tastes like the bagels that I used to eat way back in the day, when a New York baker moved to St. Louis, got in a taxi cab and told the driver to take him to the Jewish section of town. This was back in the sixties, and such a thing had not been seen in St. Louis before. My father used to come home with dozens and dozens of bagels, and somehow we managed to eat them all. Usually when I make something, it doesn't come out just how I like it, and I fiddle and fiddle or switch approaches a half dozen or so times, and possibly make something better over time, and possibly not. But unless someone has a compelling argument that their bagel formula is better than Hamelman's I'm just going to stick with it, and focus on learning how to shape better. Thanks for all the inspiration to you bagel bakers out there. Now I have what I want to eat. -Varda
And all ready for creamcheese.