The Classics -Voting is open!

First off, THANK YOU ALL WHO VOTED!!! We've made it past the first challenge of Project Food Blog and are now into the second round! You all rock!!! Voting for this challenge begins Monday, the link to vote will be posted here at that time, or you can always click on the Project Food Blog button at the top of the left column of this page. Please vote to help me get through to the next round! Voting is open now!


For this challenge we have to tackle an ethnic dish outside our comfort zone. I know most are probably tackling sushi for the first time, or maybe a big bowl of Pho... I thought about doing both of those but I just kept thinking about how John and I eat bagels out ALL THE TIME... and I have yet been able to tackle them at home! Maybe you don't consider Jewish bagels a very ethnic dish... or maybe you didn't know bagels were Jewish at all! According to the New York Times:

What’s Jewish about a bagel?
The short answer is: Sure, there are non-Jewish boiled and baked ring-shaped breads in Italy, Greece, Finland and Poland (among other countries), but the bagel is the Jewish version and as such it has accumulated a rich folklore and history that it cannot shake off easily.

Now onto a little background on me and my love of bagels. I grew up in northern NJ and the best place in town was Sonny's, a wicked good Jewish bagel bakery that my family frequented on a weekly basis. (My mom just told me that it was just voted best bagel shop in NJ! But we already knew that)

Did I mention that I LOVE bagels?

To prepare for the challenge I scoured the internet for what seemed like days to find the best and most authentic recipe possible. I even sent emails out to old friends who at one time worked in Sonny's to see if they could give me the secret!! I really wanted to try a version featured on Mags blog (she's awesome, I love her) but I was lacking the malt powder her recipe called for. In truth I think this is the true secret ingredient to make a good bagel (since my bagel shop friend also mentioned a form of malt), and without it I knew it wouldn't be up to par.

I knew I didn't have enough time to order the malt powder online since this post had to be up in a few days. After visiting multiple stores and calling ahead to a few more I found malt syrup lurking in the organic section of Pittsford Wegmans! Next was to find an authentic recipe that used the syrup instead of the powder!

The process sounds much more complicated than it really was. The instructions are long and detailed, intimidating to say the least! I forged on and after mixing, kneading, rising, shaping, boiling, and finally baking, sweet glorious bagels made their way out of the oven!! Want to give it a try yourself? I highly recommend it! For the holy grail of bagel recipes, click here for the deliciousness.

Just look at how crusty and chewy those things are. This isn't just bread in the shape of a bagel, these are the real deal! And yes everyone, that secret ingredient of malt syrup is the best secret I've ever found out.

Now onto the next task... figuring out how to make them into gingerbread flavored bagels... stay tuned!

And if you liked the post, please go vote for me!

52 chews:

Rachel said...

huh, malt, I never would have guessed that that was a key bagel ingredient.
Making bagels has always intimidated but tantalized me too!

Megan said...

Bagels are something I've always wanted to try making at home too. Yours look awesome. I'm going to have to check out that perfect recipe and maybe get started on them at home soon!

Mags said...

Awww... thanks for the link to my bagels Steph! And you're right, the malt powder is the secret ingredient.

Yours look FANTASTIC! I'm so proud of you for finding a way to make them with malt syrup. Great job!

I'm a bagel lover too- those look fabulous! Next time I'm in Wegman's I'm looking for some malt syrup! Good luck in the competition!

N.D. said...

wow - impressive!! :)

stephchows said...

Rachel- I know! who knew?? Obviously not me until now :)

Megan- they are so worth it!! You have to try!

Mags- you are amazing!! and yours are whole wheat because you are the bagel master!!! I'm going to have to try your recipe next so John will eat them :)

Scrambledhenfruit- I forgot you are also in the ROC! We need to do lunch at some point since we both live here :D

ND- thanks!

A good bagel is hard to come by on the West Coast. Being from PA I have been trying a bunch of recipes. Some bad, some good. Barley malt is the key. Great recipe. Good luck.

knownbyname said...

Making bagels was probably my very favorite rotation in baking school. And yes - malt is fabulous stuff. It's multi-purpose, btw! :) Bagel day was *always* the biggest day when we opened up the retail counter - the line would be lllooonnnnggg! There really is nothing nearly as fabulous as a fresh - correctly made - bagel to slather cream cheese and a little slice of Serrano ham on!

Shannon said...

ooh, i've done them once, but not with barley malt! i'll have to tackle them again :) great entry!

Wow, baking bagels is certainly courageous! I love bagels too and I never thought of making my own before. Your bagels look so plump with a great crust, makes me want to try it! I'm bookmarking your recipe & voting for you. Good luck!

Reeni said...

Love the picture of you kissing the bagel! So cute! Great entry Steph!

Delishhh said...

WOW! I love bagles and this was a great post. I am going to save this recipe. Nice post.

Tina said...

I would definitely feel hesitant making my own bagels. Looks like yours turned out fabulously!

Rachel Joyce said...

Any Northeaster is a bagel lover and I'm no exception. Give me an egg bagel with melted American cheese for the rest of my life please! Loved the post & you got my vote now make me some bagels (I kid, I kid). ^_^

Special K said...

YOu're right...I had Poland's "bagel" and it was yummy, but not comparable to Finagle a Bagel, which I still dream about. Living in CA, WA, CO...I haven't had a ball-park experience for 9 years!
What's the difference between malt powder and malt syrup?

stephchows said...

gotta love a good bagel! here's to all the bagel lovers out there!!

special k- one is a solid and one is a liquid so they are going to change the consistency of your dough depending on which one you use.

Heather said...

I have that exact same jar of malt in my pantry right now! I really want to make bagels, but am holding out until I have a stand mixer. As I understand it, the dough is really stiff, and best served by a stand mixer. Perhaps that's not true, but I am kind of chicken. ;)

These look amazing.

Those are no shiksa bagels! Nice job. Also, I've been to the Pittsford Wegman's once while visiting friends in Rochester. I really, really didn't want to leave. That place puts just about every other grocery store to shame. Voting for you, best of luck in the competition!

Lick My Spoon

Carrie said...

Definitely ambitious and looks like a success! Good job!

Kelly said...

I love that you got the malt syrup. I have to say, when I see this attention to detail in posts for this contest, that's what wins my vote. Just executing a dish is good, but going the extra mile to make it great is worthy of a food blog star. You have my vote.

Wow! I LOVE bagels and I love baking bread, but have never tried making bagels at home. I am definitely going to try these though. You inspired me. Good luck with the contest, I was happy to find your blog through it!

stephchows said...

Heather it's fate! You need to make them!! I actually made half the batch and just used my hands, no issues at all and I have a stand mixer that I could have used! LOL

Lick my spoon- thanks!! and it's so true wegmans really is the best, one of the reason I can never move away!

Thanks Carrie!

Kelly that is so awesome of you to say! Thank you so much!

Margaret thank you SO MUCH!!!

You are all inspiring me with all these comments thank you so much!

Used malt syrup when making bread pretzels at a restaurant. Love the stuff--stickiest stuff ever, but the flavor sure makes a difference. Your bagels are lovely:)

Gina Ruiz said...

Great post! I never would have guessed malt as an ingredient in bagels. Will have to try to make them. Just voted for you. Good luck!

Nice idea for your entry. You got my vote!

Wow, interesting! I just learned something new about bagels. :) I love them too. Your's look amazing, you've got my vote. :) Best of luck to you!!

Judy said...

I can't even imagine making bagels at home. You get my vote!

Robbyn said...

I love your blog. You've got my vote.

Mariko said...

Yummers! I've been looking for malt at my stores. I want to make bagels!

Bagels...the most missed part of living in the Northeat. Oh if only to have a bagel as good as this in LA!

Sophie said...

Good luck!!

You created a great bagel,..these loook just perfect, I think!!


MMMMMMMMMM,..lovely food!

FOODalogue said...

A unique entry. Good luck.

Jane Ko said...

Yum I LOVE bagels!

Voted for you and good luck with PFB :)

I would like to invite you to participate in my giveaway
http://atasteofkoko.blogspot.com/2010/08/mini-pistachio-tea-cakes-40.html

Here is my entry for PFB http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/1039

Deb said...

I've never made bagels, but I want to now! Good job by the way!

Stephanie said...

Great idea! I've never made bagels either. Those look great! Good luck, I just voted for you.

I made bagels once but they were not that great - I'll have to try this version!
Good luck - I cast a vote for you!

I made bagels once. They tasted pretty good but they took SO LONG. I decided that a dollar was a good price for them going forward. lol
Just voted for you! Gotta support my favorite bloggers :)

Megan said...

Never made bagels.. but love your post! Very sweet and you have a big ole vote from moi! Megs

Hi Steph, those bagels look like ones you'd get in a shop, great job. Thanks for the history too! Wishing you the best of luck!
-Gina-

MAlt. Weird. *I* consider bagels to be ethnic food. But that's probably because I'm a Jew and I consider it part of my cuisine. Nice job picking something different.

stephchows said...

again just want to THANK YOU ALL for all the amazing comments and support!! you all rock!!!

Those do look delightful...nice post :) Good luck :)

Daily Spud said...

Even though I don't have a massive bagel eating history, they're still something I'd love to make. In the meantime, though, you will just have to send me some :)

loved this! voted for you:)

Clare said...

Boo hoo. I'm on a gluten free diet but they look absolutely perfect! A great bagel is only a memory for me now.

Always wanted to try making bagels but never have... this might be my inspiration :)

Robbyn said...

I love your blog. You've got my vote.

Nice idea for your entry. You got my vote!

Tina said...

I would definitely feel hesitant making my own bagels. Looks like yours turned out fabulously!

stephchows said...

gotta love a good bagel! here's to all the bagel lovers out there!!

special k- one is a solid and one is a liquid so they are going to change the consistency of your dough depending on which one you use.

Mags said...

Awww... thanks for the link to my bagels Steph! And you're right, the malt powder is the secret ingredient.

Yours look FANTASTIC! I'm so proud of you for finding a way to make them with malt syrup. Great job!

Wow! I LOVE bagels and I love baking bread, but have never tried making bagels at home. I am definitely going to try these though. You inspired me. Good luck with the contest, I was happy to find your blog through it!

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