The Best bagels…

Are no longer only in NYC. Bold statement right? Maybe or maybe not.
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I lived in NY for a couple years after college and during that time, I learned the most important thing about NY (other than how to subway surf to avoid germs) NY is the best at everything. Best nightlife, best food, best cultural attractions and of course, the best and most interesting people live in NY.

Part of this belief is that no one else in the whole world can make bagels or pizza better than NYers. Nobody.  I won’t bring up the fact that pizza hails from Italy and bagels come from Eastern Europe – but NYers still make them better. The reason they are better (according to NY lore) is the water in NY – there are some special chemical compounds in NY tap water that lends itself to make the best bagels.
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During my time in NY I whole heartedly believed in all of the above statements, especially when it came to bread products – NY was king. I lived on the Upper West Side and so obviously my bagel mecca was H & H Bagels (which is tragically no longer around). During its heyday H & H put out 80,000 bagels a day! Now when we go to NY we stay with Luke’s family and Pick a Bagel always seems to win (although they seriously don’t come close to H & H)
Since moving to San Francisco almost 6 1/2 years ago – I believed that I couldn’t get a good bagel here and had to wait until I went back to NY…until now.
I recently saw this recipe on dispelling the urban myth that only good bagels come from NY. The recipe seemed simple enough to try so I attempted – expecting to fail because San Francisco’s crystal clear water from the Sierra’s couldn’t cut it and I couldn’t figure out how to import water from the Hudson.
But to my amazement, they were amazing. Chewy, hearty, dense and perfect, everything you want a bagel to be. Like with most bread products made from scratch you have to plan ahead because the dough has to rise and all that, but if you can plan it out, homemade bagels are completely doable. Watch out NY!

Here are the steps:
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Weigh dough Collage
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water floating test
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What do you think? Can bagels hail from anywhere else besides NY? I think so.


  1. stef says

    These look delicious. If you are ready to take on H&H and NYC, I’m ready for a bagel carb-load. Loving all of your photos too!

    • admin says

      Be careful what you wish for…you might just get a load of carbs dropped off at your apartment this weekend xx

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