Making Bagels in Thailand (Chiang Mai), New York Style

bagel3I’m kind of a snob about my bagels. I grew up in New York, and we loved our bagels. Every Sunday when I was a kid, and as I got older and started working, it was always an egg and cheese on a bagel.

Bagels have changed over the years. They just taste different, more doughy, and with a different type of taste and texture. Mass produced bagels, sure. They had to be, right? I mean rents are high so you got to make as much as you can to turn a profit I suppose. I didn’t like them as much as I did when I was a kid. Oh well, things change, that’s the way things are.

Sometimes I make my own, like today, for example, and I use a recipe that I got online. You can get it here, and it’s real simple. But, I guess bagels are supposed to be simple, just flour, water, yeast, and salt. I made mine in my super efficient (joking) electric oven made in China. I say it’s supper efficient because it works, and it keeps working even though it makes lots of noise and rattles, and sometimes it just shuts off in mid bake. That’s about as good as it gets around here…

Back to bagels. I tried a few different recipes but I like this one the best. It doesn’t have malt, just a few ingredients, and I add both baking soda and honey to the water to help with the maillard reaction, a chemical reaction that makes food brown.

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The bagels have a nice crust, a bit on the hard side, just the way I like them. They are soft and slightly doughy in the inside with a very nice flavor. I can’t complain. The only place I can get a bagel here is a place called the Bagel House Cafe, but I’m thinking that mine are better–and I can’t bring myself to part with my money for an un-New York style bagel when I can make close to the real deal in my house. OK, it’s a little work, but so what.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, it’s time for a bagel–poppy, black and white sesame seed, and salt…Oh yeah, throw in a plan bagel, what the heck.

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