I’m glad I experienced the bagel boom of the ’90s. You know: When bagel shops with their 32 flavors exploded onto the scene, sort of like the abundant cupcake bakeries of today (although, if I have to read about yet another cupcake-crafting phenom who left investment banking to make bank with their entrepreneurial flair for frosting, I’ll plotz).
Nowadays, of course, bagels are pretty much verboten. Even though we’re over our carb-fear affliction (at least the more reasonable among us are — you, with the sirloin, put that steak knife away and go toast something), shop bagels remain the size of small children’s heads.
During the ’90s, of course, this was not a dangerous thing, calorically speaking. I was young and newly vegetarian and so considered bagels a core food group. And my then-raring metabolism was more than happy to oblige.
This day and age — well, if I’m using phrases like “this day and age,” I’m probably not young enough to metabolize a regular bagel. Unless I make the bagels myself.
It’s part of why we cook and bake, right? We take things we normally wouldn’t feel good about consuming and make them fit more realistically into our efforts toward mindful eating; we take things that might otherwise be indulgences and make them nutritious.
Bagels, for me, fall into that category. Made in my kitchen, they can meet my oh-so-demanding specifications, a) that they be whole grain, through and through, b) that they be about the size of a small child’s kneecap, not head, and c) that they have the crisp-chewy texture and malty taste of a bagel — not a hole-in-the-middle squishy roll.
Naturally I used Peter Reinhart’s recipe. Find it here.
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