The REAL Reason New York Bagels are Better- Its Not the Water

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Yeah, its the water. I heard that somewhere. I don’t know who started this absurd rumor, but they need to be captured and sentenced to life in prison. Its not the water. That’s ridiculous. Water is water.

If you’ve ever had New York Bagels, you know that they have a shiny, chewy, golden crust and a dense and chewy interior. And if you’ve ever lived in New York, you know it is almost impossible to eat what other people consider to be bagels, which are lightweight, fluffy, white, flavorless bread rolls with a mass production look about them.

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The reason? New York bagels are boiled before being baked, while other bagels are steamed. Boiling them gives them the dense, chewy texture and crust. But steaming bagels is easier and cheaper. Bagels need to be proofed for at least 12 hours at a low temperature- so they sit in the refrigerator on trays. If they need to be boiled afterwards, it requires removing them from their trays and putting them back afterwards for the baking process. Steaming occurs while the bagels are still on the trays during the baking process, and so a lot less effort is required. Which also means less employees, less time, and less cost. But unless the bagels are boiled, they are essentially just rolls with holes.

A word of advice: If a native New Yorker is visiting you, don’t ever take him to Einstein Brothers. He will never talk to you again.