The bagel is a Jewish bread, perhaps originating in Austria, migrating to Polish Galicia and thence to North America where it has become a standby of the Jewish delicatessen. The slightly enriched dough is shaped into rings, given a short rise, then poached for a matter of seconds before baking. The poaching makes the crust chewy rather than crisp, a texture reinforced by the short rising time. The crust may be brushed with egg to give gloss (an effect also achieved by putting sugar into the poaching water), and it may be coated with onion flakes, poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
© 2005 Tom Jaine. All rights reserved.