Alright, Serious Question of The Day: Do You Toast Your Bagel, Or Not?

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carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
9
Raleigh, NC
I have some gyuys in the office who think it's a crime against the Order of Food Stuffs to toast a bagel. It's the only way I have ever preferred one. Just something about a hot, toasty bagel, smothered in cream cheese that hits the spot with a cup of coffee followed by a good pipe, but that's just me.
So what have you? Toast or no toasting of the bagel for you?

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
9
Raleigh, NC
Biscuits!
I would much rather prefer a biscuit as well, Cosmic, but on this occasion they brought in bagels for everyone to enjoy, so the discussion ramped up the minute I dropped mine in the toaster.
My ideal breakfast consists of two hot biscuits, slathered in milk gravy, with a lightly scrambled egg or two. Just love them biscuits and gravy!

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,160
390
Lexington, KY
Gotta toast it. Bagels are primarily cooked by boiling the dough (so I hear), which gives it that dense, somewhat cloying texture. Toasting really helps make that heaviness much more palatable.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,680
1,556
Chicago, IL
Toasting a fresh bagel destroys alters its taste; but if you don't live within walking distance of a good Jewish deli, then it probably doesn't matter. At any rate, bagels are best with lox and cream cheese.
BTW, if you ever get a chance, try a biały -- with butter.

 

timt

Preferred Member
Jul 19, 2018
1,053
82
Yeah, the good ones at the bagel shop don't get toasted. The crappy ones at the grocery store do, and they're usually what I have.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,587
890
Same-day fresh bagel, your option. If not same-day, toast. The reason people prefer biscuits to bagels is often that bagels outside New York City and area aren't especially well made. When in NYC, after asking around about the source, bagels are way best. In the South, skip the bagels and find the good biscuits -- again, mind the source. Footnote: When I moved to Raleigh, N.C., the only ethnic/international food was Tippy's Taco House and the Canton Cafe. Since then the restaurants have become expansive including a very good Laotian place. However, with all the offerings, the only good Jewish food was in a suburb, Cary, and that has now closed years ago. Seems strange.

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
647
87
Canada
Mmmmm, Kettleman's bagels, fresh out of the wood-burning oven, lathered in your favourite topping. If it's the next day, pop them in the toaster!

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,842
27
Lived in New York City for 3 years and I remember all the bagels I bought for breakfast was toasted while those for later in the day were not toasted. I think it also made a difference to the type of bagels. I never had a cinnamon raisin bagel which was not toasted first.

 
Nov 27, 2018
270
1
I usually broil my bagel in the oven, cut sides up. That way it stays nice and soft on the outside and gets nice and crispy on the inside where my eggs and bacon are gonna hang out. Thanks for bringing this up, though. Because of this post I'm now about to make a breakfast sandwich. This morning I've got an Everything Bagel, fresh eggs, and Canadian Bacon in a rusticated Savinelli 506 with a square saddle ebonite stem.

 

techie

Preferred Member
Jul 20, 2018
594
0
Toasted. With cream cheese. Now I'm craving one.
I like the breakfast bagel at Bruegger's too, also toasted.

 

canucklehead

Member
Aug 1, 2018
122
62
People eat untoasted bagels?! Every bagel shop I've ever been to in my life normally toasts the bagels unless you specifically ask for an untoasted one (eeew).

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,852
772
It all depends. Mostly I don't toast the bagel, but when I want a little crunch added to the chewiness of the crust and the softness of the bread, then I'll toast it. What is difficult is finding a bakery that really knows how to make a bagel. It's a bit more complicated than some breads and it's really a balancing act.
The bread is more substantial than Wonder Bread, but not so much that you could lob a bagel at a battleship and sink it. That's why knishes were invented. The crust on a well made bagel should have a satisfying amount of chewiness.
Unfortunately, like so many good things, the bagel has been mercilessly commoditized, made to jump through hoops that no enlightened society would ever countenance. Chocolate? Strawberry? Gad, they might as well be biscuits! Not that I don't like biscuits, especially a beautifully tender one, but a biscuit is only a staging area for gravy and other goodies, it's everything else's bitch. On the other hand, a properly made bagel can be quite self sufficient. It has self respect. But all these flavors! Sun dried tomato? It's Western Civilization's nether bits!
Real bagels come in a handful of unfooffy varieties, white, egg, onion, pumpernickel, sesame, maybe poppyseed. After that, the slide begins gently with cinnamon raisin, and then the steep fall into the hell and damnation of chocolate bagels, sun dried tomato and the truly horrid pumpkin spice. I blame Manhattan and Noah's, two of the worst bagel makers in the history of bagel making. Noah's bialies weren't bad, but it's been years since I've been in one of their stores, so I can't attest to their current quality. You couldn't tell the difference between the bread and the crust. It was all a dense bore. And truth to tell, there isn't a chain that's going to do it correctly. Bagels need a bakery that makes them with love and respect. Good luck finding one.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
9
Raleigh, NC
My step-dad visited one of his aunts that lived in NYC a good number of years ago and went to a place called Zabar's. Ever since, he gets a shipment of their coffee beans, bagels, cream cheese and occasionally some lox to go with it. I have had their bagels many times, but all of them toasted. If I was there live and in person, maybe different, but to get them from a place and they're cold, I prefer to have them toasted so they're nice and warm. I also do love the little crunch in unison with the soft, chewy center.

 
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