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

(74 posts)
  • Started 7 months ago by carolinachurchwarden
  • Latest reply from carolinachurchwarden
  1. carolinachurchwarden

    carolinachurchwarden

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    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?

    "If you can't send money, send tobacco." - George Washington

    Posted 7 months ago #
  2. npod

    npod

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    Toast!

    Everything bagel with a smear!

    Neal
    Posted 7 months ago #
  3. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Biscuits!

    Michael
    Posted 7 months ago #
  4. carolinachurchwarden

    carolinachurchwarden

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    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!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  5. weedsnager

    weedsnager

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    Toast

    Posted 7 months ago #
  6. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    Toast for sure

    Posted 7 months ago #
  7. haparnold

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    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.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 7 months ago #
  8. jacks6

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    Toasted

    Posted 7 months ago #
  9. cortezattic

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    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.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 7 months ago #
  10. timt

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    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.

    Tim
    Posted 7 months ago #
  11. craiginthecorn

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    +1 on timt's approach, especially with a schmear. I don't like melting cream cheese mess.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  12. mso489

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    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.

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    mau1

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    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!

    “I've been treating you with courtesy and respect because that's the way I choose to treat everyone. But never, ever mistake kindness with weakness.”
    ― Louise Penny, Still Life
    Posted 7 months ago #
  14. pappymac

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    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.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 7 months ago #
  15. georgebmcclelland

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    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.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  16. techie

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    Toasted. With cream cheese. Now I'm craving one.

    I like the breakfast bagel at Bruegger's too, also toasted.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  17. canucklehead

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    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).

    Posted 7 months ago #
  18. rmpeeps

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    What are these bagels you speak of? Is it like a tortilla? I like my tortillas toasted, just on the verge of being a cracker.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  19. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    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.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 7 months ago #
  20. carolinachurchwarden

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    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.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  21. pianopuffer

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    100% toasted. The ONLY caveat to this is a bagel that is right out of the oven. Then, I enjoy it as is.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  22. jpmcwjr

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    I toast everything, and even the best bagel gets that treatment. Cream cheese right from the fridge gets slightly warmed by the hot bagel, and does not run.
    When I worked on Wall Street, a toasted bialy was my go-to, some times with butter, sometimes cream cheese. Otherwise, a toasted onion bagel, cream cheese and lox was a special treat.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 7 months ago #
  23. crashthegrey

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    If it isn't 5 minutes old at the shop, you better toast it. But I don't toast bread usually, so you know what they say about glass houses.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  24. mso489

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    We have tote bags from Zabar's, and jpm's memories of his Wall Street bagels make me yearn for the real thing. Mostly outside NY/NJ, the bagel is just a different item, and much less delectable.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  25. bryguysc

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    100% toasted... with butter.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  26. scloyd

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    If it's a fresh bagel from a bagel shop and I'm on the run (driving while I eat it)...not toasted and I eat it plain like a donut. If I'm going to relax and sit down and eat it...toasted with cream cheese.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  27. markthelad

    markthelad

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    Everything bagel, lightly toasted, then allowed to cool slightly and slathered with cream cheese!

    "I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself."
    Johnny Carson
    Posted 7 months ago #
  28. cigrmaster

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    When I buy fresh bagels from the bagel shop, I eat them not toasted the first day. Second day and after they get toasted.

    My favorite way to eat a bagel is with cream cheese and smoked Sable on top. My second favorite is with cream cheese, sweet or red onion, tomato and smoked Salmon on top.

    Harris
    Posted 7 months ago #
  29. dochudson

    dochudson

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    Blocks everything bagel with peanut butter!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  30. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    I prefer to give my bagels a hot water rinse before toasting.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
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    Posted 7 months ago #
  31. d4k23

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    smoked Sable on top

    Typo or intentional? Ha.

    My kids eat the store bought bagels un-toasted with cream cheese, but I toast them, cream cheese, fried egg, and bacon between. Best is an “Everything” bagel.

    But I did have a bagel in NY once. I ate it however they handed it to me and it was really good (I’m from Texas).

    Posted 7 months ago #
  32. voorhees

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    I once had a gf who had a connection in NYC that sent her frozen half cooked bagels. Then she’d toast them whole and it was as if they just came out of the oven. Delicious with cream cheese. Good lord I miss those bagels.

    Jason
    Posted 7 months ago #
  33. saltedplug

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    toasted, buttered, topped

    Posted 7 months ago #
  34. lochinvar

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    Toasted if I'm not rushing out the door. Since I'm in East Tennessee, I don't get anything close to a traditional bagel, and not a Jewish deli until Nashville.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  35. weezell

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    At any rate, bagels are best with lox and cream cheese.

    "the weez"...
    Posted 7 months ago #
  36. gerryp

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    Non-toasted, lots of cream cheese.

    Side note: It's hard to find a good bagel in New Orleans, Stein's being the only place that has them as far as I know. I solved the problem by making them myself. They turned out pretty good, link to pic if you're interested:

    https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMz66tF64dQzhue4Jl_zAYhvo5HVYG5JWEdP0Wx

    Posted 7 months ago #
  37. jpmcwjr

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    In California, (maybe all over the US), we have Noah's bagels, and they are a marketing juggernaut. Every thing is cutesy and heaped with pretension. Lots of words that appear to be Yiddish, but which I think many are made up. Anyway, their bagels are not boiled, and are mediocre. YMMV. Anyone else tried their stuff?

    Edit- 56 locations, all in California. Love to have Jesse's take on this.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  38. jpmcwjr

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    Non-toasted, lots of cream cheese.

    Side note: It's hard to find a good bagel in New Orleans, Stein's being the only place that has them as far as I know. I solved the problem by making them myself. They turned out pretty good, link to pic if you're interested:

    https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMz66tF64dQzhue4Jl_zAYhvo5HVYG5JWEdP0Wx

    Link returns:


    404. That’s an error.

    The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

    Do you boil before baking?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  39. gerryp

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    Huh. Works on my end, I'll figure it out. Otherwise, Spoiler Alert: it's 8 everything bagels on a wire rack.

    Yes, you have to boil them or else it's just round bread with a hole. I added some dry malt extract to the boil that I had handy for brewing purposes.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  40. gerryp

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    Maybe this one works: https://photos.app.goo.gl/yudi8mzk4qDE1PwV8

    Posted 7 months ago #
  41. jpmcwjr

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    Looks very good!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  42. jpmcwjr

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    If you follow your link into the page, get the full photo's URL, and paste that into the IMG tag, the image becomes embedded, so to speak, and no one has to click links to see the picture.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  43. gerryp

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    Thanks for the info and the compliment. Still learning how the board works.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  44. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    56 locations, all in California. Love to have Jesse's take on this.

    Hi John,

    I mentioned Noah's in my earlier post. They're one of the worst makers of bagels since the destruction of the Second Temple. They're the McDonalds of the bagel world. Any resemblance between Noah's product and a genuine bagel is ironic. They do unto bagels what the Danes do unto classic British blends. Flaming snot or the glandular excretions of a baboon's butt would likely taste better than a Noah's bagel.

    That enough of a take?

    I haven't had a really good bagel in a long while, not because they're unavailable in La La Land, but because I don't have the time to drive to a decent Jewish bakery, so what bagels I do get are the bagels that Warner Bros picks up weekly from Western Bagels. Serviceable, but thoroughly mediocre.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  45. upnorth1

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    I prefer to give my bagels a hot water rinse before toasting.

    Toasted, as if this was ever a ligit question!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  46. wyfbane

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    I generally toast my bagels. Up here in the NW I find it near impossible to get my favorite bagel: Pumpernickel. I haven't had one in years.

    Sadness.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  47. chasingembers

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    Beignets or sweet cornbread here. Never a bagel.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 7 months ago #
  48. woodsroad

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    If they aren’t hot out of the oven, then they must be toasted if you want the authentic flavor/texture experience. My father used to spritz them withwater, then reheat in the oven. That’s even better.

    And Gerry? Those bagels look damned yummy.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  49. bluegrasspipe

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    Gotta be toasted brotha. And a lot of that creamy cheese. Mmmm Although I have never tried the hot water rinse first.

    For tho' at my simile many may joke,
    Man is but a pipe—and his life but smoke.
    Posted 7 months ago #
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    piper64

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    Must get new glasses.I was wondering why you would toast a hunting dog

    Faugh a Ballagh
    Posted 7 months ago #
  51. economistandfisherman

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    Toast it! Always! Are your office colleagues millennials?

    “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest”
    Adam Smith
    Posted 7 months ago #
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    ekert

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    I only eat bagels that were baked the same day 99% of the time (lots of places here in South Florida) so definitely untoasted, the other 1% of the time I toast it and let it come to room temperature before putting on a healthy schmear... not a fan of hot melted cream cheese.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  53. eggrollpiper

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    To toast or not to toast, almost as important a question as what to put between the halves. So for me it depends on a number of variables however my default is toasted poppy w cc. If butter on the go then no toast.
    One of my favs: cracked peppercorn Turkey, egg whites and Swiss (or pepper jack if I'm feeling frisky) on an egg everything, toasted or not depending on time of day, year, and wind direction...
    Cinnamon raisin always toasted w butter or walnut raisin cc when available.
    Now what about flagels and squagles?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  54. prndl

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    Biscuits and gravy, here.

    Bagels (toasted or not) and gravy is kinda like socks on a rooster.

    Home is the sailor, home from sea,
    And the hunter home from the hill.
    Posted 7 months ago #
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    instymp

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    no

    Posted 7 months ago #
  56. mawnansmiff

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    Never eaten a bagel.....isn't it just a doughnut with a fancy name?

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 7 months ago #
  57. shanez

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    I might be the odd man out here but this is how I do it:

    Step 1: Leave the bagels on the counter for other people.

    Step 2: Get an English muffin.

    Step 3: Toast that bad boy until slightly crispy and golden brown.

    Step 4: Overload said muffin with pure unsalted sweet cream butter! (You may use salted in a pinch.)

    Step 5: Allow butter to both saturate and puddle up in the nooks and crannies of the muffin.

    Step 6: Try not to let your eyes roll back in your head as you enjoy the toasted buttery greatness.

    ***Optionally, you made add a high quality jam or marmalade (no jelly please) to the muffin and butter if you think you can handle it. I prefer strawberry.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  58. jpmcwjr

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    I love English muffins, and crumpets. Scones ok, but a distant third. Blackberry or raspberry jam here. And I insist on salted butter. Bigger taste.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  59. canucklehead

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    Do they call them English muffins in England?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  60. woodsroad

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    Bagels and English Muffins are two different animals. Love ‘em both, for different reasons.
    I would never put lox or whitefish salad on an English Muffin. Nor would I put jam on a bagel. But marmalade and butter on a well-toasted EM is a wonderous item.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  61. cranseiron

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    I have an EM almost every morning-- butter and cane syrup.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  62. jpmcwjr

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    Do they call them English muffins in England?
    No. Nor do the French call potato fries any thing but the translation of same. As for Spanish Rice.....
    And a dozen other things.

    What do they call that muffin?? IIRC, they really don't have such. I think our EMs were derived from crumpets more or less. A good crumpet often trumps an EM, and of course, YMMV.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  63. woodsroad

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    And what do Canadians call American Cheese?

    Posted 7 months ago #
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    mau1

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    You mean those single wrapped slices? That would be "plastic" cheese.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  65. pipesmokingtom

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    The boiling of bagels is most often done in an alkaline solution (industrially lye, home kitchen most often baking soda), which promotes browning while baking. Same routine with pretzels. Pennsylvania does this best.

    Toasted always with cream cheese.

    "We have an unspoken, mutual understanding to ignore the things we hate about each other so we can continue to enjoy the things we love about each other."
    Posted 7 months ago #
  66. carolinachurchwarden

    carolinachurchwarden

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    Now English Muffins is a whole nother thing altogether. I do love a good EM though, especially from this place we have near my office call Another Broken Egg Cafe. They do great benedict recipes with the EM's and they used to do steak and eggs, with an EM that was my go-to when I went there. Add some of their biscuit beignets with orange-honey marmalade and it's a fantastic way to start the day!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  67. crashthegrey

    crashthegrey

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    English muffins are just wannabe crumpets.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  68. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    "I love English muffins, and crumpets."

    John, you are clearly a man of taste. An English crumpet dripping in slightly salted Danish Lurpak butter is the absolute dog's dangly bits

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  69. jpmcwjr

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    The best crumpet I ever had was in England- no big surprise- but it was toasted over a log fire at tea time, and the jam was outrageous. Not sure the origin of the butter, though.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  70. scloyd

    scloyd

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    My favorite summertime sandwich is a toasted english muffin with cream cheese on one half and hummus on the other. Wedged between the two halves...tomato slice, cucumber slices, very thin onion slice, bell pepper slice and some fresh spinach. That is one good crispy and refreshing sandwich. I'll eat two.

    Posted 7 months ago #

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