You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New York Bagels, Kaiser Rolls and Salt Sticks

I'm in Knoxville this weekend visiting my family and whenever we get together, food is high on the list of things we do. Whether it's getting everyone together to eat at a restaurant or at home, we always find time to spend over a plate of food. This trip, instead of cooking a big meal together, we baked bread. Specifically bagels, kaiser rolls and salt sticks.

Having New York roots, bagels are one of those foods for which there is only one true 'bagel'...a good NY deli bagel. Crusty, chewy and dense. Not like the ones you find in the freezer case at the stores or in the bread aisle which are usually light and fluffy. Blech.....

Finding a true NY style bagel is pretty hard to do in Tennessee and for that matter, not much in where I live in Alexandria has met my standards yet. But after reading several other fellow bloggers rave about the bagel recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice, I was curious enough to check it out. I got a copy of the book from the library (not hard to do since I work in one) and looked over the book. The first part of it is filled with basics of bread baking and I learned quite a few things. I also liked the look of the bagel recipe and about a dozen others so I went out and bought the book. That was a year ago. The poor book has been sitting on my cluttered bookshelves until just recently when I thinned out the collection.

Intrigued by my semolina bread, my brother and sister were interested in baking some bread this weekend when I came down to visit and I knew immediately that bagels would be on the list of breads to make. I also scanned a Kaiser roll recipe in the book and threw that one in the mix as well. My dad's favorite breakfast is fried egg on a kaiser roll and I wanted to see if I could re-create an authentic roll for him.

My brother and sister came by our mom's house yesterday around noon and we baked until close to 7:00. We had baked 8 salt sticks (which we also call snake sticks) and 8 kaiser rolls. We put together a starter for the kaiser recipe but decided to try another recipe my sister found that was for the salt sticks and kaisers, a two-fer! While on the small side, the taste was there. Next time instead of the dough being divided into 16, we'll divide it in 8 and just make salt sticks.

And we had two dozen bagels were sitting in the fridge awaiting a nice hot water bath the next morning before being popped in the oven. A sample bite of a salt stick and a kaiser left us pleased with our handiwork. We couldn't wait until breakfast. This morning we finished making the bagels and could hardly wait for them to cool before we tore into one, slathered it with butter and grunted our approval. These were NY bagels and they were damn good!

But we still had the starter in the fridge from the first Kaiser recipe. I decided to go ahead and make the rolls so we could compare the two recipes. I made them bigger as well so a whole fried egg can easily sit on the roll. They came out really nice and smell wonderful but we will wait til tomorrow morning to try them If I can wait that long.
As soon as I get home, I'll try to get the recipes posted as well.
Here are some more pictures of the bounty we baked:
Salt Sticks (aka Snake sticks)
Kaiser Roll


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Blogger PatL said...

Beautiful breads, and gorgeous photos of them, Barbara!

9:46 PM  
Blogger s'kat said...

The scent in that house must have been incredible! I love making bagels.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Dough-Boy said...

The breakfast table was mostly silent with the exception of a few grunts and moans of approval. We did some HEAVY damage to the bagels and kaisers that we slaved over all day on Saturday. But it was soooo worth it....

10:20 AM  
Blogger ScottE. said...

I've always wanted to make my own bagels...I look forward to the recipe! Bring it on!!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Freya said...

These look so good!

4:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you made three kinds of bread? in one day?

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your bread skills make me envious. I've never tried to make bagels before.

I haven't baked homemade bread in a long time. My mother and I used to bake bread together a lot. She passed away a couple of years ago and I haven't made it since.

You have inspired me to get back into bread-making!

11:31 PM  
Blogger Glenna said...

This is absolutely too cool. I've always wanted to make my own bagels but I find them very intimidating even though I bake a lot and make croissants. Wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing those with us!

11:08 AM  
Blogger Dough-Boy said...

It's easier than you would think. You just need lots of time to do the starter, let the dough rise, proof the bagels, etc.. Oh and allow plenty of time to make another batch, because these will be gone as soon as they come out of the oven and you won't have any left.... :(

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you find that temperature and humidity makes or breaks your bread making skills? I have had no luck lately and I'm wondering if it is the weather.

By the way, thank you so much for the wonderful cookbooks. The Cooking Essentials book was PERFECT for my daughter. She will get lots of use out of it. I can't wait to surprise my husband with some old chicken recipes as well and that Thai book looks like what I needed for stater recipes. The books will get some use in their new home. Thanks!

12:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Temperature does play a role in bread making when you are letting the dough rise. What works best for me is to turn the oven on the lowest setting and sit the bowl on top of the stove (not right up next to the vents) so there is some radiant heat. We also discovered that the halogen lights in the hood of my mom's range worked well too.

So glad you liked the cookbooks!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Miguel Alonso Hurtado said...

Hi Barbara!!
I've just found your blog, don't ask me how, i was sufing the internet and i got into your blog! well, i have to say one of my interests is gastronomy as well as tourism and culture, how about you?
I'll be following your blogs, which are very interesting actually! Because, i really enjoy reading about world gastronomy and food, especially gourmet food by the way! I invite you to check out my blog related to tourism and culture, which is I have a second blog, but in spanish with some posts about food too, it's
I'd like to contact you, by any way like blogger or messenger, as you wish! Thanks and congratulations for your awesome blogs!

12:05 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Did a little bird say these might show up at the library on a Saturday morning some day? All I can say is, it had better be when I'm working! (Or maybe I'll just come in and work anyway -- anything for one of those bagels!)

8:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

do you post any recipes? i've been looking for a salt stick recipe and yours look great.

1:45 PM  
Blogger OP2MIST said...

NEED the salt tick recipe - please!

11:15 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Send me your e-mail address and I'll send the recipe to you.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Barbara said...

Send me your e-mail address and I'll send the recipe to you.


9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,

Any chance you're going to post the salt stick recipe? Or could you email it to me? gfrobe at


9:24 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would LOVE to get your recipe for the rolls&bagel as well as the salt sicks. I am in AZ formerly of NY and my family and I have been LONGING for some good bread!! it is amazing that out side of NY NO one can make Bagels or Rolls.stkbabe at Thanks!

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for a recipe for ny kaiser rolls..

7:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Barbara- I'm 64 years old and was born and raised in New York. I currently live in Illinois and last summer went to visit my sister who lives in New Jersey. We we started talking about the salt sticks that Daddy brought home in the am after working midnight shift 50 years ago. I'm going to visit my sister again this summer, and would love to surprise her with salt sticks. Could you find it in your heart to share to recipe? Thanking you in advance - Trisha Carter

7:23 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Hi Barbara,
I've been looking for a salt stick recipe. It is so hard to find. Could share yours with me? I'm from New York and haven't had a salt stick in 30 plus years! Thank you in advance.


2:38 PM  

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