New recipes

The One Thing No Real New Yorker Ever Does With a Bagel

The One Thing No Real New Yorker Ever Does With a Bagel

If you’re getting a fresh bagel from a bagel shop, don’t make this mistake

If a bagel is right out of the oven, there's no reason to toast it.

There are two types of bagels in this world: Real, honest-to-goodness bagels, and round bread. If you’re buying a bagel at a real New York bagel shop, you better not asked for it toasted.

Here’s why: A fresh bagel is prefect as it is. The outside is slightly crunchy and chewy thanks to it being boiled, and the inside is soft and bready, ready for toppings. A fresh bagel doesn’t need to be cooked again; doing so ruins the integrity that the bagel-maker worked so hard to perfect.

The Daily Meal’s former executive editor Arthur Bovino feels very strongly about this, and has penned several articles on the matter. We’ll let him take it from here:

“A good bagel in its perfect form — that is to say, fresh from the oven — does not require toasting. It does not benefit from toasting. Toasting a good bagel is bastardizing a beautiful thing. If you’re toasting a good bagel, you’re toasting something that’s already warm and crusty — that’s redundant. You’re not going to get anything better than peak form — oven-fresh. The outside is already crisp yet pliable. The inside, willing and giving, accepting and forgiving, still able to transform through its residual heat, its breath — your spread, from its natural state into something just slightly different, while keeping its integrity. If you’re taking this level of craftsmanship and toasting it you either have hubris or a lack of experience with quality product.

There is nothing wrong with toasting an average bagel, a day-old bagel. Go ahead, freeze your bagels and then toast them. By all means. But a fresh bagel? … No. And here’s the thing, those bagels, those bagels acceptable for toasting? The frozen ones, the hours-old bagels, the day-olds, the second-time rounders? You keep them. They’re not worth eating if you have to toast. If you’re toasting a bagel worth eating, you’re not just painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa, you're spitting in Da Vinci's face.”


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.


The Real Reason Bagels Are Boiled Before They're Baked

Bagels are basic, and that's probably why people love them so much. According to The New York Times, all you need to make them are high-gluten flour, water, yeast, and malt syrup. (Sesame seeds, cheese, raisins, and all the rest are popular but optional.) The additional protein in the high-gluten flour makes the bagel elastic and chewy, and not dense and disgusting, explains New Yorker Bagels. The malt syrup is for sweetness, and it gives the authentic bagel its signature flavor (via Fine Cooking).

Some bagel aficionados will say you can substitute honey or maple syrup, while others would say there is no substitute for malt (via Slate). What might be the biggest part of the bagel-eating experience is a feel more than a taste — biting through that chewy, slightly crunchy crust. This bagel-defining moment requires one all-important step before those round deli delicacies hit the oven: They need to be boiled (via The Kitchn).

Won't a boiling bagel get water-logged? For one thing, bagels aren't like pasta or rice. They float. As The Kitchn explains, bagels are boiled for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, and the heat causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize so that water doesn't penetrate deep into the dough.