The Philadelphia Experiment

I love cream cheese, especially plain Philadelphia. What goes best with that? Well, bagels of course. The problem in Sweden though is that they’re not common, at least not in Gothenburg. If you don’t want to go to the wonderful café “Bönor och Bagels”, the only option left is to bake them yourself. After reading Moira’s post, I thought that maybe I could manage to do them. And after Zarah Maria’s post where she tried Moira’s recipe I came to the conclusion that I definitely would succeed.

It started well. I did the dough and it rose just as it should. There was only one small fire, which was quickly extinguished… I cooked the 3 first ones and they turned out nicely even though Fredrik thought that they were rather roughly shaped.

When I cooked the next 3 ones I somehow forgot about the time, and I think (please correct me if I’m wrong) that they were over cooked. They looked perfect until I put them on the rack, after 10 seconds they turned small and hard… Just look at the below photo for the difference… :-(

I almost wanted to cry. I hate to fail in the kitchen and I was hungry and whiny. Last weekend I failed enourmously with a cake (I’ll write another post about that as I will give it a new try for the next SHF). The last 2 bagels were still big after the cooking, so at this point at least 5 of 8 bagels were OK. I sprinkled poppy seeds on 3 of them and sesame seeds on the last 2. I baked them in the oven and they turned out quite well. They were delicous together with a lot of Philadelphia, raw red onion and cucumber. But I’m still sulky… Next time (yes, there will be another one) I will make them perfect! And next time I will also let them to rise after forming the bagels, as I hope that they will be smoother then.

5 Responses to “The Philadelphia Experiment”

  1. Anonymous
    April 9th, 2005 22:45

    this is lauren groveman (a great cooking teacher) making bagels:

    here is her recipe:

  2. Barbara Fisher
    April 11th, 2005 20:15

    Do not despair; bagels are not easy.

    Zak has been experimenting with bread (I think you probably know this since you read the blog, duh) but I haven’t gotten him to try making the bagels yet, though his dad makes them.

    (I keep telling him that he is Jewish, and that he needs to exercise his cultural culinary heritage and make bagels, but he wants to make French country breads instead. Which is okay. I am from West Virginia and cook Chinese food, so what do I know from cultural culinary heritage? Besides, the fact is, I am just being selfish because I want bagels with cream cheese and nova lox.)

  3. Dagmar
    April 15th, 2005 12:36


    thanks :-)

    All fresh bread is nice, and French Country Bread as well. But I’m still hoping that Zak will make you some bagels :-)

  4. Anonymous
    May 13th, 2005 10:27

    Hi Dagmar!

    I’m so glad you gave the bagels a try and that you’re going to try them again, in spite of the hiccups you encountered with boiling! I have to disagree with Barbara, though- I think that SOME bagels might be difficult, but these most certainly are not. I’m going to go back over my recipe and see if there are any additional tips I can give you on the process. I developed this recipe to be easy and tasty, with not much effort besides the time expenditure. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can (I’ve got a bit of catching up to do after five weeks away), but I’m glad you had success with a few of them anyway!


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