America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland. True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the bagel was a staple of Polish cuisine. Its name derives from the Yiddish word beygal from the German dialect word beugel, meaning “ring” or “bracelet”.
Bagels arrived in the United States in the late 19th Century courtesy of Jewish immigrants from Poland. They were sold on New York’s Lower East Side streets, stacked up on poles or hung up from strings (which explains the holes,) making it easy for customers to buy and enjoy them on the street. Whether they’re served plain or schmeared with cream cheese and topped with lox, capers, tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onions, bagels have never strayed far from their humble roots as simple, comforting peasant food. The Yiddish word for a bagel is “beigel” and some say the bagel is a descendant of the German pretzel, a similar yeasted dough bread that is boiled then baked. This process helps bagels stay fresh longer, which for poor Jews, was very important.
Bagels with cream cheese and lox (cured salmon) are considered a traditional part of American Jewish cuisine (colloquially known as “lox and a schmear”).
Bagels were brought to the United States by immigrant Polish Jews, with a thriving business developing in New York City that was controlled for decades by Bagel Bakers Local 338. They had contracts with nearly all bagel bakeries in and around the city for its workers, who prepared all their bagels by hand.
Around 1900, the “bagel brunch” became popular in New York CityThe bagel brunch consists of a bagel topped with lox, cream cheese, capers, tomato, and red onion. This and similar combinations of toppings have remained associated with bagels into the 21st century in the US.
At its most basic, traditional bagel dough contains wheat flour (without germ or bran), salt, water, and yeast leavening. Bread flour or other high gluten flours are preferred to create a firm, dense but spongy bagel shape and chewy texture.
The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century with automation. Daniel Thompson started work on the first commercially viable bagel machine in 1958; bagel baker Harry Lender, his son, Murray Lender, and Florence Sender leased this technology and pioneered automated production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s.[Murray also invented pre-slicing the bagel.
Most bagel recipes call for the addition of a sweetener to the dough, often barley malt (syrup or crystals), honey, high fructose corn syrup, or sugar, with or without eggs, milk, or butter. Leavening can be accomplished using a sourdough technique or a commercially produced yeast.
If you do not live near a bagel shop you can make them at home, just as I do. Here is my recipe.
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water, lukewarm
2 quarts (64 ounces) water
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
To make this dough in a mixer, combine all of the dough ingredients and knead vigorously, with the dough hook for 10 minutes. The dough will be quite stiff but hold its shape. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and let it rise until puffy and almost doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into eight equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up just a little.
While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt, and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan.
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Place parchment on each of the two baking sheets.
Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of one ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole until it’s about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4 inches across). Place the bagel in the simmering water. Repeat the process with two more balls.
Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary.
Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re as deep brown, turning them over about 12 minutes into the baking time. Switch the pans on the oven racks.
Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 8 bagels.
Coconut Layer Cake
When baking with coconut milk, I use shelf-stable boxed coconut milk.
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature-very soft)
1 2/3 cups sugar
9 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups coconut flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 1/3 cups coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch or two 8-inch layer pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
Combine the butter and sugar, and beat together for about 2 minutes using an electric mixer.
Add eggs in one at a time and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla while beating the eggs and butter mixture.
Combine the dry ingredients together and add one cup at a time, alternating with the coconut milk. Beat batter for about five minutes on high speed.
Spoon batter into the two prepared cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Place the pans on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the layers from the pans. Cool cakes completely before frosting.
1 cup raspberry or strawberry jam
1 (8 ounces) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
Toasted or tinted coconut flakes
Prepare the Frosting: Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with a heavy-duty stand mixer using the whisk attachment on medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and heavy cream and beat until fluffy.
Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer on a serving platter, and spread jam over the layer, spreading to within 1/2-inch from the edge. Top with the second layer, and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with toasted coconut.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup shredded zucchini squeezed to remove water (about 1 medium zucchini)
2 cups Oat Flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix or cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350degrees F. Coat an 8×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray the paper.
In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, egg, vanilla extract, honey, milk, and zucchini.
Combine dry ingredients together (oat flour, spices, baking powder/baking soda, salt) and stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, Fold in walnuts.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden and the cake tester comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool completely for at least 20 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 ½ teaspoons molasses
2 cups pumpernickel or dark rye flour
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2-3 cups whole wheat flour
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
To make the bagel dough:
Whisk 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, yeast, and molasses in a large bowl until the yeast dissolves. Stir in pumpernickel flour, onions, cornmeal, caraway seeds, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in enough of the wheat flour to make a soft dough, about 2 cups.
Knead, gradually incorporating more wheat flour, until the dough is resilient and quite firm, 10 to 12 minutes (the dough will remain slightly sticky). Cover the dough with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces; roll each piece into a 10-inch-long rope. Wet the ends lightly with water. Form into bagels by overlapping the ends up 1 inch. Pinch ends together firmly. Set bagels aside, uncovered, to rise until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bring water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot.
Slip several risen bagels at a time into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds, turn them over with a slotted spoon or tongs and cook for 45 seconds longer. Drain the bagels on a clean dish towel and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
Place in the oven, reduce heat to 425°F and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the bagels over and bake 5 more minutes. Cool on wire racks. Bagels freeze very well.
Need some new ideas for using your Thanksgiving leftovers? Think breakfast.
Apple Sweet Potato Muffins
Cooked butternut squash would also work well in this recipe.
Makes 12-15 muffins depending on the size of your muffin cups.
1/2 cup leftover mashed sweet potatoes
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 large eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a muffin pan well with non-stick cooking spray.
In a small bowl combine the chopped hazelnuts with the granulated sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest, cinnamon and ginger.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla.
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well incorporated, then fold in the chopped apple.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle with hazelnuts and granulated sugar.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Cranberry Sauce Scones
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on the scones
1/2 cup unsalted, cold butter, diced
1/2 cup half-and-half, plus more for glazing
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup leftover homemade cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. Fold in the chopped walnuts.
In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup half-and-half and the eggs, beating well. Add the cranberry sauce and almond extract. Stir well.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently just to combine. Use your hands to press the dough into a rough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board or counter top. Press and knead the dough just until it comes together.
Do not overwork the dough or the scones won’t be tender.
Divide the dough in half. Round each half into a 6″ circle. The circles should be about 3/4″ thick. Cut each circle into 6 wedges.
Transfer the scones with a metal spatula to the baking pans.
Pour a small amount of half-and-half into a dish or measuring cup. Use a pastry brush to gently brush some half-and-half on the top of each scone and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Thanksgiving Stuffing Hash and Eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups of leftover sausage stuffing
4 large eggs
In a skillet with a cover, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the butter.
Add the stuffing, flatten with a spatula and cook until light golden brown and crispy on the bottom.
Gently turn the stuffing over and cook for 3-4 minutes more.
With a large spoon make four round holes in the stuffing mixture.
Crack eggs one at a time into a small bowl and gently pour into each hole in the stuffing.
Cover the pan and cook the eggs to your likeness or until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.
Turkey Breakfast Sandwich
1 bagel thin, lightly toasted and buttered
Dash of water
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 thin slices leftover turkey
1 slice white American Cheese or your favorite cheese
Beat eggs with a dash of water; then add chives, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
Heat oil in a small skillet with a cover and pour in the egg mixture. Cook until the eggs are set.
Turn the egg mixture over with a wide spatula to finish cooking.
Fold the omelet in half and in half again. Place the cheese slice on top of the omelet to heat for a minute or two.
Place the turkey slices on top of the cheese, cover the pan and let the filling warm until the cheese begins to melt.
Transfer to the toasted bagel and serve.
Our favorite bagels are not from a bagel shop but homemade. In my part of the world, there are no bagel shops. You can buy a bagel at the supermarket or at the airport, but no bagel shop where you can go pick out your favorite dozen. So I make my own. I make several different flavors, such as pumpernickel or cinnamon, at different times, but these are our favorite. They are especially good with smoked salmon and red onion.
4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ cup sourdough starter
1 ½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
Olive oil for the bowl
Everything bagel topping
Combine the flour, yeast, salt, onion powder and garlic powder in the large bowl of an electric mixer.
With the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.
Combine the sourdough starter, warm water and honey in a large measuring cup and pour into the flour mixture in the electric mixer bowl.
Mix the dough with the paddle attachment on low speed until the dough comes together.
Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes. With a spatula, scrape the dough from the bottom of the bowl to the top.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rest 5 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to knead the dough with the dough hook for 10 minutes. This procedure helps the dough to develop the gluten that bagels need.
Oil a bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turning it several times to coat in the oil. Cover and let rise, about 2 hours.
Place the dough on a floured board. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. I use a scale to measure.
On the floured board gently roll the one piece of sough into an 8 inch length and join the ends together to form a ring. Place on a floured kitchen towel. Repeat until all the bagels are formed. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Fill a Dutch Oven or other large pot three-quarters of the way with water. Add 1 tablespoon brown sugar and bring to a boil.
Place 3 bagels in the boiling water and let cook for one minute. With a spider or large spoon turn the bagels over in the water and cook for one minute. Remove the bagels to a dry kitchen towel.
Repeat this procedure for the remaining babels.
Top some of the bagels with an everything bagel topping, if desired.
Place the boiled bagels on parchment lined cookie sheets Six bagels to a sheet.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pans after half the baking time has elapsed. Remove the pans from the oven and place the bagels on a cooling rack.
Bagels freeze well, so I store them there and defrost them overnight when I want to serve the,
Some great toppings for your homemade bagels:
Cream cheese with chives and scallions. Add slices of cucumber for a lunch treat.
Cream cheese, slices of smoked salmon and slices of red onion.
Eggs Over Easy with slices of cheese and cooked bacon.
Tuna or Turkey Melt
What is your favorite bagel topping?
That mound of apples and that mound of pears looked so beautiful at the market, so who could resist bringing them home. Now what to do with all this delicious fruit before it goes bad?
Here are a few ideas.
Apple Cinnamon Scones
Makes 12 scones
- 2 3/4 cups Self-Rising Flour (flour that contains baking powder and salt)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice or ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter
- 2 apples, peeled, in 1/2″ pieces
- 3/4 cup cinnamon chips
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- Topping: milk and cinnamon sugar
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and apple pie spice.
Work in the butter with your fingers or a pastry blender just until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the chopped apple and cinnamon chips.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and applesauce.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all the mixture holds together.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sprinkle flour on the work surface.
Scrape the dough onto the floured surface and divide it in half. Gently pat and round each half into a 5″ to 5 1/2″ circle about 3/4″ thick.
Stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with the topping.
Using a bench knife, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
Carefully place each wedge on the parchment lined pans, at least a 1 inch apart.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake the scones for 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Rotate the pans after 10 minutes.
Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they’re completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days.
Apple Crunch Bagels
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 6 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon apple pie spice
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples, about 2 medium apples
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup room temperature butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
- Pinch of salt
In a medium saucepan, warm cider and butter just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine two cups of bread flour, the brown sugar, the cooled cider mixture, salt, apple pie spice, apples and yeast with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
Keeping the mixer on medium, add the remaining bread flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough comes together and is just barely sticky.
Switch to the dough hook attachment and “knead” the dough for about 6 minutes or until the dough is elastic.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Cover 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Punch the dough down and separate into 12 equal sized balls. on a well floured surface.
Roll and stretch one ball into an 8 inch-long rope and don’t taper ends.
Wrap the rope around your fingers, overlapping the ends by 2 inches, to create a ring. Pinch the ends together.
Once the bagels are shaped, place them on a kitchen towel to rise for another 10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and heat the oven to 425 degrees F
To prepare the topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, spice mix, salt and butter in a small bowl and mix until it is crumbly. Beat the egg with one teaspoon of water.
When the water comes to a boil, drop 4 bagels in at a time and boil for about 30 seconds per side. Remove with a slotted spoon to a kitchen towel.
After boiling, place the bagels on the parchment covered pans and brush with the egg mixture. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the bagels.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the bagels are golden brown, rotating the pans after 12 minutes.
Pear & Celery Salad
- 4 stalks celery, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
- 2 tablespoons cider, pear, raspberry or other fruit vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ripe pears, diced
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 large leaves romaine lettuce, shredded
Soak celery in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Whisk vinegar, honey and salt in a large bowl until blended. Add pears; gently stir to coat. Add the celery, cheese and pecans; stir to combine. Season with pepper.
Divide the lettuce leaves among 4 plates and top with a portion of salad. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Pork Chops with Pear & Ginger Sauce
- Two 4-ounce boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 medium ripe pear, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 shallot, trimmed and sliced
Season the pork with salt and pepper and coat in the cornstarch. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the pork and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Add the sliced shallots and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour in the vinegar and honey; stir to dissolve. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, stirring.
Add the pears and ginger. Cook, uncovered, stirring the pears occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan; turn to coat with the sauce and heat through. Serve with a side of roasted acorn squash.