Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Homemade new york-style bagels and scallion cream cheese.

My finished product.
Everyone has that ONE food that they say they could live off of for the rest of their life. Mine happens to be everything bagels with scallion cream cheese... and Chipotle... it's a toss-up. When we were living back home in Minnesota, these two little food gems were very easy to come by. We lived within a couple miles of a Brueggers Bagels and Chipotle, and probably should have just opened up our own stores with the amount of money that I spent at these places. When we visit my sister and brother-in-law in Brooklyn, I go to the deli near their apartment at least once a day to get my everything-bagel fix, sandwiched with about an inch-thick of scallion cream cheese. I'm drooling as I write this.

Just my luck, two things Singapore does not have... New York-style bagels, and Chipotle. I've given up on my mission to find a Chipotle (or something similar) in this country because, let's be honest... you can't touch Chipotle (Ugh, the sour cream... NOM!). But, bagels on the other hand are flour, salt, and water. You'd think there would be SOMEONE in Singapore that could get it right!

Point blank... Singapore can't do bagels.

I've tried NYC Bagel Factory (they recently suspended/canceled their delivery service), Two Men Bagel House (Tanjong Pagar), Sacha & Sons (Orchard Rd. - Pretty expensive for what you actually get)... and while these places have some strong contenders... they simply are NOT a New York-style bagel and cream cheese.

So, I decided to make my own. When you miss something as much as I miss the crispy outside and soft inside of a garlic, onion, salt, and sesame seed-covered bagel, with a cold, creamy, and fatty scallion-packed cream cheese... you gotta do what you gotta do. After doing a quick Google search, I discovered that REAL New York-style bagels are boiled before they're baked. Interesting. I found a super simple boiled bagel recipe on the Sophisticated Gourmet blog, and as you can see, the recipe is simply dry yeast, water, sugar, salt, and flour (plus, your favorite bagel toppings)...

2 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

For full instructions, click here.

The 3-year-old eating her first bagel... a bagel that I made!
Rising bagels, pre-boiled.

I chopped up some fresh onion and garlic, and mixed it together with some sea salt and black sesame seeds (poppy seeds are illegal in Singapore - weird!). After boiling the bagels, I simply added the toppings to some of the bagels, then baked them. I realized while making these that Linna has never had a bagel before (blasphemy!), so I kept some plain for her to try. She loved them... especially the soft inside!

Simple ingredients for a fantastic scallion cream cheese.

As for the cream cheese, I simply chopped up some green onion/scallion (maybe a half cup) and mixed it in with a block of plain Kraft cream cheese. I had my doubts, but I'm not kidding you when I say that this cream cheese is AS GOOD, if not BETTER than the scallion cream cheese I've had in New York. I bought all of my ingredients at Cold Storage, and when I did the math, I figured that I made about nine medium-size bagels and a big tub of cream cheese for well under $9. The bagels are obviously better if eaten the day they're baked, as crust just loses it's crispness after day #1. This will be a regular recipe in our Singapore home, and I can't wait to gain another 10 lbs. (Gahhhhh!).

Now, if someone would only open a Chipotle in Singapore...

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