Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Poppyseed Bagels

My favorite breakfast, hands down, is a warm poppyseed bagel with cream cheese. Years ago, I used to enjoy the formerly-frozen bagels from the supermarket (until they discontinued the poppyseed ones, for some reason) and Dunkin Donuts's ... but over the years, I've become more picky, and only fresher and bagelier ones will suffice. When I lived in New York I used to get them from Whole Foods - the only thing I could afford to buy there regularly - and these days I very occasionally, if I'm in Saratoga, stop in at Healthy Living for some of the bagels they buy from local café Uncommon Grounds.

(When I was in New York, I also tried one of the famous Murray's bagels. I have to admit, it seemed pretty dry and hard and we just didn't get on.)

Bagels aren't great for you. They're practically the definition of carb-loading! But they make me feel nice and full in a way that eggs & toast, cereal, and oatmeal don't, and so a few months ago I realized it was possible to make your own bagels and therefore ensure a steady supply.

After searching, I found this recipe from Chow that looked like it ended with exactly the kind of bagels I like best. I've had to adjust it a bit in order to get exactly the bagel I wanted, though, and its taken me more than a few batches to work it out.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


What am I doing, starting a food blog? What is this? Who am I??

First things first. My name is Cassidy, and technically I could call myself a professional baker ... well, bakery sales associate/cake decorator. I've been working a supermarket bakery for five months now, and I've been baking since before I can remember, really - this job has taught me some techniques with buttercream, but the bigger thing is that it's made me more adventurous and more eager to try out new recipes and flavors.

I don't have a cool, unifying shtick for this blog. It's not going to just be baking, because I also love e.g. Indian food, and that's fun to write about, and my cooking could stand to become more interesting as well. I'm not concentrating on dairy-free or gluten-free or veganism (although I want to work on some gluten-free baking because I have a relative who's sensitive to gluten, and the GF recipes she's used seem to leave a lot to be desired). I don't have a family to appeal to or a business to develop recipes for.

There is one little bit of shtick, though. Working in a supermarket bakery, I see a lot of tasty treats - but because I know that even the most basic homemade pastry usually tastes better than something extruded in a factory and frozen for weeks. I'd like to figure out a few of the things I label or put together from pre-packaged parts, so that I can make them at home. Hopefully these trials will be interesting!

Other things I'd like to try include historical recipes that involve very few measurements, as well as really difficult and/or finicky confections that nobody really needs to make, but are challenging and fun.