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20150219_083412This is actually a bagel I made last week.  I like to procrastinate like that.  Anyway, it’s the third time I’ve used Bruce Ezzell’s Bagel Recipe, and it has turned out great every time.

I hunted up the barley malt syrup that the recipe calls for at a health food store.  I won’t say how much it costs, but it wasn’t cheap.  However, a jar should last quite a while using a tablespoon at a time.

I have to say though, I don’t think it makes much difference.  I actually liked the bagels made with molasses a teeny bit better.  So, if the price of barley malt syrup puts you off, just use molasses and don’t worry about it.  Unless you’re from New York.  Apparently these things are very important to some New Yorkers.

Strawberries were on sale, so instead of buying the strawberry cream cheese spread that the dearest husband and the kids like, I decided to try making homemade strawberry cream cheese with part of the plain cream cheese I was buying anyway.

I have to confess, I had never actually tried the strawberry cream cheese spread.  I don’t like sweet stuff on my bagels, and the pink color just put me off.  But since I made this, I had to try it, and I loved it.  It wasn’t as sweet as I was afraid it would be, and had a deliciously fresh strawberry flavor.  Plus, it’s super easy to make.

I still have no plans to try the pink stuff from the store.

The first time I made the bagels, they stuck to the parchment paper.  The second time I made them I drained them on a rack and then put them on parchment paper, and they still stuck.  This time, I drained them on a rack and then put them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal (which I think is how the Saveur bagel recipe went) and it worked great.  No sticking at all.  So that’s how I’ll do things next time.

I also splurged and bought lox to try lox and cream cheese on bagels.  I have no traditional vices (books, are books a vice?), so I figure occasionally buying expensive ingredients won’t hurt anything.  But this bagel experimenting is adding up.

The lox was good, but not so good that I plan to buy it again.  However, it was worth it to me to have my curiosity satisfied.  I planned to take a picture of the lox bagel, but didn’t remember until I was halfway through eating.  Oh well, it wasn’t pretty anyway.