by Daniel M. Berry
Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
New York Bagels
How many readers have ever really had one?
A New York bagel, such as what you get at Zabar's, H&H, or Rise & Shine, is not just a baked good with a hole in it, despite the widespread proliferation of places that make a bread with a hole and call it a bagel in order to profit from the current bagelmania. A donut is another baked good with a hole in it, and we all know that a bagel and donut have little in common except the hole; indeed, a bagel and a donut have literally nothing in common.
A donut satisfies the physical dimensions given in the blueprint, but a donut is not a bagel. To distinguish a New York bagel from any other baked good with a hole, Detail 1A-A of the blueprint, [attached jpg], has specifications of the elasticity of the surface and the moisture content of the interior. The surface should withstand 45 pounds per square inch (≈3.17 kg per square cm), and the interior should have 20 to 25 percent moisture content. The surface elasticity and inner moisture content specifications together specify the chewiness of a New York bagel. A donut does not satisfy this chewiness specification. A piece of ordinary bread shaped into a ring of the right size also does not satisfy this chewiness specification.
1. Use high-gluten flour dough that has risen.
2. Make a ring with outer diameter 4 inches (≈ 10 cm) and inner diameter 1 inch (≈ 2.5 cm) and with a cross section of 1.5 inches (≈ 3.8 cm) in diameter.
3. Put the ring into boiling water for 30 seconds.6
4. Bake the ring on a corn-meal covered surface in a 400°F (≈ 200°C) oven until golden brown, usually for about 10 minutes.
(The step that is left out or changed by the making of most poor imitations is Step 3.)
Testing Properties of a Bagel
A test gives one way to determine whether a candidate system has the tested property. A standard test for New York bagelhood is that a proper genuine New York bagel can be used by a baby for teething for at least 10 minutes without disintegrating into a ball of mush. A donut clearly fails this test. In fact, all baked goods with holes that fail to meet the surface yield and interior moisture content specification fail this test. All the so-called bagels, including the steamed ones, described below, made without boiling fail this test.
Another test is that chewing a genuine New York bagel burns almost as many calories as are ingested by eating the bagel, particularly if the bagel is taken from someone else's plate.
Still another test is that only a genuine New York bagel stands up to and does not get squished by the Bagel Biter™ bagel cutting guillotine. A steamed bagel gets crushed into a wad before the blade begins to cut
Still another test is that if you bite down on a sandwich made with a genuine New York bagel, the filling squishes out. With a steamed bagel, the sandwich filling does not squish out; thus, a steamed bagel makes a great bun.
Some of the companies that fail to make genuine New York bagels do so because they have decided to make different kind of bagels. These companies include the makers of Montréal bagels, a different kind of bagel with its own fans.
Others that fail to make genuine New York bagels do so because they have decided that the high-gluten flour and the boiling are unnecessary. These bakers do not get the proper surface yield or interior moisture content. They make bread with a hole. Many supermarket-made bagels are in this category.
full @ http://improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume15/v15i1/v15i1.html#BagelResearch
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