Momofuku Milk Bar’s Bagel Bombs
My tour of duty in food service included time at both Mrs. Fields and a few years at a bagel shop that originated on Long Island, NY. So like most people, I think I know a thing or two about a good bagel.
You can argue about how they should be prepared pre-bake (boiled NOT steamed). You can argue about flavors (I don’t argue, I just don’t enjoy cranberry orange or sun-dried tomato). You can argue about who has the best in NYC. (H&H or Columbia Hot Bagel – well, that one’s now closed.) You can argue about how to pronounce it. Whatever your position, we’ve all had the bad bagels — tough, dense, hockey pucks or spongy grocery store white bread dough, indistinguishable as a bagel except for its shape. These are not those bagels.
Technically, these aren’t bagels. They’re almost bagels. They’re good. They’re just chewy enough. And I would have missed out if not for Adam’s post on the Amateur Gourmet. The Momofuku Milk Barcookbook has been on my shelf for a few months, but I haven’t done much with it beyond Compost Cookies and Crack Pie. Then last week, Adam posted about these bagel bombs. I thought, “What? I’ve never seen that. In the Momofuku Milk Bar book?” But there it was, tucked almost at the end. One of the few savory recipes in the book.
There’s something about melty cream cheese that weirds me out, so I skipped the scallion cream cheese bombs and just made the “bagels.” So all I had to do was make the dough, divide it into eight equal pieces, and roll them into a bun shape. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle generously! super generously!) with the seed mixture and into the oven they went.
The one thing that’s a bummer is they don’t brown up much, even with an egg wash. I baked the second batch at 350F and didn’t get much more browning. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise — what typically gives pretzels their deep brown color is a quick dip in a baking soda bath and since we don’t do that here, they’re very light in color. Even still, the chewiness of the dough is just right and they’re great, still warm from the oven, with a shmear of cream cheese. Even second day, they beat the bagels around these parts hands down.
Adam’s got the recipe that makes 8 bagel bombs over at his site.