Finding bagels in Oz

We don’t have bagels in Australia – not real ones anyway. You can buy something called a bagel from Coles that’s really just a bread roll that’s split in the middle and Woolworth have some gigantic prepackaged blueberry ones that are an alarming purple colour and make the fridge smell like an unpacked school lunchbox on a Sunday afternoon.

I’ve never seen them in a bakery though, not even when I was living in Sydney and I don’t live in a small town now but I’ve not spotted one here either and this hasn’t been a massive problem for me; I have made it this far in life without needing bagels.

My daughter however just spent six weeks in the USA, two of those weeks being in New York, where she developed a taste for them. She always has been a lover of breads so was impressed to find shops there dedicated solely to bagels but has unimpressed with the lack of them since arriving home. So I decided to make her some and after scouring the internet for recipes I sort of combined a couple that suited me and a few hours later voila!

Not bad for a first attempt, they seemed to pass the chewy test which I believe is important and something to do with boiling time.  I had smoked salmon and avocado on mine but I’m thinking blueberry tomorrow.



38 thoughts on “Finding bagels in Oz

    • They were pretty good – no idea how people get a perfectly smooth finish though. I think they might be the sort of thing thats good straight out of the oven but brick like the next day.

        • What don’t you like about them? I put mine in the breville today and it was ok but Lloyd had his straight up and didn’t complain. Well he just said – how come they’re not as good the next day but he still ate it.

  1. Yes, bagels need to be fresh to get that crisp/chewy contrast. Leftovers need toasting.

    I can’t fathom not having bagels. Even the smallest town will have a selection of frozen ones in the supermarket. And there are so many delightful flavors.

    Now I’m going to have to run to the bagel chain. Not only are they fabulous with a little schmear of cream cheese and some lox, but bagel dogs are great (you put the kosher all-beef hot dog in bagel dough).

    When I was in high school, we did “Fiddler on the Roof” and the prop bagels had to be shellac’ed lest the teenagers eat them all between shows. We all got one after the show and I kept mine for years with no problem.

    • Ahh, do you enclose the hot dog completely in dough? I used to something like that with puff pastry.

      Not even the largest city has any that I know of – certainly not a chain.

      • The very ends stick out.

        I thought Oz had every kind of food, that they’re missing something as obvious as bagels surprises me!

        Must be quite a shock for business types — you can’t have a meeting in New York or Hollywood without bagels!

        (There’s 3 places in Sydney, although only one seems to be authentic)

        • I dunno – I suppose we haven’t got all sorts of stuff but you don’t miss what you’ve never had and all that. Bit of a trip to Sydney for me to have a bagel.

    • They’re a bit like gnocchi how they pop up to the top. I’m going to boile the next ones for a bit longer I think – see the difference.

  2. We have plenty of bagels here – especially good are the Montreal style. The NY ones are very bready compared to the ones we eat here in Canada. Those look AMAZING. I will take that recipe link please!

    • I’ll have to google Montreal style! I used this recipe but mine don’t look as smooth or as fluffy as hers! I don’t know what active dried yeast is so I used instant dried yeast that was in the pantry and I didn’t get as much rise out of the dough as I’d have liked – it might be a bit old and it is winter – I’ll have to pay more attention at the yeast section at the shops. I also flipped mine half way through cooking and I brushed them with egg. I didn’t understand what she was talking about with the rolling ball part so I rolled sausages and joined the ends but then I read another recipe that said they fall apart in the water if you do that so I just made balls and poked my finger through. My rolled sausage ones didn’t come apart in the water though.

    • Well, don’t think I didn’t think about setting one of my kids up with a stall at the beach over summer. It was the thought of getting up so early that put me off – all that resting dough has to do – three rests it needed after I’d dealt with it.

    • Well, I tried to make bread once… without any boiling the loaf turned out the exact consistency of bagels. No one else would touch it but that was fine because I thought it was fantastic!

      • I used to have a bread machine but I gave it away to the local school when we moved – the bread was ok but it was only really good on that day, guess it needs the preservatives in it.

        • I think I’ve used my breadmaker twice. Great idea, and I don’t mind the day/week old bread – but it’s too much for someone who lives alone. Esp since I’m not really supposed to eat bread anymore. Thanks for the reminder to give that away!!

          • They’re so big as well, space wasters. The Hospitality department of our High School is always thankful for stuff. I gave them the rice cooker and the juicer as well and I give them any cook books or magazines I don’t want anymore as well.

    • I’ve made another batch since then and they were a lot different (slightly different recipe) much more bread like – not sure which ones I liked best though.

  3. Glick’s Bagels in Melbourne used to be pretty authentic. It was in amongst a whole kosher strip of shops in East St Kilda. I think they export to other parts of Australia now so probably make them off site.

    Yours look great though!

    • I thought that years ago you could just buy them at Woolworths in the bakery section – maybe that was when I was living at Paramatta – that Woolworths in the Westfield had all kinds of good things.

        • I think my favourite Westfield of them all was Hurstville – loved that place. Lived in Hurstville then Kogarah for a few years but haven’t been back that way for years now.

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