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Bagel

Chewy and dense in texture, bagels are unlike most breads in that they are first boiled and then baked. Bagel means ‘bracelet’ in German and because of its shape, with no clear beginning or end, they are thought to be a symbol of the eternal cycle of life. Bagels are made with strong or high–gluten flour, the dough is shaped into rings, boiled in water, then baked. Bagels may be sprinkled with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, salt or onions before they are baked. Traditionally, bagels are made without eggs, but a lighter, less chewy bagel is made by adding an egg to the dough. An unboiled bagel is called a bialy. Jewish immigrants introduced the bagel to America and, typically, they are served with lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese. Now, they may be eaten in an endless variety of ways: filled, with ham and lettuce; scrambled eggs, salmon and chives; chopped eggs; fried bacon; or toasted and spread with butter and jam.