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On Sunday "ChowFun_derek" gifted me a freshly baked Cragel from House of Bagels. You guessed it: croissant-bagel. Laminated croissant dough is shaped, boiled and baked into bagel form.
I took a bite of it immediately to taste it fresh. While I liked the solid crunch of the crust and chewy center, this was not any improvement over a good croissant. Besides the texture, the buttery flavors seemed to be muted.
Fast forward to today, I noticed the remains of the cragel sitting on my kitchen counter. Not rock hard like a water bagel after three days, but yielding a bit when squeezed. I spritzed it with water and heated it gently until it softened a bit. Then I toasted it after slicing around the circumference.
Toasting and eating it warm worked some real magic on this hybrid. The crust got more crackly, peeling off in crunchy shards. And the flavor tasted much more buttery. I had spread it with some fresh chevre, but I think a little jam would have been better.
While not an improvement on the classic croissant, the cragel is a new and better bagel in my estimation.
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