The bagel originated in Central Europe, probably in Poland. It is sometimes referred to as the cement doughnut, and the bagel has long been a staple in New York delicatessens and a favorite of the Jewish community. It is traditionally made of yeasted wheat dough in the form of a roughly hand-sized ring which is boiled and then baked. The result is a dense, chewy, doughy interior with a browned and sometimes crisp exterior, depending on how it is cooked.
There are two types of bagel that are the most popular and they are;
Montreal bagel: The Montreal bagel contains malt and egg and no salt; it is boiled in honey-sweetened water before baking in a wood oven, it is salso maller (though with a larger hole) chewier, sweeter than the New York bagel is.
New York bagel: The New York bagel contains salt and malt, is available in a wider variety of flavors and is also boiled prior to baking in a standard oven. The resulting New York bagel is puffy with a noticeable crust.
Is bagel healthy? Like most things, the fat content of bagels is heavily influenced by the topping.
But, if you choose carefully, they now can be made with whole grains. But you will need to look for whole-grain bagels closely. Bagels with a "whole wheat" label come from whole grains, but "nine-grain" and "multi-grain" bagels may not. To know for sure, look at the list of ingredients. A whole grain should be the first item. If you see just the word "wheat," the product is mostly made with refined white flour.
Bagels are good choice for limiting total and saturated fat. Even those big deli bagels usually have no more than 2 grams of total fat and only a trace of saturated fat. Bagels with cheese or chocolate, however, can hold more fat.
Light cream cheese is a healthier, so are ricotta, almond spread and no sugar jams.
The problem with some bagels is that really they are 3-4 bagels all
rolled into one. You have to be very careful of the size -
weigh your bagel
So bagels can be both good and bad for your health. For healthy results you have to shop bagel properly by carefully looking the labels and by choosing the right kind of toppings.
How to prepare Bagels at home:
How to store Bagel: Use fresh bagels quickly, as they dry out and harden within a matter of days. Store completely-cooled bagels at room temperature in plastic bags or freeze immediately. Refrigeration hastens staleness. Refresh bagels by slightly wetting the exterior (a damp paper towel works well) and baking at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes To cut a bagel, place bagel flat on table with hand on top and hold firmly; use a serrated knife to slice halfway through, keeping blade horizontal to the table; stand bagel on its end, and finish slicing downward while gripping the upper sliced half.
So next time when you go to buy Bagel don't forget to check the label properly. Always remember by choosing right kind of bagel and topping you can make a healthy breakfast for your family, they will simply love it!
(Sources: recipezaar.com, pastrywiz.com, homecooking.about.com, jewishrecipes.org, yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com, msnbc.msn.com)