Bagels in Rome

There are few American food items that I still miss now that I have had nearly 1.5 years to adjust to an all-Italian diet.

But dammit, could someone PLEASE make some decent bagels in Rome?

And before you say it, I know that The Perfect Bun Bakery hawks them, but like many things from that establishment, they are overpriced and under-delicious.

You can also find bagel sandwiches at two Irish pubs (The Abbey Theatre and Scholars), which will sometimes hit the spot because they make a tasty American-style breakfast sandwich with eggs and bacon.

The problem is, Philadelphia cream cheese is everywhere I turn!

Even if I go to buy fresh mozarella di buffala, there it is. Taunting me in all of its processed cheese glory.

I want it. I want it so bad.

That is why I am forever grateful to the likes of Neekoh and other dedicated friends who will stuff their suitcases with processed bread products so that I can fulfill my bagel fantasies.

While my guests dream of pizza and pasta, I patiently crisp my newly acquired bagel booty in a pan.

Like we would have an Italian appliance to make toast… as if!

6 thoughts on “Bagels in Rome

  1. liv says:

    im missing my conveniences too! i just had my mom ship me dill because i couldn’t find it anywhere. and as a california, you understand cilantro, another occasionally epic find. mama also sent me italian seasoning which i felt to be very ironic.

  2. Carla says:

    This was one of my biggest complaints when I was living in Rome. Being from Philadelphia, we love our bagels. I came across this recipe that I used several times. There seem to be some easier recipes out there, but this one came out pretty good. If you have some free time, give it a try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

    500g flour
    265ml tepid water
    12g instant yeast
    1 tbs honey (or sugar)
    12g salt
    20g soft butter (or 1 Tbs vegetable oil)

    boiling water:
    3-4 liters of water
    1 teaspoon baking soda

    Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. You don’t have to worry about soaking the yeast when you use instant yeast (most yeast sold these days is instant yeast). The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it’s really stiff, or you can’t get all the dry flour incorporated.

    Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.

    Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.

    Pre heat your oven to 425 F.

    Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be! This is the only part of the process that can take a little practice before your bagels will look really professional. Don’t get discouraged if they don’t look perfect, it just takes practice!

    Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water with a teaspoon of baking soda to a boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly. You can just rub a splash of vegetable oil and rub it around.

    After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it’s time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.

    Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they’re done!

    Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese ready, and feast on what’s got to be one of the best weekend brunch treats possible!

  3. Dena says:

    Looks like a great recipe, will have to give it a try, While you have all that cheese , it reminds me in a blog a while back, of your favorite cheese in ITALY, what were they ? I did try them when i went to italy, and like them also, so i want to find some. I told you your blog info planned my trip. Thanks

  4. Meister @ The Nervous Cook says:

    As a New Yorker who just visited Rome last week for the first time (using so much of your blog as a guide and a reference), I’m only too happy to drop-ship you some delicious authentic New York bagels sometime if you’re in need.

    No, really. I mean come on: Food bloggers need to stick together, right??

    So, do you like onion, garlic, everything…?

  5. Lourdes says:

    I so-bought a toaster from the website – I just can’t stand the fette biscottate, I need some fresh baked toast ūüôā

    And I’ve also attempted bagels on two occasions – they were quite a bit of work but oh so good! perfect project for a free Saturday morning.

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