What is the Proper Way to Slice a Bagel?
Seems like a silly question, right? There is only ONE way to properly slice a bagel. Or is there? Earlier this year the internet nearly broke after a man from Missouri showed his coworkers in Washington D.C. how to “properly slice a bagel”. The man in question, Alek Krautmann, presented the bagels to his coworkers … sliced VERTICALLY like a loaf of bread. According to Krautmann this is a “St. Louis Secret” when it comes to bagels and that it “was a hit” with coworkers. Being from New York, we at Empire Bakery Equipment certainly have our opinion, but let's put bias aside here and think about the vertical slicing of a bagel.
Panera Bread was quoted saying, “A bagel is a bagel and no matter how you slice it, it’s still delicious bread.” This is very true, a bagel will always be delicious no matter which way it is divided, but we are still not sold. The debate took over Twitter, where one user cleverly named it #Bagelgate. The overall consensus of the Twittersphere was very heavily against the vertical slicing method, and many people passionately claimed that the perfect bagel is sliced horizontal with a crusty shell which is achieved by boiling the dough prior to baking.
Although we get where Panera Bread is coming from with the “a bagel is a bagel” mantra, there is a lesson to be learned in #Bagelgate. The lesson is that your customers feel very strongly about how your bakery slices its bagels. It seemed like a fun debate, but it was actually a very informative insight into how consumers prefer their bagels. This is information your bakery can use to its advantage!
Why not run a poll on social media and find out what your customers prefer? For all you know you are serving regular sliced bagels to a crowd that actually prefers the vertically sliced method. If that’s the case, you may want to invest in some new equipment like the Bread Slicing Solutions from Empire Bakery Equipment which can easily handle round breads, and slice up to 200 bagels or breads vertically in an hour!
So maybe the whole "vertical slicing" is just way too blasphemous for you and your bakery, but you may not be capitalizing on the fact that most consumers love the boiled bagel crust. If so, you may want to consider Empire’s Bagel Kettle & Hood available in 25- or 45-gallon capacity with a durable, energy efficient construction capable of producing 4,000 consistent bagels per hour. And while you are at it, pair the bagel kettle with an Empire Spiral Mixer and Revolving Tray Oven. The IRIS Spiral Arm Mixer is strong enough for bagel dough and gentile enough for artisan breads, while the Revolving Tray Oven offers up to 26 pans of a high-quality bake at low maintenance.
The world may never agree on the proper way to slice a bagel, but we can all agree that having the proper high-quality equipment for baking bagels can make a huge difference in the quality of bagel and overall success of your bakery.