Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish
A Whole Brunch of Recipes to Make at Home
by Cathy Barrow
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Pub Date 15 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 14 Mar 2022
Bagel lovers rejoice! This delightful cookbook makes it easy to bake fresh bagels in your own kitchen with just five base ingredients and simple techniques. With advice on mixing the dough, shaping the bagels, proofing, boiling, baking, slicing, and storing, you will be a master bagel-maker in no time.
Recipes include two dozen variations on the New York bagel, with classic and innovative flavors ranging from Sesame to Blueberry to Hatch Chile Jack. You'll also find recipes for homemade sweet and savory spreads, schmears, pickles, and other deli mainstays like Home-Cured Lox and Chicken Salad.
With suggested menus for fun brunches and gatherings, photos of finished food and step-by-step techniques, and a charming deli aesthetic, this is both a comprehensive baking resource and a playful guide to making one of America's best-loved foods.
A Note From the Publisher
Indie Next Nomination Deadline: January 6, 2022
"Book and Bagel" Preorder Campaign (more info TK!)
Events with regional JCCs, bookstores, and libraries
Indie Next Nomination Deadline: January 6, 2022
"Book and Bagel" Preorder Campaign (more info TK!)
Events with regional JCCs, bookstores, and libraries
Average rating from 67 members
I love brunch and I love bagels so this is right up my alley! A great recipe book for those of us who prefer to stay at home and set up a delicious brunch table at home.
After reading this book I wonder if the author is willing to adopt me? Wow! I never thought you could make your own cream cheese or sour cream?!? I loved all family stories as much as I loved all the recipes. I sincerely hope the author writes another cookbook with more family recipes.
What a fun collection of ideas for one of my favorite foods. Lots of ways to expand my enjoyment. A worthwhile. Read. Tasty
Wow, this book is amazing! There are beautiful images and it makes bagels seem doable at home! Plus, all the schmears sounds so tasty. I'm really very excited about making some of bagel recipes detailed in the book. Not to mention the bagel sandwiches and salads.
There's also good advice on how to time everything (for bagels, you need to make the dough, proof it, let it sit, boil, bake...) it's time consuming but the author makes it seem easy!
Thank you Net Galley for the early peek at the book. I actually can't wait to buy a hardcopy when it comes out. If you've always wanted to try making bagels at home, this might just be the book for you!
I grew up in the NYC metro area and bagels and brunch were a weekend way of life. Living in the South Central now, REAL bagels are hard to find. But like most of what I miss, I find a way to make it or have it shipped. Making my own bagels just became my newest project with this book. With recipes to help me not only nail my favorite round carb, but to make the schmears and lox I love so much.
A great cookbook, but it’s so much more as it brings the scents and tastes of my youth back to me and stirs up so many memories. Enjoy the book, then enjoy your own brunch with the fruits (Schmears and bagels) of your labor.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a helpful guide to making bagels! There's a brief history of bagels, recipes and tips, and information on making your own schmear, lox, and bagel sandwhiches.
The pictures included in this recipe book are helpful. There's trouble-shooting tips on how to make the right shape bagels and how to cook them. It's a nice look at bagels and brunch ideas I'd actually eat. The recipes are listed in cups and grams so you can be sure that your measurements are accurate.
Overall a nice find!
I am obsessed with bagels, so I really enjoyed this cookbook! I love the fact that the cookbook gives information about the history of bagels, too.
A very thorough cookbook on bagels, every type of bagel you can imagine and some more!. There are a lot of nice images and plenty of recipes. I was even more surprised at the variety of smear recipes! I will probably only make my own cream cheese smears from now on. The most intriguing recipe I found was Hot Honey and Marcona Almond Cheese! In addition to smears there are many recipes for bagel toppings like pickles, smoked fish, and egg salad! Highly recommend this cookbook for a baker!
What a lovely find! I could live on bagels, and the cover got me immediately. I remember eating a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon every morning and loving it. So this book was definitely for me. I like the history and all the bagel info. And the recipes and the photos are great. I can't wait to try my own cream cheese (the author calls it smears).
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. Bagel lovers, unite!
The "stories and asides, history and fables, and tables of Barrow's childhood" make Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish a warm and enjoyable reading experience. I have made a fair amount of bread and pretzels at home, but never a bagel. I live in the Twin Cities and haven't had a NYC bagel in close to ten years. Tackling bagels at home has been on my to-do list but often the effort seemed like more trouble than its worth. I am happy to report that the easy-to-follow instructions changed my mind. Each bagel sounds better than the last and the pictures made me drool at dinnertime and long for breakfast. I can confidently say there is a bagel for anybody in this delightful little book!
"Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish" by Cathy Barrow is an amazing cookbook! Being Jewish and growing up eating this type of food, I was literally drooling over all of the recipes. Brunch food is my favorite type of food and this book didn't disappoint. From bagels to bialies (my favorite!) to cream cheese to smoked salmon (delish!) and more - this is THE essential Jewish brunch food cookbook. The amazing food photos made me drool. This is a 5-star cookbook! Highly recommend!
Every page of Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish is filled with mouth-watering gorgeous recipes and pictures that are so tempting, you won't be able to stop yourself from trying out everything.
Bagel lovers rejoice! I’ll say…. Wow. The bagels still look a bit tough to master but with the easy steps look doable. My love was for the Schmears! The recipes and pairings looked absolutely divine!
What did I like? I usually buy my bagels from Panera bread and it’s convenient. The addition of flavors and toppings in this book absolutely caught my eye. So if your not dynamite in the kitchen this book is still worth it’s weight in gold. I flove the schmears! Divine concoctions that make your palate sing. Five stars!
Would I recommend or buy? I went right to the schmears in this one. I may willingly try to make a bagel in the future but the cheesy goodness and combinations you can put on a bagel are worth the love I give this cookbook! I will definitely recommend and get a copy.
I received a complimentary copy to drool over while waiting for an actual copy to come out and voluntarily left this here!
“How many sides has a bagel? An inside and an outside. Jewish Riddle”
Bagels and cream cheese? Yes please! This book is the A-Z in baking your own bagels, starting with the world famous New York Bagel as well as Pumpernickel (including a little fun history on this flour), Sweet Blueberry, Hatch Chile Jack and a gluten free option. Lots of good information on ingredients, tools and methods as well as a troubleshooting guide. The chapter on “Schmears” is mouth watering including recipes for Hot Honey and Marcona Almond Cheese and Cannoli cheese, sign me up! There is an informative section on all the fishes, including how to home cure lox and how to debone a whole fish, followed by a section on Pickles and Ferments, and ending with the proper way to make a perfect Bagel sandwich.
Thank you Netgalley, Chronicle Books, and the author for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.
A bagel lover and of everything that goes with it. Will have to try some of the what's mentioned here and report back... and talk to the folks in Zebras!
I learned a lot about bengals it was interesting how she did a history in the beginning of it and then she did the rest of the end but out every chapter she explained how they were made and what they were for. I'm pro New York some bagels have a special spot for me. I like how she explained the different bangles between New York and Montreal that was interesting. Especially like what you did about the different types of fish they put on the bagels that was kind of interesting to. But interesting how her family used to do different bagels And how they were so agreeing in her life.s, I like the different recipes for the different bagels and how she broke them down into chapters seasoning how to make them very easy to follow
My husband and I relocated to Ohio from a New York City suburb a few years ago and the only thing we found lacking were authentic pizza and bagels. My husband recently tried making bagels himself and they turned out really well. We are looking forward to trying some of the recipes in this book. I found it interesting that the author is from Toledo!
As a Jewish New Yorker, bagels are a big part of my life. I absolutely loved this cookbook and all of the history that is included in it. The photography in this book is phenomenal, so make sure not to flip through it on an empty stomach. The cream cheese recipes were my favorite, because I didn't realize it isn't that complicated to make your own cream cheese, so thank you for that piece of wisdom Cathy Barrow! This cookbook would make the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys bagels, and I'll be gifting this to my mom and definitely can't wait to try out these recipes with her.
I love making bagels and there are some really cool ideas in here I can’t wait to try at the next brunch!
Bagel lovers unite!
I had no idea how many different types of bagels there are. I also had no clue all the different topping recipes are available to eat on the bagels. "Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish" by Cathy Barrow is a definite go-to for bagel lovers! Borrow shares her family love of food, and discusses types of flour, salt, seeds, and techniques like proofing, boiling and baking. My favorite part is all the recipes for delicious spreads, butters, homemade pimento cheese, egg salad and so much more. Sides like pickled onions and a entire chapter devoted to different types of fish with recipes to compliment any meal.
Thank you NetGalley and Chronicle Books for allowing me to review this georgous cookbook. It will be published March 14, 2022.
If you want to make the great deli standard bagels, this is the cookbook for you. Bagels are notoriously difficult to produce in a residential kitchen, and while Barrow does a good job of offering solutions, including using a pizza stone to get crispy crusts, nothing will make bagels an easy project. The later half of the book, with ideas for bagel sandwiches, is likely to be more accessible.
Really liked how straightforward this book was! Bagel making seems like a tough task — especially once you add in the East Coast/West Coast rivalry — but this book kept it simple and focused on the foundations. I liked the variety and honestly am surprised at how many recipes around bagels the author was able to get together. I also liked the brightly lit and appetizing photography.
Very nice book on bagels and sides. This would be very giftable to a relocated New Yorker who can't get good bagels. It has a little history on the author and on bagels and delis, but mostly has a few base recipes and then ways to modify them. While I will continue to support my many local bagel shops, While I will continue to support my local shops for bagels, I will try making my own schmears now with the techniques and recipes in the book.
Will I actually try making my own bagels? Look, I've got to be honest. I don't know. I'm not much of a chef, & it seems hard! Plus, what if I screw it up? How will my ancestors feel? I can't handle that guilt. But there's something soothing about having this beautiful cookbook at the ready, as though maybe someday I will take on the massive challenges of cooking the foods of my people. And despite my inabilities in the kitchen, I got so much out of this book, which is more than a cookbook. It's a love letter to Judaism, to Jewish food, to the Jewish people. And it is a gift to us all.
I love bagels and could probably eat only them for breakfast the rest of my life and feel perfectly content. Ive triend making homemade bagels before and they never turn out, and always taste a bit bland, but I made the hatch chilli jack bagels fresh for breakfast this morning and they turned out perfectly!
This book is chock full of bagel recipes that are very doable for a novice. And omg the shmears!!! My mouth was watering just looking at the pictures. I look forward to making all of them. Love this book!
Who doesn’t love a bagel? Crusty, soft inside, seasoned on top, maybe cream cheese, smoked salmon…that’s what dreams are made of! You’ll find all this and much, much more in Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish, a compendium of everything bagel!
From the five basic ingredients that make a bagel, to bagel history, regional styles, techniques and recipes, this delicious cookbook continues with the “schmears” You can make your own cream cheese (who knew?) and season it with vegetables, lox and more. Then it’s on to the appetizer platters that make me want to be a permanent guest at the Barrow house. The sundry techniques that conclude Bagels, etc. include how to pickle vegetables and bone a whole fish.
Subtitled A Whole Brunch of Recipes to Make at Home, Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish is all that. Cathy Barrow is encouraging, always reminding the reader that you can buy whatever she’s making by hand at the local grocery store. The photographs by Linda Xiao are mouthwateringly good. And I love the family stories! 5 stars and a schmear!
Thank you to NetGalley, Chronicle Books and Cathy Barrow for this ARC.
What a treat! If you grew up in New York, you spent many mornings at the deli devouring fresh, hot bagels. This book made me feel as though I was eating that comfort food with good friends and family. This is so much more than a cookbook on bagels and schmears. The stories behind the recipes and the family history Barrow shares makes you feel like you are a part of their home. I could almost hear the laughter and taste the cooking with her words. I laughed out loud many times reading the Yiddish words I too grew up with. I’m not sure I will be saving chicken fat any time soon, but you can betcha I will be making those cinnamon raisins with my kids.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Cathy Barrow for the opportunity to read and review this book.
I was introduced to bagels my freshman year of college by a friend and haven’t stopped eating them since. The thing is, though, I’m very finicky about the bagels I eat. And, I’ll confess, I’m an insufferable bagel snob.
Unfortunately, I live in an area where true Jewish delis are essentially nonexistent. Einstein Brothers makes good bagels, it’s true. But they’re not the bagels one’s beloved bubbe would make for one if one were lucky enough to have a bagel-making bubbe, which, alas, not being Jewish, I am not.
So, what do you do if you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere without a bubbe to make you bagels? Or, god forbid, not even within driving distance of an Einstein Brothers Bagels store?
Well, you make them yourself.
You can do this.
Even if you think you’re totally inept in the kitchen, Cathy Barrow will teach you how, I promise you. Even though I’ve never met her in person, I can tell you that Ms. Barrow is a bagel genius. And that she’s a wonderful teacher. I know this because I read her book and I, whom I believe to be the only girl ever to have flunked out of home ec (both the semester of cooking AND the semester of sewing) at my junior high school, actually turned out a pretty darn good batch of bagels by following Ms. Barrow’s instructions.
Her book, Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish: A Whole Bunch of Recipes to Make at Home is a wonderfully one of a kind cookbook that will appeal to experienced cooks, not-so-experienced-but-eager-to-learn cooks, and, believe it or not, also to those of us who normally wouldn’t be caught dead in the cookbook section in a bookstore. (By the way, my review is based on having read an electronic Netgalley review copy but shortly after the book’s March 15 release date, I will be making my maiden visit to the cookbook section at my local bookstore to buy a hardcover copy of this book for easier use in making future bagel batches.)
The beauty of Ms. Barrow’s book starts with its intuitive organization. There’s plenty of detail for serious cooks who are interested in detailed in-depth discussion of techniques and ingredients which novice cooks and home ec class flunk-outs can choose to skip if they prefer. For us, there are detailed yet easy to follow step-by-step instructions, helpful advice, and lots of close-up color photographs so you can be absolutely certain you’re doing everything right.
After I made my batch of bagels, I went back and read the entire book straight through. There is so much more than the recipes and advice on techniques and ingredients. For example, Ms. Barrow includes a wonderfully interesting section in which she reminisces about her family of origin (complete with snapshots!) and some other things, This is a section you absolutely shouldn’t miss. I could go on forever, but I’ll leave you with these words: If you love bagels, you will love this book.
We’re a weird family. I’d guess cinnamon rolls or biscuits and gravy (or a trip to iHop) are the most popular Christmas breakfasts in very rural Southwestern Ohio, but we have everything bagels topped with smoked salmon, aka “lox,” cream cheese, capers, and red onion. It’s a mandatory part of Christmas just like the chocolate oranges and tuna fish for the cats. (WHERE do we buy this in very rural land? Kroger–we’re right outside the national HG and, if they are out, Jungle Jim’s at Eastgate carries it, but both run short at the holidays so someone else IS eating it or they don’t order very much–I suspect the latter.) I was looking at Net Galley while stressing with another shortage–the right cure of lox for our breakfast, when I saw this little cookbook and requested it.
The Story–or Contents
Wow! I was impressed. I could eat the pictures! Lox, herring (a childhood favorite of mine was herring in sour cream–yes, I was odd. My cousin got so sick one night from eating too much pickled herring she still can’t get near it and that was in 1971). The various cheese spreads are all delicious-sounding, though being almost in the South here (at least people are in culinary terms) Pimento cheese on a bagel might raise a few local eyebrows no matter how delicious it might be. Smoked whitefish salad? Bring it! Smoked trout spread? Yes, please. On and on with the foodie goodness of this little book. And the sandwiches? Huge piles of goodness between the two halves of the bagel. Forget going to a New York deli–enjoy them at home because this book lets you develop a bagel bakery AND deli in your own home. But bacon on a bagel…..holy culture clash! Never mind, I know it will be delicious! Also covered are pickling your own lox or veggies and assembling a lovely bagel platters for guests on special occasions
In addition to the food, we also learn the story of the author’s family and of why she came to make her own bagels. It was an enjoyable little read.
This one is a keeper! I will definitely be trying a few things–the Smoked Whitefish salad first up, I imagine, if I can get the fish.
One minor complaint, which may be related to the pre-publication status of the book was the index and some of the phots, were a mess. That’s a shame, but probably does not carry over into the published volume. And, it does not, however, keep you from enjoying all the great eating this book will inspire. You can read more at the author’s blog,
4 big bagels!
I worked for Panera Bread for a year and still didn't understand what went into bagels until I read this book.
Cathy Barrow shares not only the history and science of bagels but her own life and culture and how bagels and accouterments played into that life.
The recipes are ways to follow, and I love the photos of each bagel, schemer, fish, and cream cheese. Photos always help me understand what I am trying to achieve.
This is a great book for more than just other Jews; this explains bagels and Jewish culture in a way that anyone can understand.
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