Cover, Sept. 20: “I Always Have a Next”
Talented inspirational artist. I wonder if [Dennis Larkins] would consider giving a lecture to the students at New Mexico School for the Arts. His wisdom is needed. Especially now that the kids will have to compete in the new world against artificial intelligence.
Debra Shelton, via Facebook
Food, Sept. 27: “Holey Moly”
I have not had the Ouroboros bagels reported in your 9/27 edition, and so cannot comment on them. I’m sure they are excellent. However, I have been baking bagels for over 30 years (for my own consumption, at altitudes all across the range from sea level to Santa Fe) and so have to comment on one point in your column.
Yes, steam baking is no substitute for boiling. Yes, humidity matters. And yes, the finish on
the bagel will vary quite a bit depending on what is in the boiling water (lye, baking soda, sugar, barley malt syrup). But, the real key to a good bagel is SLOW COLD RISING. Giving the dough and the yeast at least 12-18 hours to interact is what gives the basic dough (with or without fillings or toppings) the full satisfying flavor of a real water bagel.
Most commercial bakeries don’t have the space or take the time for slow rising, which (even if they boil, which most don’t) makes their product more like a doughnut shaped dinner roll than the real thing.
Frank Blechman, Santa Fe
Best bagels in Santa Fe isn’t necessarily high praise, but I’ll definitely try!
Katie Narum Graham, via Facebook