Keith Cohen, the proprietor of Orwashers famous New York City bakery, gave Tasty a behind-the-counter tour of their bagel-making process. Cohen described each step of the process in great detail and included the fact that he prefers to steam, rather than boil the bagels. This technique allows their bagels to be a bit more crunchy on the outside, while maintaining that wonderfully chewy texture inside.
People would say that’s a sacrilege and I understand why. The fact that we have steam as opposed to a regular bagel oven – that’s just dry heat. I thought it could take the place of the boil and in fact, it has. And every five minutes, almost, you could see the bagel get a little bit bigger. You’re gonna get this mahogany crust that you won’t with a regular boiled bagel.