The bagels at Oakland's Beauty Shop are a hybrid of New York and Montreal styles.
Mix it Up
Flour, water, malt extract, cane sugar, oil, and yeast are mixed for about three minutes, until a shaggy-looking dough is formed. It's then covered with plastic for about 30 minutes, to allow it to hydrate and relax without over-mixing.
Old Meets New
The fresh dough is combined with salt and egg, along with a portion of one- to two-day-old dough (about 10% of its total volume). Incorporating unused dough simultaneously reduces waste and introduces a more developed, fermented flavor into the final product.
Next up, the staff hand-rolls 4-ounce portions of dough into bagel form. A bit of water is used on the rollers’ hands to assist with traction in creating the perfect cylindrical shape. Once rolled, the bagels go into the fridge for 24 hours, which helps create a thicker crust and a more complex, flavorful bagel.
The bagels come out of the fridge and head into a stock pot filled with roughly 40 quarts of water and one cup of honey, where they poach for three to four minutes.
The freshly poached bagels are scooped out of the honey water with a strainer and placed one-by-one onto wooden planks, to await seasoning.
The plain, wheat, and cinnamon bagels are coated in water, while other variations are topped with sesame, poppy, salt, onion, or the 'everything' blend. The most popular bagel at Beauty’s? Everything bagels—coated in sesame, poppy seed, fennel, caraway, onion, garlic and sea salt—make up about 50 of sales.
Into the wood-fire oven
The bagels head into the wood fire oven on wooden planks, where they begin a four-part baking cycle. First up: four minutes closest to the fire, which heats the oven to anywhere between 350 and 450°F.
Flip, Swap, Flip
The bagels are flipped off the plank and onto the floor of the oven for an additional four minutes. Then they're swapped from front to back, using a wooden sheeba that’s beveled on one side for easier maneuvering. After four minutes, they're once again flipped, where they remain furthest from the fire, for the final four minutes.
It's out of the oven and down the bagel slide!
Ready to Eat
Bagels are collected at the bottom of the slide, and then it’s off to the front of the shop for customers.
Beauty’s serves up a number of cream cheese options and other spreads, as well as bagel sandwiches. Their open-face Classic ($10.75) is topped with hand-sliced lox, cream cheese, red onion, and capers.