we made bagels at orwashers!

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a few months ago, a bakery named orwashers opened a new location on the upper west side and after one bite of croissant and another bite of homemade sourdough bread, our entire family was undoubtedly obsessed and found ourselves standing in line almost every morning in the coming weeks for the good stuff (samson often asks for a chocolate croissant for breakfast now first thing in the morning). since then, we’ve bought and brought home over 10 different kinds of artisan breads that they make (josh is determined to try all of them, as josh does) and it’s been fun having a new bread in the kitchen every few days for our morning breakfasts together.

funny story! when josh and i went to see saturday night live a few months ago, we happened to walk into the theater and stand in line right next to keith cohen, who is owner of the bakery. he came up to me and asked, “do you mind if i ask you something? were you in orwashers bakery yesterday morning?” i replied that i had been, to which he asked, “what did you order? did you like it?” i had no idea yet that he was the owner of the bakery and started raving about his croissant to him. haha! he is the nicest and we loved getting to chat and learn more about the backstory of the bakery, how the upper west side location is the bakery’s second (the original has been an upper east side staple for over a century), and hear a bit more behind some of our favorite baked goods that orwashers makes fresh each morning.

josh and i were able to go behind the counter and into the kitchen of orwashers last week to make our very own bagels with keith and with his general manager, jules morland, who taught us the ins and outs behind what makes the new york orwasher bagel so good. neither josh or i had ever made a bagel before, and truly had the best time ever. (how can you not when you’re surrounded by so many CAAARRBBBSS?)

some photos from the morning below, and also some tips for making bagels at home from keith and jules (like spraying your oven with water to help them steam!)…

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they showed us how they make their starter, which consists of simply flour and water. it gradually rises from yeast in the air over time. they take part of it out for each batch and then “feed” the starter with more flour and water as needed over several weeks.

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since jules is french and learned the trade in france, the recipes have measurements converted from the metric system into the strangest proportions like 3.082 pounds of flour or something! this picture is when i was seriously stressing trying to get the exact amount to show up on the scale and not a decimal over or under. ;)

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we felt so fancy in our aprons with towels in the pocket! i felt like a true baker!

love-taza-for-orwashers3-2 love-taza-for-orwashers3we made a recipe for 5 dozen bagels. that’s a lot of flour!love-taza-for-orwashers5

orwashers uses some honey and malt for color, texture, and flavor.

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one tip keith shared with us for baking any bread at home is for when you’ll know when it’s the right consistency in the mixer. when the dough starts to slap or hit the sides of your mixing machine at home as it spins but doesn’t stick to the sides, it’s time to turn it off right away! he says it’s very easy to over mix the dough and it can happen very quickly. start the mixer on the slowest setting and then slowly work your way up with less and less time on the higher settings.

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i shared a few videos on my instagram stories the day we were baking, and showed how jules taught us to form the bagel with the dough. it’s really fun once you get into a routine of making one after the next. jules rolls out the ball of dough using just one hand until it’s about 8 inches long and then wraps it around his hand like you see in the photo above. he rolls the two ends of the dough together in the palm of his hand once more to help secure the ends together, and then it’s done! so simple. for bagels that have poppyseed or sesame seeds, dip the top of the bagels in a moist towel and then into the seeds. if you’re feeling really awesome, try rolling them out two at a time!

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so proud of all the bagels i just made!!!!!

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when the boys started racing to see who could make the most the fastest. haha!

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love this one of josh!

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we insisted on trying a HOT bagel straight out of the oven and we were laughing pretty hard at josh because it was seriously so hot and he didn’t have the patience to let it cool, he was just so excited!

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keith and jules worked together for months experimenting to find just the right recipe for their bagels. they finally figured out how to make them without boiling them first (which is the traditional method for bagels) and they think they are even better. orwashers has a really cool steam feature in their ovens, but for all of us at home, keith says you can try spraying the inside of your oven with a little bit of water to recreate this method of baking the bagels.

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we had fun being a team and pretending it was our own little bakery kitchen for a minute. ;) maybe if we had a slightly bigger kitchen at home we’d be in there together more creating recipes and cooking up a storm?! haha. i always tell josh maybe there is this huge chef/cook side of me he hasn’t seen because i haven’t had the proper set up yet to discover that i actually love cooking. just kidding!!!

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keith says josh was a natural with that baker’s paddle. no bagels fell or were harmed in the making of these photos.

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here’s keith soaking in the smell of fresh baked bread! ;) one of the things i loved that he said during our lesson was how he is constantly trying to learn about best practices and techniques for baking. every year they do continuing education so that they are always improving and at their best. such a good example of continuing to perfect your craft, even when you’re already on top. loved that.

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thank you for autographing your book for us, keith!!

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such a fun lesson, and excited to go back again to learn how they make some of their artisan breads. i want to bring my video camera next time so you can see more of the process in action and hear keith and jules tell you just how it all happens. this post is not sponsored, but a big thank you to orwashers to having us in their kitchen to learn something new!

pictures by amanda petersen for love taza.

WEARING:

black turtleneck: beaded black turtleneck

jeans: highwaisted jeans

shoes: similar silver metallic flats here and here

jacket: black leather jacket here and here

  1. KT0308

    Lovely pics.. those Bagels look yumm and you guys look so cute!

    BTW.. love the turtleneck but the tag is taking me to jeans..

    • TAZA

      i just double checked the link, and it seems to be working!!! let me know if you have any trouble trying it out again!

  2. Naseem

    The love you and Josh have for each other is SO evident in these photos! What a blessing to have such a fun and loving partnership :)

  3. Jessica

    You guys are so fun! And cute!! Now I have a major bagel craving!!

  4. Erin

    I lived 2 blocks away from the UES Orwashers during my time in NYC and it was my favorite! I’ve never had their bagels (crazy…I know), but their loaves with stuff in them or their on-the-spot jam-filled donuts were my absolute favorite…and probably too frequent of a treat haha.

    Such a cool thing that you guys got to go check out their new location and see how some of the magic happens, and thanks for sharing it with all of us.

    -E

    amie-eo.blogspot.com

  5. Stephanie Mesones Alvarado

    Whats the name of their book Naomi?

  6. Bianca

    TEAM BREAD!!!

  7. Mollie

    Wow that looks like a amazing time! What a fun thing to do as a couple. Those bagels also looked amazing! It made me hungry!!

    xoxo Mollie

    http://www.molliebellezza.com

  8. Sabine

    Oh my gosh- so so love your bangs in this!!! so pretty!!!

  9. Carly

    How random that you met the owner in line at the movie theater!? That’s so cool. What a fun experience to have a date morning making bagels. I hope you guys took notes and will be sharing some bagel recipes on the blog soon

    I hope you are having a wonderful week!

    Carly from http://www.AModernMomBlog.com

  10. Natali

    Oh my, you guys got to do something SO cool!!! Loved all of these photos!

    http://lartoffashion.com

  11. Hannah

    Looks like you guys are pros now! Looks great fun :) check out my blog, my husband and I just started a new travel blog!

  12. Alison

    This is like my idea of the best day ever. Lucky ducks! Glad you had fun and got to enjoy some delicious bagels!

    Alison – http://www.starspree.net

  13. Meg

    Orwasher’s holds a special place in my heart. My now husband lived above their UES location back in 2010. The first time I visited his apartment, the hallways smelled like fresh bread! We sat outside of Orwasher’s frequently and talked for hours on the steps of 308 E. 78th. Great memories. Cheers to the Orwasher’s staff from Nashville!

  14. Corina

    I have bagel cravings right now! (not pregnant. just the usual cravings lol)
    You and Josh form such lovely couple

  15. Rose J.

    how fun, and those bagels look delish! definitely gotta try some of those! I saw the link on your insta stories and was wondering how you connected it to your blog when you wrote “swipe up” to read. How did you do that?

    Amanda took some amazing pics too!

  16. This looks so incredibly fun! I’ve enjoyed your blog for years Naomi, your photos and your family are beautiful. Thanks for always being a light!

  17. Ringa

    Very cute pictures and cute bakery, love your blog!

  18. Kelleyn

    Interesting! I always thought bagels were first boiled before they were baked. What is not to love about a bagel!

  19. Ame tus fotos. Sus caras, no hay esposo que se preste mejor que el tuyo para las pic.

    son adorables!!

  20. Amanda Pearl

    This post made me fall in love with you and your blog all over again. I have been a reader for years and I have always admired how you choose to spend your time together as a couple (and as a family!) I love experiences more than materials so this spoke to me! You can see the love and genuine appreciation you two have for one another just from these photos.

    Thank you for sharing!

  21. megan morris

    What a fun experience. Love this post. And Naomi, I love your hair and outfit in this post!

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