Yom Kippur was approaching and we were having friends over for break fast. Lox and cream cheese would be procured from France. Smoked fish, orange juice, onions and cucumbers from Switzerland. But what about bagels?
A good bagel could not be had for thousands of miles. Bagel-like, sure. But we were raised on bagels from New Jersey and New York. Bagel-like would not do. The Wilan Bagel Works was born.
I experimented with different flours, boil times and baking time and temperatures. By sundown on Yom Kippur, success. I had a working recipe, rolling technique and baking approach. Soon there were delicious, chewy, crusty and warm bagels — plain, salt and garlic — in Basel.