Sunday, March 27, 2016

Review: Sweet Note Bakery Gluten-Free Bagels

Holy (Bagel) Grail! There are a few things that I've slowly been coming to terms with never being able to get gluten free that taste good, let alone edible. The two big ones are baklava (and anything made with phyllo dough) and bagels. Most of the bagels I've had from brands like Udi's taste like eating air -- tasteless, unsubstantial, and just not worth it.

And then? Sweet Note Bakery The Greater Knead!. I'm trying to remember (with my intensely active baby brain) how I found them, and I think it might have been a Facebook ad, but I'm not entirely sure. I saw a small bakery making gluten-free bagels that happened to be kosher, and I reached out. A quick connection later and I had a box full of gluten-free bagel goodies on my doorstep. Cinnamon Raisin. Everything. Plain.

Then I ate them all over the next few weeks with the enjoyment of someone who unearths a classic family recipe a dozen years after it was lost. These bagels are divine, and unique.

They're smaller than most of the gluten-free bagels on the market, and they're more substantial in weight and flavor, too. They don't taste like a fluff of air; you actually feel like you're eating a bagel.

The trick to these bagels? You have to follow the directions -- no swaying from the path. The ladies behind Sweet Note know what they're doing, and they know that storage and reheating can be the enemy or best friend of gluten-free baked goods. I attempted to warm a bagel up on the plata on Shabbat, and it ended in disaster (I was so bummed that I wasted a bagel).

It's all about freezing the bagels. Putting them in the microwave for 60 seconds to soften them up, and then toasting them ... yes. Perfection. So good. So much flavor, so much substance, so filling.

I can't say enough about these bagels. I'm going to do everything in my power to try to get them into some local shops because, even I can admit, the price is a bit of a sticker shock when it comes to shipping (because they need to stay frozen for integrity, overnight is the only option, which is expensive).

Have you tried Sweet Note? Is there another kosher, gluten-free bagel that I should be eating that I'm missing out on?