I hate to say this, but after all my kvetching and moaning about the bad quality of bagels on the West Coast, I just baked up a batch of bagels that are, if anything, even worse than the ones I’ve eaten here!! The bagels I’ve eaten in this state are flavorless and insipid. They aren’t real bagels. They are nothing but dinner rolls with navels, and I doubt the bakers even boiled them or used even a speck of malted barley powder or syrup, not to mention high-gluten flour. But this doesn’t excuse the fact that my own home-made bagels are slimy hockey pucks, too gooey in the middle, and with crusts so hard that biting down on them could pull your jaw right out of your skull. I’m not going to give up on bagels just yet but I promise to stop whining about bagel quality until I can come up with a better recipe.