VIDEO: We take you into the kitchen at Townie Bagels to see how bagels are made.
Co-Owner and Lead Baker, Andy Wysocki confesses the bagel bug took hold when he and Bill Sanderson lived and worked together in San Francisco and, “they just couldn’t find good bagels.”
When they moved to Palm Springs in 2007, they found a bagel shop in the Smoketree Shopping Center that they deemed worthy, but it closed. That spurred Wysocki to put his passion for baking to the ultimate test – to create a really great bagel. He began testing out different methods along with rye and sourdough bread recipes from his home kitchen and sharing the bagels and breads with friends.
Word spread of his talents and a local restaurant asked him to start baking breads from home and selling them under the Cottage Industry Food Act passed in California.
From home kitchen to commercial space, Townie Bagels is now open for business in Palm Springs.
The business began by taking pre-orders on weekends for bagels to be delivered, later opting to sell direct to the public at the Palm Springs Open Air Market. Over the past two years, Townie Bagels gave bagel-loving locals a place to fill their “kneads” at the Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.
All the while, Wysocki and Sanderson worked toward the ultimate goal of opening their own store. After scouting multiple locations, Sanderson got wind that a restaurant space became available just off of East Palm Canyon on Sunny Dunes in Palm Springs.
Townie Bagels Café is a welcoming space with a friendly staff and a bright, comfortable vibe. Couches and small tables invite customers to sit and enjoy the mountain views.
Sanderson can be found in the front of the house, filling orders, training staff and serving up Joshua Tree Coffee Company organic coffee and espresso. Wysocki is in the kitchen, starting most days at 4 a.m. to begin the process of dough preparation, forming, boiling, and baking.
So What does make a good bagel? Wysocki says that if you have the basic method down as far as boiling and a correct oven to bake in, it comes down to the dough. He insists on using wheat flour ground to the proper high gluten/high protein ratio, with no additives. He has opted for a product out of Petaluma , Calif., from a company that oversees the wheat farming, milling, and grinding from start to finish.
Quality flour, attention to the boiling and baking process and orders prepared on the spot. That is the recipe for ‘really good bagel’ breakfast sandwiches at Townie.
All baked goods are made in-house. The flavored cream cheese and hummus spreads are prepared on site. Townie Bagels grew out of local demand and support, and the owners want to stay true to this idea. “We don’t want to be Starbucks. We want to keep a local feel,” they say.
Five To Try:
• Joshua Tree Coffee Company Coffee/Espresso drinks
• Breakfast Bagel Sandwich with Egg Cheese and Sausage
• Grain Free Crackers
• Jalapeno-Cheese Bialy
• Russian Bagel.
Townie Bagels & Breads, 650 E. Sunny Dunes Road, Palm Springs,760-459-4555; www.towniebagels.com
Lori Cohen-Sanford is a private/personal chef, cooking class instructor and owner of Nourishfoods Organic Meal Services www.nourishfoods.biz. Tastes Around Town will appear weekly on Wednesdays. Follow her on Twitter @nourishfoodsps.
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