The Anatomy of Bagelsaurus’ Hot Smoked Sandwich
If 2013 was the year of the doughnut, 2014 belongs to that other breakfast round, the bagel. That’s thanks in no large part to Mary Ting Hyatt and her prowess with slow-fermented, hand-shaped bagels that have more in common with a crunchy pain au levain than the puffy New York-style knockoffs that have plagued Boston bakeries for years.
Less than two months old, Hyatt’s Bagelsaurus brick and mortar has already become a full-fledged phenomenon. The lines form early, particularly on the weekend, and posted hours are merely speculative with Hyatt’s chewy bagels often going “extinct” well before noontime.
Hyatt has kept so busy keeping up with the cult-fervor surrounding her artisanal rounds that plans to implement a lunch menu, house-made lox, and other baked goods like coffeecake have taken a permanent backseat. That hasn’t slowed the insatiable interest in Hyatt’s brand, in fact, the baker says that even when she has introduced lunch specials, they’ve been overshadowed by Bagelsaurus’ all-day breakfast menu—the one that’s proven so elusive to all but the most dedicated.
The Bagelsaurus hype is far from hot air, though. That serpentine line stretching down the street, well, it’s worth the hassle. Just take a bite of Hyatt’s savory black olive, pretzel, or any one of the other nine everyday flavors (pumpernickel is on the way!) and you’re bound to be a convert. That’s especially true of her breakfast sandwiches, when the bagels act as a conduit to bigger, bolder, smokier flavors. There’s the the classic egg with Hyatt’s signature mustard butter or the T-Rex with bananas and house-made almond butter. But by far her most popular is the Hot Smoked, a piquant riff on traditional bagels and lox that’s already barging into the pantheon of great breakfast sandwiches around Boston.
Here, in Hyatt’s own words, are the ingredients and techniques behind that new drool-worthy Instagram favorite, the Hot Smoked.
1. The Bagel
“A lot has changed now because I have an entire space devoted to bagels. The setup has been more efficient and we have more people helping out. I’m not wrestling with the dough by hand anymore. We have a spiral dough mixer which has been a huge help. From there, everything is totally handmade. Almost every professional bakery in the world uses a mixer and I really think it’s improved the dough. When I was mixing by hand, there would often be little chunks of flour left in there.
Otherwise, the bagels are exactly the same. I’m still boiling them in a roasting pan on the stove and I use the same exact oven that I did at Cutty’s. We’re using the same sourdough culture as well. That’s been interesting on a large scale—feeding it and making batches and trying to control it, but we’re finally getting used to our process. The whole thing is still kind of rustic compared with your typical bagel shop operation.”
2. Smoked Salmon
“Matt’s Amazing Smoked Salmon [from the recently rebranded Sudbury Smoked Fish Co.] is so delicious. I tried this for the first time at the Brookline farmer’s market and just knew we had to get it. Hot smoked means it’s cooked and then smoked, so it has the same texture of roasted salmon. It’s flaky, but still super moist. Having it cooked helps it pick up even more smoke than traditional smoked salmon such as lox.
Before we opened I had thought about doing our own lox like Charles [Kelsey] was doing with the sandwiches at Cutty’s. We still may, but we’re so busy making bagels, we haven’t had much time to develop a really good lox recipe. Plus, Matt’s salmon is such a great match with our bagels and it pairs perfectly with cream cheese.”
“I decided to throw on some apple slices because I wanted textural contrast. The bagel itself has that nice contrast of a crackly exterior and soft interior and we wanted that same juxtaposition throughout the entire sandwich. You have that sweet crunchiness of the apple playing against the smoothness of the salmon and cream cheese. We always try to get Mutsu apples which are super firm and tart. They’re these big green apples that are typically harvested in the late fall. It tastes like a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Granny Smith. They’re just the best tasting apple I’ve ever had, and they’re huge. Every time I go to the farmer’s market everyone’s always grabbing at them. They’re the first ones to go.”
4. Parsley Salad
“This is just chopped parsley and capers with a dressing I make with grain mustard, extra virgin oil, and white wine vinegar. The key is that I go for the smallest capers—the opposite of those huge caper berries. They’re called lilliputs, which are super mini, but packed with flavor.”
5. Cream Cheese
“We’re using Smithfield brand cream cheese now instead of regular Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which I was using over at Cutty’s. I’m still making the same spreads [plain, veggie, and honey rosemary] that I was before, but I’ve added a new scallion one, which I think works great with the Hot Smoked.”
1796 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; 857-285-6103 or bagelsaurus.com.