Beehive Bagels delivers real American bagels in Rome and throughout Italy. Owners Steve Brenner and Linda Martinez started delivering their homemade New York-style inspired bagels all over the Eternal City during Covid when American ex-pats were craving a taste of home. Almost 2 years later they're going strong and making bagels for customers in Rome, plus online orders throughout Italy.
There are bagels and there are bagels…
Lots of Italian bakers take a look at the Beehive's Bagels and imagine they are a standard bread product in the shape of a doughnut. Throughout Rome you'll find lots of sandwich shops and venues selling bagels and bagel sandwiches but they aren't necessarily bagels in the true sense of the word.
What makes a bagel a bagel?
it's all in the preparation. To achieve the characteristic bagel texture first they go through a 12 to 14 hour cold rise. Next is the shaping process into the classic bagel shape.
Once shaped, bagels are boiled for about a minute. Boiling gelatinizes the outside of the bagels and stops the rising process. Without this step you don't have the luscious chewy bagel texture that is characteristic in a genuine bagel.
Next, the bagels are baked. Since Steve and Linda have partnered up with a nearby pizza shop Beehive Bagels are baked in the pizza shop's wood-burning pizza oven.
The history of the bagel
Bagels date back six centuries. In the 14th century Germans migrated to Poland and brought along their pretzels which over time evolved into the donut-shaped bagel we know today. Bagels are best known and prolific in New York thanks to bagel baker Henry Lender and his son.
New Yorkers are quite particular about their bagels which is why Steve and Linda say the Beehive Bagels are inspired New York-style bagels. That being said everyone who tries them says their bagels are the real deal and delicious!
Steve and Linda say lots of their customers share stories and history facts about bagels with them. The Pugliese tarallo is a bite-sized snack food and Steve and Linda have been told that bagels might actually have originated in Italy from taralli. Bagels and taralli share the same preparation process: first boiled, then baked.
Here's my recipe for homemade taralli.
Beehive Bagels product line
It's all about the bagels but Beehive Bagels also make shmears, dill pickles - regular and spicy, and hummus.
They make three different types of schmears - cream cheese mixed with scallions, roasted garlic or sun-dried tomatoes.
The bagels are all natural - no preservatives, additives or colorings. The bagels are vegan-friendly and only the Cacio e Pepe bagel uses pecorino Romano cheese flavoring.
Beehive Bagels offers plain, poppyseed, onion, pumpernickel, sesame seed, cinnamon raisin and the "everything" bagel: a mix of white and black sesame seed, poppyseed and linseed seeds, dried garlic, dried onion and sea or Himalayan salt.
Where you can buy Beehive Bagels
Beehive Bagels are available on a pre-order basis through the Beehive Bagels website. Orders in Rome are available for pick up or delivery and include the full product line. For orders outside of Rome only bagels are available.
Beehive Bagels also sells to some sandwich shops and food venues in Rome so if you want to grab a sandwich made with their bagels head to one of these shops. A list of these shops will soon be on the Beehive Bagels website.
You can find Beehive Bagels on Instagram and Facebook.
Bread, yeast and sourdough starters
Yeast and Sourdough starters - What exactly is yeast and what is a sourdough starter, and how do you make your own starter? Read this post to learn all the details on how to get started in the delicious world of bread baking.
A few tasty bread recipes to try are Whole Grain Farro Nut Bread and homemade bread with home-ground flours.
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