Photos: Molecularly engineered water has New York-style bagels on the rise at Gather

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All photos by Kate Gibbons
With the help of water that replicates the liquid assets coming from taps of New York City, Josh Pollack is now creating what could be the best bagels west of the Hudson River with his and his Rosenberg's Bagels at Gather, the full-service cafe that opened this month in Galvanize.

See also:
- Gather adds a new gathering place to the Golden Triangle
- Galvanize opens its doors for the start of Denver Startup Week
- Gather, a new cafe from ChoLon chef-owner Lon Symensma, opening soon in the Golden Triangle

Galvanize founder Jim Deters discovered the bagel man at last year's University of Colorado Denver Bard Center Business Plan Competition, where Pollack came in third. Pollack, who'd moved here from the East and missed authentic bagels, had a dream: to make an authentic New York bagel in Colorado. Although he had no formal culinary training, he understood that the water was a key ingredient in a New York bagel. So Pollack collected samples from the Big Apple, then began molecularly engineering Denver water to create the same mineral content and chemistry.

"I focus on one thing, and that is making the best bagels outside of New York City," says Pollack.

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Pollack dropping bagels into "NYC" water.
He started out baking bagels in in his own kitchen, then did a brief stint at the Cook Street culinary school before landing at Gather last fall.

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Add sesame -- one of the four flavors made daily.
After the dough bakes on burlap-covered bagel boards for the first four minutes, Pollack then flips the bagels over and they finish baking on stone shelves in the oven. The bagels come in four varieties -- plain, sesame, poppy and everything -- and can be topped with triple-whipped cream cheese for a light, almost fluffy schmear. But there are other options, and Pollack is particularly proud of his signature Reuben flavor, that combines corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing in a high-powered blender that produces a smooth spread that tastes like it's right out of Carnegie Deli.

Location Info


1062 Delaware St., Denver, CO

Category: General

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How about someone figure out how to make the old "hard" rolls that you could get in Denver - specifically North Denver?  They were not regular hard rolls (not as hard) and not like a usual soft roll.  They were always referred to as hard rolls.  They are also essential to a good homemade sausage or meatball sandwich.


I have dearly missed bialys since I moved away from upstate NY.  Will have to check these out!

davebarnes topcommenter

"Molecularly engineered water"

Someone flunked high school chemistry.


Surely the Denver altitude would make a much bigger difference than the water. The reduced air pressure reduced the temperature at which water boils, the way CO2 pockets form as the dough rises, and the way the dough responds in the oven. A few micrograms of East river sewage and industrial pollutants, or whatever the supposed secret is in the water, is angels on the head of a pin stuff in comparison.


Anyone who is familiar with NY bagels tried these yet?  I've always heard that the water in NYC is the key to the bagels (and NY-style pizza dough) and wondered why no one has tried this.  If it works, that's pretty amazingly awesome.


@tcs_ahp Valid point, but my experience with baking at altitude is that you can account for all of the effects by adjusting your techniques and get very close to what you'd get at sea level (I've baked in Colorado and New England).  If you do that, then you're left with the other factors and urban legend is that the water is the big one.  


@monopod As a nativer NYer and someone who loads up on my fix every time I am back home, the Bagels at Gather are awesome and certainly the best in Colorado. Well Done Josh and Thanks!

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