The Untold Truth Of Bruegger's Bagels

Sorry, Wheaties, but everyone knows that the real breakfast of champions is a perfectly doughy, perfectly crusty bagel topped with a thick layer of cream cheese (or schmear, for those in the know). And we aren't talking about the bland, dry bagels you find in the refrigerator aisle of the grocery store — we're talking massive, fluffy New York-style bagels. Fortunately, you don't have to live anywhere near the Big Apple to get your bagel fix, either, thanks to Bruegger's Bagels. The popular bakery chain has locations in 22 states (from California to Florida), per their website, and is famous for its authentic New York-style bagels.

But there's more to Bruegger's than carbs, coffee, and cream cheese. The chain has a few quirky secrets that even the most avid bagel fans probably didn't know. From the special ingredients that make Bruegger's bagels so delicious to its surprising world record, here's what you should know before tomorrow's bagel breakfast.

Bruegger's has a very unique bagel-making process

The secret to Bruegger's delicious bagels is how they're made. It starts with just five ingredients: flour, water, yeast, malt, and salt (via Bruegger's Bagels). That's right — unlike the bagels you buy at the store (or the ones you'll find at most fast food breakfast chains), Bruegger's bagels don't contain any preservatives or oils. It's the same recipe that the bakery has been using since it first opened its doors in 1983.

Next, while some bagel shops steam their bagels or just bake them immediately, Bruegger's bakers boil their bagels in a kettle before they're baked, the Times Union reports. This process gives the bagels that crusty exterior that they're known for while protecting the fluffy, doughy interior that everyone loves. Just as importantly, the finished bagels (along with all of the ingredients) are never frozen but instead are baked fresh in small batches at each Bruegger's location.

They set the world record for the largest bagel

It's no secret that New York-style bagels are pretty massive, both in size and in caloric value. (Bruegger's bagels range from 300 to 450 calories and weigh in at around four ounces, which is a quarter of a pound.) But Bruegger's took that to a whole new level in 2004, when the bakery chain set a Guinness World Record for creating the world's largest bagel. 

On August 27 at the 2004 New York state fair, a team of Bruegger's bakers produced a massive bagel that weighed in at 393.7 kilograms, which is about 868 pounds and 4,000 times the size of the average Bruegger's bagel. Can't picture how big that actually is? BusinessWire reported that the bagel was a staggering six feet in diameter and nearly 20 inches thick. Made with 660 pounds of flour and 348 pounds of water, the huge bagel took just 30 minutes to boil yet over ten hours (!!) to bake. 

Bruegger's was once home to the bagel burger

Bagels are good, but have you ever had a bagel burger? Back in 2014, you could order one at Bruegger's, where the unique item appeared on menus across the country for a limited time only. According to The Daily Gazette, the bagel burger was first introduced at select Bruegger's locations in France as a test. After the Americanized dish (which featured a quarter-pound beef patty sandwiched between two halves of a bagel) was wildly successful with French diners, Bruegger's decided to bring it to the US.

There were two variations of the drool-worthy bagel burger: the Bistro burger (a classic cheeseburger on the bagel of your choice) and the Barnyard burger (which included a patty topped with a fried egg). While, sadly, you can no longer find either on Bruegger's menu, you can find a variety of other delicious breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches.