I'm Jo, and I bake bagels (or try to).
Hi, I'm Jo.
Welcome to my bagel baking project, Jo Bagel. At the end of 2015, my friend Lewis and I decided it'd be fun to try and make bagels. We baked our first batch in January of 2016, and they were surprisingly not awful! We made many more small batches together, and even hosted a brunch where we baked 100 bagels for friends. From there, I attempted to do some bagel baking on my own. Sometimes I found success, sometimes I found miserable failure (coupled with plenty of forearm and knuckle burns).
Over the course of 2016 I improved tremendously on what I like to call my "bagel game", but I'm not entirely where I want to be, and there's plenty more to learn about bagels, bread, and baking. I created this site and blog as a place to share this slightly crazed project.
Why am I fixated on bagel baking? I'm not entirely sure I have a particularly great or succinct response yet for this question. Perhaps that's part of the reason why I'm documenting this project? But, I can simply say that for whatever reason, I like to bake bagels. I like to share them with good friends and good people. That gives me joy.
As for my life outside this project, I grew up in the Texas Hill Country (where there are lots of barbecue joints, breakfast tacos, and kolaches, but no bagels). I moved to Austin to study Information Science in grad school and become a librarian. After my two years of studies, I graduated and started an indie videogame studio with some buds (like so many librarians do, right?). Some things that make me happy in this world include baking non-bagel things, camping, reading, karaoke, and road trips to the desert.