By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you ask an east coast native about Twin Cities bagels, you’re probably going to get a violent reaction. But instead of complaining, two sisters decided to start boiling and baking their own bagels. And that makes a difference, as Jason DeRusha found out.

The road to making Matt Brickman and Jason DeRusha happy with a bagel is a long and tortured one.

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“Every time we’d would go on a trip we would seek out bagels,” Kate Lloyd said.

Kate and her sister Jen love bagels.

“We probably would agree it’s the chew. It’s the combination of a crisp, next textured exterior and the chew on the inside,” Jen said.

They wanted bagels like that, not the giant, super-doughy bagels seen all over the place.

“Knowing that we couldn’t find those here in Minneapolis, we thought ‘Hey, let’s try baking them,'” Kate said.

Jen develops products for Nordic Wear, and Kate does marketing for Room and Board, their real bosses supported them taking a risk and starting Rise Bagel.

“It starts first by mixing our dough,” Jen said.

Every Friday night, Jen and Kate mix water, flour, salt and yeast into dough.

“Basically now we cut and weigh,” Kate said.

Three-point-5 ounces is all they need.

“Bagel dough is very forgiving,” Jen said.

Matt and Jason gave it a go, but they were far too slow to crank out the 700 bagels they’re shaping every weekend.

“There are days we love it. And there’s are days, ‘Why are we doing this?'” Kate said.

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Rise sells at the Fulton Farmer’s Market, so Jen and Kate rise at 3 a.m. Saturday.

Back to the kitchen space they rent.

Before they bake, they boil the bagels in malt barley syrup.

“That helps give the exterior of the bagel a good sheen and a nice crust to it,” Jen said.

They tried baking soda, they tried honey, but the malt gives a subtle depth of flavor.

“So, they all have their own little character,” Kate said.

They’re topped on both sides with poppy seeds, or sesame seeds, and then into the oven.

“I’d say we primarily do old school bagels,” Kate said.

“That’s what we tend lean towards. But as we’ve introduced those flavors — Asiago, jalapeno cheddar — people like them,” Kate said.

Matt and Jason like the old school too. And Rise – has risen to the bagel challenge.

“That’s a proper bagel,” Matt Brickman said.

“You’ve made Brickman happy, that’s success,” DeRusha said.

Rise Bagel Company is at the Fulton Farmers Market today from 8:30 a .m. until 1 p.m. at 49th Street and Chowen Avenue South.

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They’ll be there through Oct. 18, and then they’ll have pop-up markets probably at their commercial kitchen space in South Minneapolis.

Jason DeRusha