Tokachi Bagel is a specialized bakery that pays careful attention to their bagels from start to finish. I arrived for our interview before opening and met the staff just as they were preparing to wrap the morning’s fresh-baked bagels.
Tokachi Bagel started as an allergy-free/worry-free bagel shop. Their recipes were initially developed without the use of eggs or dairy products. Today they still offer the classic, egg-free/dairy-free bagels, but also a variety of bagels that do use dairy products (namely, butter).
The flour used is from a unique blend of Hokkaido wheat. The yeast and sugar are from Tokachi and the sap that is kneaded into the dough is from local white birch trees from the town of Taiki. “Birch sap is rich in minerals and pulls out the flavor of the wheat, as it soaks into even the finest grains of flour,” said store manager, Hiroto Segawa. This gives the bagels their light, chewy texture and subtle flavor.
▲ Bagels sell for 160 Yen. There are 150 different kinds of bagels produced at Tokachi Bagel, with about 25 offered daily.
When I peaked in the kitchen, I saw that they were making not just bagels for daily business but also an order for a special event. Since the shop runs stalls at exhibitions outside of Hokkaido, you might find that Tokachi Bagel is known in other parts of Japan as well.
Customers began arriving even before the shop opened at 11 o’clock. At the end of the interview, Mr. Segawa said, “It’s important to us to protect that original concept of allergy-free/worry-free delicious bagels while we grow and develop our business.”
If you’d like to order some of Tokachi Bagel’s products, just go online and fill out the email order form on their homepage!
▲ The store operates out of a building erected in the early 1900s (during the Taisho Era). The shop really has a retro feel to it with it’s bagels so nicely displayed.