Actress Jennifer Garner’s Instagram account is a delightful place — it’s filled with videos of her, her very adorable golden retriever, and, most importantly, cooking videos that she calls “Pretend Cooking Show.”
“Pretend Cooking Show” is inspired by Jewish TV personality and cookbook writer Ina Garten. Jennifer Garner, like all of us here at The Nosher, is a big Ina Garten fan. So much that she started creating cooking videos in her kitchen. As Elisabeth Sherman wrote in The Kitchn at the end of last year, “‘Pretend Cooking Show’ has gained a following for good reason: It’s a refreshingly authentic look into the life of a celebrity. [Garner] seems just like you, or someone you would want to be friends with, whipping up her favorite recipes in her own kitchen and clearly enjoying herself. She doesn’t pretend to be a cooking expert — just a mom trying her best to make good food for her family. Extremely relatable!”
And Ina Garten agrees! “I love her videos so much,” the “Barefoot Contessa” told People. “She is adorable and smart and not at all performing — that’s just who she is. I just think she’s really special.”
As part of the series, Garner has made guacamole dressed as a witch on Halloween, fish sticks, chicken chili for the Super Bowl, and more. And now? Jennifer Garner made homemade bagels, which is honestly one of the best videos we’ve seen on the internet in a while. (Second only to Ina Garner getting drunk with Seth Meyers.)
The video starts at 5:15 a.m: “Good morning, it’s early,” she tells the camera, and then dabs. She shows everyone her bagel starter that she made the night before.
“The last time I tried to double my bagel recipe it was a disaster, and I decided I wouldn’t do that anymore. I would make it twice. And then last night I got cocky and I doubled the starter.” For what it’s worth, Nosher editor Shannon Sarna says that making a starter for bagels is actually “pretty advanced” and “unnecessary” to make great bagels. Sarna also suggests using malt barley syrup, instead of molasses, which will help impart a much more authentic New York taste and texture.
The video goes on to show Jennifer drinking coffee as she makes her bagels. “I think I’m on the British Baking Show!” she exclaims at one point. (Side note: does The Great British Baking Show know what bagels are?? Because they definitely don’t know what challah is.)
“I hope I don’t screw you up, buddy,” she tells the dough at one point.
She uses a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for the bagels; for the water bath she uses Jewish cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipe “cause it has a little more oomph to it.” May we recommend our New York-style bagels recipe next time, Jennifer? Or Shannon Sarna’s bagel recipe from her Modern Jewish Baker cookbook?
Anyway. Everything about Jennifer Garner making bagels is delightful. After she puts the bagels in the oven, she sings and reads to them. Once they’re out, she immediately calls to her children to come grab the fresh bagels.
In conclusion, we want to cook bagels with Jennifer Garner!
You really should watch the whole video: