Spelt Right largely fell apart in 2016, hit by a sudden spike in the price of spelt grain. But Ms. George and Mr. Mauro stayed connected, and as he sold more bagel machines and dual-arm mixers and V-shaped muffin depositors around the world, he began connecting customers to the woman who could teach them how to use them.
Among the first were a retired police officer and a social worker in Marathon, Fla., who were mystified as to why their bagels kept puffing into blimps. (Answer: Too much yeast in the air from the bakery that had previously occupied their space.) Soon after that, she flew to Factory & Co. in Paris — a city skilled at producing delicate croissants and light-as-air brioche, but flummoxed by the bagel.
“People tried to do bagels with French style — it’s disgusting, it doesn’t work, it’s not the same,” said Mr. Jablonski, 40, the owner. “We needed her knowledge to improve on the bagel.”
Other clients had similar problems: Bagels would emerge plush, like a loaf of Wonder Bread, or deflate into hockey pucks or crumble into pieces like packing peanuts. Sometimes the flavor was off.
Ed Thill, who immersed himself in bagel-baking in 2016 after a four-month stint in drug rehab, said his at-home bagels kept coming out “too bready.”
“Beth takes a scientific approach, and she’s a realist,” Mr. Thill said. “She straight-up told me: ‘This is what people want, I recommend using this formula, and here’s how we’re going to do it.’”
His shop, Goldilox Bagels, opened last fall in Medford, Mass., to glowing reviews.
Before the pandemic, most clients spent four to five days training with Ms. George, flying in for the week and staying at a nearby hotel, or, in the case of one vegan baker from Los Angeles, crashing on Ms. George’s couch.