Sunday, November 08, 2009

Seriously Montreal Style Bagels

Seriously Montreal-style Bagels
From The New best of

Printable Recipe
Total bagel making time: 90 minutes or so
Prep time:
10 minutes
Kneading time: 10-12 minutes
Rest time: 10 minutes
Shaping time: 5-10 minutes
Rest time: 15 minutes
Boiling time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes

Makes: 12-14 bagels

1½ cups warm water
2¼ tsp instant yeast
4 tbsp white sugar
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp beaten egg
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp malt powder or firmly packed brown sugar (I used the malt powder)
6-7 cups bread flour

¼ cup honey
1½ cups sesame seeds or poppy seeds (or half of each) for sprinkling


1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (for resting raw bagels). Stack 2 large baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper (for baking) and set aside.

2. Hand whisk the warm water and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer and let it stand for 2-3 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Stir in the white sugar, salt, honey, egg, oil, malt powder and 6 cups of flour. Mix to make a soft mass. Knead with the dough hook on the lowest speed of the mixer for 10-12 minutes, gradually adding more flour as required to form a very stiff, smooth dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise for 10 minutes.

Note: my daughter doesn’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook so we started with her food processor and dough blade. That worked okay for the first mixing, but was too much work for the kneading, which we had to do by hand. They still turned out amazing, just required more elbow grease. The only reason I mentioned this is so that even those who don’t have stand mixers can enjoy Montreal style bagels.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into
12-14 portions. Roll each portion into a 10 inch rope. Make each rope into a ring and gently rock back and forth on the counter to seal the ends. Place the rings onto the single baking sheet and let them rest for 12-15 minutes or until slightly puffy.

Naked bagels resting

4. Preheat the oven to 450°F/220°C (Ruth’s note: my daughter and I placed a pizza stone on the bottom shelf to increase the heat and do the final 5 minutes of baking).

5. Fill a large soup pot or Dutch oven ¾ full with water. Add the ¼ cup of honey and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a good simmer and add the bagels a few at a time (you really don’t want to crowd them). Boil for 1 ½ -2 minutes, turning them over at midpoint. Using a slotted skimmer, transfer the bagels to the single parchment lined baking sheet to drain.

6. Put the sesame (or poppy) seeds in a shallow but wide bowl (or platter with raised sides – or the seeds will end up all over the place). Dip each bagel in the bowl to coat all sides with the seeds and then transfer them to the parchment lined, double stacked baking sheets.

Dressed in sesame seeds and waiting for the oven

Dressed in poppy seeds (My Honey said I got carried away with the seeds, so many fell off when we ate them)

7. Place them in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 425°F/218°C and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn the bagels over and bake for 3-5 minutes longer (this is when my daughter and I placed them on the pizza stone) or until they are well browned on both sides.

8. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool for 15 minutes before serving….which was the hardest part in our house.

The results had us, especially the ex-Montrealers in the group, moaning with delight. Serious thumbs up for authenticity.


Tracy K. said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe. My husband and I both enjoyed our Montreal bagels fresh from the oven. We are Montreal natives and when we go home we always make a point of going to Fairmont or St. Viateur to get our fix. Now we have an option a little closer to home.

Ruth Daniels said...

Enjoy! They really are remarkably close, given no wood burning oven.

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