|Sure, there are three
steps, but the first step is
easy and the last two
steps don't require any
work at all!
|December 9, 2012
Making Montreal Style Bagels
Being from the Midwest, I probably have no right to enter the debate
about whether Montreal bagels are better then New York bagels. In
the interest of healthy eating and easy home baking, I will however
put in my two cents worth. Really, you're comparing apples to
oranges when you try to compare the two. A New York bagel is an
oversized, very chewy roll that challenges the human jaw and teeth
to their upmost. Made in an automated process the bagels are all
perfect and uniform, down to the dinky hole in the middle. They're a
Big Mac of sorts, the high calorie, time tested standard by which all
bagels are judged.
Montreal bagels are so different that I don't really think you can
compare the two. They're smaller, less chewy (using a higher
moisture dough I believe), and made without salt. Each one is
obviously handmade and the hearth baking they undergo makes
each bagel a unique piece of culinary art. I can't really say that we
noticed the lack of salt in the Montreal bagels we ate at Fairmont
and St. Viateur; this could be because of salt in the toppings.
Montreal bagels are sweeter than New York bagels, but I think this is
hard to notice because of the differences in chewiness and dough
If you have a baking stone, Montreal bagels are a breeze to make at
home and taste pretty much like the ones you get at Fairmont or St.
Viateur. I prefer a bagel with salt, so the recipe below includes
Kosher salt. Leave the salt out if you prefer. Hopefully the video
along with the pictures will make it easy for you to get going on
these. They're a real treat warm from the oven but rewarm well for 5
minutes in a 350 F oven also.
*Substitue honey for the barley malt syrup if you don't have any
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, yeast and salt. Make a well
in the middle and add the oil, honey, barley malt syrup and egg.
Add the water to the middle and stir the liquid ingredients until well
mixed, then start working in the flour. Stir until all the flour is mixed
in then give the dough another 15-30 seconds of vigorous stirring.
Cover the dough and allow to rise at room temperature for two hours
then refrigerate, OR refrigerate immediately and wait at least 12
hours to use.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven and baking stone to 450 F
and bring a 5 quart kettle 2/3 full of water to a boil. On a well floured
surface divide the dough into 16 equal (double batch) or 8 equal
(single batch) pieces.
Photos: Place the added ingredients (optional), then roll into a 10
inch strand thicker at the ends
Form each piece into an flat, oblong shape, 1 2 inches by 6 inches
or so in size. Place in a Tablespoon or so full of flavor ingredients (if
desired) then roll the dough over lengthwise to trap the ingredients
in the dough. Roll the dough out into a 10 inch strand, then roll the
dough so it is thinner in the middle and fatter at the ends. Now,
make a small tear in each end and interlock the torn ends together.
Place 2 or 3 fingers inside the hole of the bagel and roll back and
forth until the ends are well sealed together and the thickness is
equal. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and
repeat the process with the next two pieces of dough.
Once you have three bagels formed, start the boiling process. Add
1/3 cup honey and 1 Tbsp barley malt syrup to the boiling water,
stirring it in so nothing sticks and burns on the bottom. Now, toss in
the three bagels. After about a minute, once they've floated to the
top of the water, flip them over and give them another minute or so
in the water. Don't worry about timing the water bath at exactly 1
minute per side, you can be off by quite a bit without any noticeable
change in the bagels.
With a slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the boiling water bath
and place back on the parchment paper. While the bagels are still
quite wet, sprinkle on any desired topping.
Repeat the shaping, boiling and topping process until you have a
sheet full of bagels. Slide the parchment off onto a baking stone
and bake the bagels for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Remove to a
wire rack to cool.
Sweet: Chocolate chips or blueberries can be sealed inside the
dough, but don't put these on the outside as the 450 F heat will
demolish chocolate chips or blueberries that are tacked onto the
Grainy: Some pumpernickel flour, wheat or rye chops can be
sprinkled on for that multigrain feel.
Seedy: Go for the traditional sesame seeds or get more trendy with
flax or chia seeds.
Savory: I use an asiago/rosemary mix in the video, but you can do
onion, crumbled bacon, or any other meat/cheese/herb combo you
Submitted to Susan's YeastSpotting at the wildyeastblog.