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How to Make Montreal Style Bagels

April 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 223

My appreciation for these hand made baked delights came about when I was around 15 years of age. My Mother is from Montreal and I have spent many a Winter and Summer in this incredible city. I guess I call Montreal my second home. I remember going down to St. Viateur Bagel and eating bagels fresh right out of their brown paper bag.

One year, my father and I made the drive from Kansas to Canada to visit family. My father loves Montreal bagels so much, he bought approximately 50 dozen. We now had two big boxes of bagels in the back seat. We had blankets covering them as we were not sure about bringing this many bagels into the United States. Incidentally, we were driving a 1976 black on red Cadillac El Dorado convertible. When we were passing through customs between Canada and the U.S., the border patrol asked us what was in the boxes.

My father proceeded to explain that they were Montreal Bagels. The Border patrol began to look through the box and realized we were telling the truth. He asked. "What is the difference between a Montreal Bagel and a New York Bagel"? So, my father gave him the following description. A Montreal Bagel is smaller, hand-made, boiled in honey water, and baked in a wood fired oven.

This recipe is one that has been passed down through my Family. While, I believe the true Montreal Bagel recipe is one that is kept under lock and key. This recipe comes very close.

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 45 min

Total time: 1 hour 45 min

Yield: 12 bagels Sometimes I get a baker's dozen 13

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups warm water

5 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 package dry yeast

1 large beaten egg

1 tablespoon malt powder or syrup

5 cups unbleached white bread flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

3/4 - 1 cup poppy seeds or sesame seeds

6 quarts water

1/2 cup honey

Instructions

1. In a large bowl mix together warm water, sugar, oil, yeast, egg and malt until yeast dissolves. Stir in salt and 1 cup flour. Fold in enough flour to make a soft dough, about 3 cups. You can mix dry ingredients first. Then add wet ingredients until the dough comes together. Do this all by hand. It is too dense of a dough for a stand mixer.

2. Knead dough incorporating additional flour as needed, until dough is firm and smooth. Cover with inverted bowl and let sit 10 minutes.

3. Divide dough into 12-13 pieces. Roll into 10-inch ropes. Curve each rope around your hand, to form a bagel shape. You can apply drops of water to the ends to help them stay together. Another method is to make a ball and poke a hole through the center. Make the hole large. Let bagels rise for 30 minutes.

4. Fill a large kettle such as, a dutch oven, with 6 quarts water and honey. Bring to a boil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Boil bagels in honey-sweetened water turning once. This takes about a minute. Be careful here because they can come apart. They are ready when they float to the top. You can use an asian strainer to pull the bagels out. Place on baking sheets.

6. Generously sprinkle both sides of bagels with seeds. You can use a second baking sheet for your topping of choice and dip the bagels while they are still moist. Try combinations too! I like them covered front and back.

7. Place bagels in oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, turning once.

Note: You can find malt powder or syrup for making beer in home brew stores.

Some variations: Try twisting the rope to form a spiral. You can incorporate different cheeses such as, an Asiago cheese for example. Even experiment with different seasonings. Such as, Zahter. ( Zahter, Zaater is a mix of sumac, thyme, sesame seeds. It can be found in middle eastern grocery stores). Skip the honey bath if making cheese twists.

Make bagel dogs. Flatten out a rope of dough and wrap your favorite hotdog in it. Make a few slits on the top of the dough. Brush the top with egg white wash.

By the way, we offered the Border patrol a Bagel. He could not believe how delicious it was. He told us he was a big fan New York Style bagels but we just may have turned him. He let us pass through with no problem.

I hope you give these a try. They take a little work but are so worth it. You probably do not have a wood fired oven, so just get your gas or electric oven good and hot. They will come out fine.

Good Luck!

Source: EzineArticles
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