Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

September 21, 2017

© Ryan Szulc

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Montreal Bagels

You can wait to visit Montreal or try this absolutely authentic, good-enough-to-open-a-Montreal-bagel-franchise recipe

Although real Montreal bagels do not have any salt, this recipe has a modest amount, which serves to regulate the fermentation. For really authentic bagels, you should try fresh yeast, but dry will still give you outstanding results.

1 ¾ c. (440 ml) water
2 ½ tsp. (12.5 ml) dry yeast or ½ ounce (15 g) fresh
5 Tbsp. (75 ml) plus a pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) beaten egg
3 Tbsp. (45 ml) vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) malt powder
1 ½ tsp. (7.5 ml) salt (optional)
4 ½ - 5 c. (1125 ml - 1250 ml) bread flour
6 quarts (6 L) water
1/3 c. (90 ml) honey
1 ½ c. (375 ml) sesame or poppy seeds (or half and half)

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and pinch of sugar. Let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes, allowing the yeast to swell or dissolve. (If using fresh yeast, crumble it into the warm water along with the pinch of sugar.) Whisk in the remaining sugar, the beaten egg, vegetable oil, malt and salt, if using. Fold in most of the flour.

Knead for 10 to 12 minutes to form a stiff, smooth dough, adding additional flour as required. Cover with a tea towel or an inverted bowl and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with a kitchen towel, and another with baking parchment. Fill a large soup pot or Dutch oven with 6 quarts (6 L) water. Add the honey. Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, divide the dough in 12 sections and form each one into a 10-inch (25-cm) strip. Form these into bagel rings and place them on a cookie sheet. Let them rise for 12 to 16 minutes, until they are very slightly puffed up. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

Boil the bagels for about 1 ½ minutes, turning them once. Place them on the towel-lined sheet to dry out. Then sprinkle very generously with sesame or poppy seeds. (Montreal bagels are more seeded than regular bagels) and transfer them to the parchment-lined sheet.

Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 425°F (220°C), and bake until done, 15 to 22 minutes, turning them once when they are just about done and switching baking sheets midway.

Alternatively, you can start the bagels on the baking sheet and turn them onto a preheated baking stone to finish baking.

Makes 12.

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