Montreal Bagels

Montreal Bagels - yum-o-rama

Montreal Bagels - yum-o-rama click to enlarge

Like this recipe?  There are more like in in The Book of Buns that you can buy on Amazon

Like this recipe? There are more like in in The Book of Buns that you can buy on Amazon click to enlarge

What I am baking today - April 23 2013

Montreal Bagels

Chewier, sweeter, denser and flatter than their NY cousins, if you have ever lived in Montreal you will know these bagels are delicious.  Seriously, you will never look back.

Ingredients
Makes 12

For the dough

750 g strong white bread flour
350 g water
3 g instant/6 g dry/12 g fresh yeast
15 g salt
2 egg yolks (save the whites for the glaze)
100 g malt syrup (you can substitute honey but not molasses/treacle)

For the steaming

2 liters of water
100 g malt syrup (you can substitute honey but not molasses/treacle)

For the glaze

2 egg whites + 2 tablespoons water, beaten together
Sesame seeds to sprinkle

Method

If you are using dry yeast, measure the flour into a bowl and make a well in it. Sprinkle in the yeast, add 100 g of the water and wait for 10-15 minutes.  A beige sludge may or may not form on the top - it does not matter as long as the yeast is dissolved.  Then add all the other ingredients and mix them together into a ball in the bowl.

If you are using instant or fresh yeast measure all the ingredients into a big bowl, mix them together into a ball in the bowl. 

Pull the dough out on the counter and knead it for 10 minutes.  It is quite a stiff dough so just persevere.

Pop the dough back in the bowl and cover it with cling film or a damp tea towel.  Let rest for 2 hours.

Shape the buns

1.  Gently pull the dough out on to a non floury surface and shape it into a tight sausage (click here for a video of that)
2.  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and let them rest for 5 minutes under a dry tea towel
3.  Take the first piece of dough and roll it into a snake about 12 inches long.
4.  Wrap the snake around your hand so that the two ends just overlap in your palm
5.  Place your palm (with the overlapping ends of the dough in it) on the counter and roll it firmly back and forth to seal the ends
6.  Place the formed bagel on a lightly floured surface and cover it with a dry tea towel.  Repeat with all the other pieces of dough.  Leave them to rest for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven 230 degrees. 

Bring the water and malt mixture to simmering point.  Press the bagels quite firmly to flatten them out to a thickness of only about 1.5 cm (you don’t want puffy, airy bagels, but dense, chewy bagels) and then place them into the simmering water.  Put as many as will comfortably fit into the saucepan and simmer them for 30 seconds. 
Turn them over as you remove them from the water and place them on a baking tray that you have lined with non stick baking parchment.  Glaze them with the egg white wash and sprinkle seeds on top. 

Pop them in the oven and bake them for 20-25 minutes.  They should be a light golden brown when they are done.

Try to cool them completely before eating them.  They are delicious with butter and jam, cream cheese and smoked salmon, anything or nothing at all.

If you like this recipe there are plenty more like it in The Book of Buns published in October 2013 and available on Amazon.