Montreal Bagels, An Authentic Homemade Recipe (2024)

On a trip to Montreal four years ago, we tried the Montreal-style bagel for the first time. For all you fellow New Yorkers/New Jerseyans who may not have known that such a cousinto our beloved NY bagel exists, the basic gist of it is as follows:

Like the NY bagel, theMontreal bagel was also brought over to our neighbor to the Northby Eastern European immigrants. Their differences lie in the fact that they were brought over bydifferentimmigrants, of course, who hada slightly different flair formaking bagels that were sweeter and denser. And baked in a wood-fired oven.

Upon hearing of this on our Montreal trip, we skedaddled on over to one of the most famous Montreal bagel shops…Fairmount Bagel (as far as I know, there’s a healthy rivalry between this place and another by the name of St. Viateur).

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We stood on line on a sunny Sunday morning, and quickly noticed that most people weren’t there to order a la carte. It wasn’t at all like, “hey there, can I get plaincream cheese on a toasted everything bagel?” It was all, “Hello, can I get a two dozen sesame and a dozen poppy seed?”

They were rolling and baking bagels right there in their enormous wood oven, and every bag of Montreal bagels passed over the counter was hot and fresh. They couldn’t make them fast enough. There was a sense of scarcity in the air, like, “maybe we should think about getting a few dozen…what’s that they were saying about freezing them for later?” Indeed, they were handing over hot bagels in large paper bags, along with plastic bags that included instructions on storing them in your home freezer.

I got the feeling that many of the customers grabbing their bagels and easing their cars back out onto the road weren’t exactly locals. They were Montreal bagel pilgrims–pilgrimage finally completed and ready to go back home.

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We’re none of us the patient type, so the minute we got our hands on a few bagels of our own, we just set up on the back of the car and cracked open the cream cheese.

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Montreal bagels are decidedly different from the NY version. It’s noticeably sweeter–from the use of honey and/or barley malt syrup. Definitely less fluffy and doughy. But what was really different about them was the ever-so-slightly scorched, dappled exterior–the result of a seriously hot wood oven.

Upon returning home, we did store the leftovers in the freezer, but they didn’t last long. Without a trip to Montreal in sight any time soon, we embarked on a quest to make our own homemade version of Montreal Bagels, and have since made them over and over again.

Here’s the famous Montreal bagel recipe! It was adapted from this recipepublished in theNew York Timesin 1987.

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Montreal Bagels: Recipe Instructions

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, oil, and ½ cup honey. Whisk it all together until well combined.

Gradually add enough flour to make a dough, and knead until smooth (about 10 minutes), adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Once the dough is firm and smooth, cover with an inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

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Punch out the air and divide into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch rope, and curve each one around your hand, pressing together the ends to make a bagel shape Gently rock your hand back and forth on the seam to seal the two ends. Flour the bottoms of the bagels and place on baking sheets lined with parchment. Cover with a towel and allow bagels to rise for 30 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a wide, shallow pot of water to boil with your barley malt syrup or honey, and lay out your sesame seeds on a plate. After the bagels have risen, boil them each for about 30 seconds on each side.

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Lift them out of the pan, shaking off excess water. Cover with sesame seeds, and place on the baking sheet.

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Bake for 25 minutes until golden, rotating the pan halfway through cooking.

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The Montreal bagels freeze well so to save for later, transfer cooled bagels to a plastic bag, remove as much air as you can, and freeze.

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4.89 from 9 votes

Montreal Bagels, A Homemade Recipe

Montreal bagels are decidedly different from the NY version as they are noticeably sweeter from the use of honey and/or malt syrup. our homemade Montreal bagels recipe is really authentic and a great change-up to the regular NYC deli bagel.

by: Sarah

Course:Bread and Pizza

Cuisine:American Canadian

Montreal Bagels, An Authentic Homemade Recipe (15)

serves: 16 bagels

Prep: 1 hour hour 15 minutes minutes

Cook: 45 minutes minutes

Total: 2 hours hours

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 packages instant yeast (active dry yeast can also work)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 5-6 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup barley malt syrup (honey can also be substituted)
  • 1 ½ cup lightly toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, oil, and ½ cup honey. Whisk it all together until well combined.

  • Gradually add enough flour to make a dough, and knead until smooth (about 10 minutes), adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Once the dough is firm and smooth, cover with an inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

  • Punch out the air and divide into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch rope, and curve each one around your hand, pressing together the ends to make a bagel shape Gently rock your hand back and forth on the seam to seal the two ends. Flour the bottoms of the bagels and place on baking sheets lined with parchment. Cover with a towel and allow bagels to rise for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a wide, shallow pot of water to boil with your malt syrup or honey, and lay out your sesame seeds on a plate. After the bagels have risen, boil them each for about 30 seconds on each side. Lift them out of the pan, shaking off excess water. Cover with sesame seeds, and place on the baking sheet.

  • Bake for 25 minutes until golden, rotating the pan halfway through cooking.

  • To save for later, transfer cooled bagels to a plastic bag, remove as much air as you can, and freeze.

nutrition facts

Calories: 275kcal (14%) Carbohydrates: 42g (14%) Protein: 7g (14%) Fat: 9g (14%) Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) Cholesterol: 22mg (7%) Sodium: 228mg (10%) Potassium: 101mg (3%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 10g (11%) Vitamin A: 30IU (1%) Vitamin C: 0.1mg Calcium: 103mg (10%) Iron: 1.9mg (11%)

nutritional info disclaimer

TheWoksofLife.com is written and produced for informational purposes only. While we do our best to provide nutritional information as a general guideline to our readers, we are not certified nutritionists, and the values provided should be considered estimates. Factors such as brands purchased, natural variations in fresh ingredients, etc. will change the nutritional information in any recipe. Various online calculators also provide different results, depending on their sources. To obtain accurate nutritional information for a recipe, use your preferred nutrition calculator to determine nutritional information with the actual ingredients and quantities used.

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Montreal Bagels, An Authentic Homemade Recipe (2024)
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