Well, I knew I couldn't recreate the wood-fire oven, not without a lot of money that is, but I could take care of the rest. So I began searching for a recipe and quickly found this one, which had pretty good reviews. Of course, I needed to get my hands on some malt powder first. Not such an easy task! I scoured grocery store shelves trying to find this elusive malt powder. But Biggs didn't have it. Kroger didn't have it. I couldn't even find it at Jungle Jim's. So in the end I got some from Amazon. Now I was ready. This past weekend I decided to make a half batch/test batch to see how they turned out. The recipe was pretty easy, though a little time consuming...but I like making bread so I'm used to wasting a little time in the kitchen kneading and letting things rise (note: it's not nearly as time consuming as some of the breads I've made!). A half batch makes 6 bagels. I actually formed one of mine into a pretzel, so I ended up with five bagels and a pretzel.
Each bagels gets a dip in the boiling honey water for 90 seconds before they get baked in the oven. I was a little concerned because they didn't rise much before the bath, but then they plumped up while they were in the boiling honey-water, so no worries!
As I said I made one pretzel with a little kosher salt on the top, which was tasty. Then I made one plain, two cheese (using some sliced fontina we had), one cinnamon sugar, and one salt. All were delicious!
I think the cinnamon-sugar and the salt were actually my favorite. The dough is nice and chewy, and the honey-water gives it a great subtle sweetness.
Since my best friend is coming into town this weekend (YAY!!!) so I'm going to give another batch a go. I'll definitely be adding chocolate chips into the mix, since that's my favorite type of bagel! Have you ever had Montreal-style bagels?