Montreal-style Bagels

When we went to Montreal for the first time this past February, we found ourselves craving bagels as soon as we returned home.  But not just any bagels though, Montreal-style bagels.  I quickly did some research and found out what made these bagels so different from others I'd had.  Namely it's the addition of malt powder and egg, the lack of salt, the risen bagels are boiled in honey-water and then fired in a wood oven.  The wood-fire gives the outside this amazing, crusty texture and the malt powder and eggs brings a richness to the soft, chewy dough, while the honey bath makes them slightly sweet and unlike any bagel I've ever had before.  It's magic!

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?

1 comment:

  1. Oh shoot. I'm disappointed to learn they're not vegan (good thing I didn't know that when I lived in Montreal). They are scrumptious! These look super yummy - and that's not just me not having had breakfast yet talking!