These Montreal style bagels are surprisingly easy to make and even though they aren't quite as good as authentic Montreal bagels* they're much better than grocery store bagels.
1-1/2 C Water, warm
5 Tbsp Sugar
1 Packet Yeast (2-1/4 tsp dry yeast)
3 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Malt Powder or Syrup (op) [edit: shilohjim says "Look for a homebrew supply shop for your malt powder and syrup.")
~4-1/2 C Bread Flour (or All-Purpose)
4 L Water
1/4 C Honey
poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion flakes, cinnamon and raisins
*If you have a wood fired oven you might come closer than I did. Barbecue might work...let me know if you figure something out.
Step 1: Prepare Dough
In a large bowl dissolve:
1-1/2 C warm water
1 packet of yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp malt (op)
Gradually stir in:
~3 C bread flour
Remove from bowl to floured surface and knead for 10 minutes incorporating more flour as needed.
Step 2: Let Rest
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Form Rings
Punch down dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 10" rope and form into a circle with the ends overlapping by 3/4 of an inch. To seal roll the joint under your palm with your fingers in through the hole. Place the bagels on a pan that has been lightly oiled or covered with a floured dish towel.
Alternatively form each piece of dough into a ball and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Use your fingers to gently stretch the hole to the proper size.
Step 4: Rest Again
Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile bring 4 litres of water and 1/4 cup of honey to boil in a large pan or dutch oven. And set the oven to 425F.
Step 5: Boil
Place bagels in simmering water a few at a time (I was able to fit 3 at once) and cook 45 seconds on each side. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step 6: Bake
Sprinkle bagels with poppy or sesame seeds, or some other flavouring, on both sides. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes. If desired flip after 10 minutes to brown both sides. After baking transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Step 7: Tips and Tricks
Add cinnamon with flour and add raisins at end of kneading step.
Freeze bagels and reheat in the toaster.
Freeze dough rings. To prepare thaw overnight, and bring to room temperature on counter, boil and bake as usual.
Keep kneaded dough ball in fridge up to one day.