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  • Writer's pictureAnnemarie Bolduc

Making Bagels, Honey!

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Poached in boiled water and honey, sprinkled with sesame and poppy seeds, here's the story about a Montreal-style bagel recipe adapted for my little home kitchen in Australia!

Homemade Montreal-style bagels • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021

For years, I was thinking about trying bagel making at home until I really got into it (during the pandemic lockdowns, of course!). I really don’t know why I waited that long… they are so good! I can use my backyard chooks eggs and local honey to make Montreal-style handmade crafted bagels, this is so exciting! I had to start by referring to a mix of existing recipes before adapting one for my little kitchen in Australia. I tried using some bread flour (perhaps not the right one as I could not find the malt flour that Montreal's bagel bakers use), and I think the taste and texture were good enough with the all-purpose flour. Montreal bagels are handmade by bagel pros in woodfire ovens and are unique (not to offend anyone by saying they are the best). Learn about Montreal vs New York bagels in this previous article here.


Bagels in many ways • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021-22


When making bagels, there are essential things to remember (and I have to remind myself each time). The first is the timing. Never rise the dough and boil it longer than the method says otherwise; it’s a failure in taste and texture. Bagels should be chewy and sweet, not sour. The second is the temperature. Bagel dough needs to rise in a humid and warm place. A great piece of advice from Ricardo is to place the bowl covered with a damp cloth in the (non-warmed-up) oven beside a jug of boiled water. Montreal bagels are baked in a wood fire oven but can be made in a conventional oven. You can make a dozen standard-size bagels or you can also make mini ones divided into 24!


Styling my mini bagels for a shoot • Photography © SVC/Matt Beaver 2021


My favourite topping mixes the Montreal classics of sesame and poppy seeds, but you can go with just one of them (as usually done in Bagel shops), other seeds, or just plain. You can also add flavourings like garlic, rosemary salt, cinnamon, or dried fruits to the dough like blueberries (and there is a secret to it I've promised a bagel chef not to tell...). These are all popular, but many other delicious ways to flavour your bagels exist. I am teasing you again by not giving you the recipe, but don’t worry, it will be soon!


RECIPE

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