Bagels had never remotely entered my thought process as far as making them went. I mean they just got bought at the store.
However, I should have figured that with bagels being just about, if not as big, as smoked meat in Montreal making them would at some point come up. After all, we finally nailed the Smoked Meat on about the 6th try, so we needed a new challenge right ;)
After some searching for a Montreal style bagel recipe on the internet Al found one from The Fresh Loaf, and with a few minor tweaks we decided to give it a try. They are actually pretty straightforward to make, there are just a lot of little steps. I will try to show you with as many pictures as I can.
7 1/2 cups of bread flour
2/3 tsp yeast
4 1/2 tsp malt flour
(after calling every health food store and grocer we finally found the malt flour at Gourmet Warehouse)
1 large egg
2 cups water
2 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1: Mix the dry ingredients
2: Add egg, water, oil
3: Mix until the dough starts to come together
4: At this point you will want to continue mixing with your hands to give your mixer a break ~ trust me by now you will hear your mixer complaining!
5: Turn dough onto and un-floured counter & knead the dough ball for approx 8 minutes ~ and whew, it is a work out, I handed the job over to Al after about 3 minutes ;)
6: Let dough sit, covered for 45 minutes.
7 : Weigh 4 oz pieces
8: Spray the counter with a tiny bit of water (this just helps with rolling the dough and since bagel dough is already dense you don’t want to add any flour) and roll dough. I alternated between rolling on the counter and in between my hands.
9: Bring each end of the dough together and attach (I sprayed a bit of water to each end to help them stick). Lay them on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Cover while you are working on the other ones.
10: Now here is the weird part for me – Place prepared bagels in a large stock pot of boiling water.
11: They will float to the surface once they are done. Approx 7 – 10 minutes
12: Scoop out with a strainer
13: Dip in whatever topping you wish
Bake on a Traeger at high, or in a conventional oven @ 400 deg for 15 minutes or until golden brown.