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Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Montreal Bagels

They’re one of our favorite things. We rarely get to indulge since we rarely visit Montreal anymore but we still love and crave them all the time. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at them but when Danielle started talking about mail order bagels I decided it was time. I used this recipe from The Splendid Table. They’re not exactly right but I would say they’re a pretty good approximation. We did almost kill the whole dozen today for whatever that’s worth.

Ben’s suggesting that we make a couple dozen to freeze once or twice a month. Although I found a New York Times recipe that I think might be worth trying and there’s also a recipe in the Artisan Bread book that’s probably worth a shot before officially declaring a winner. What I love most about them is the short rising time. It makes them quick to throw together particularly when you knead the batter with a stand mixer. The recipe only calls for a few ingredients that you might not have stocked in the pantry. I found the King Arthur unbleached bread flour at Safeway although I suspect that all of the available bread flours are unbleached but I can’t confirm that. I bought the tiny bottle of sesame seeds at Safeway too but in the future I’ll probably try to track down a big bag of them in an ethnic type market somewhere. They carry the malt syrup at Whole Foods. It’s a huge bottle of which I scooped out a mere tablespoon and now has to be stored in the fridge so I would really like to make several more batches and maybe sweeten the water with more malt syrup instead of honey.

I didn’t really measure the water, I just filled a big pot and brought it to a boil. I followed the rest of the recipe pretty closely though. The only other adjustment I had to make was to leave them in the oven slightly longer than called for, probably about 5 minutes but it could just be my oven which needs to be calibrated badly.

We ate the bagels hot out of the oven and then for lunch with a homemade smoked salmon cream cheese and sliced tomatoes. Really, really good.

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