I’ve always considered bagels to be an elusive baking project. Something that seems like a great idea when you’re having a delicious bagel-wich on a patio at the local bagel shop, but then the minute you’re done your sandwich suddenly seems like a rash and completely unnecessary undertaking. At least this is how my internal bagel roller coaster ride seems to go, round and round but I never quite take the plunge. Until today. Almost completely out of the blue. At about 3 o’clock this afternoon I was ready for a snack or a walk or both. Mostly something to get me away from my desk and the chocolate that had been staring at me for the last 2 hours. So I met Rebecca (coworker, friend and fellow snack-walk enthusiast) downstairs and we meandered over to the food court/ corner shop to see what our options were. As usual they weren’t very good and after debating whether or not chips from the corner shop or a muffin from Tim Hortons was more bang for the buck, we settled on a bagel and cream cheese. And then proceeded to reminisce about where all the bagel shops had gone which lead to reminiscing about Kettleman’s Bagels in Ottawa. An infamous 24 hour bagel shop just down the street from me during my time at Carleton. The bagels were that good that we’d been known to stock up at 4 in the morning before heading to the airport for adventures, or to send home with our less fortunate friends who didn’t have a 24 hour Montreal-style bagel shop in their neighbourhood! So why hadn’t I tried this at home yet? I realized I had no good answer. So 4 and a half hours later, voila, our house smelt of freshly baked Montreal style bagels. Mission accomplished, finally!
Time: 2.5 hours total
Yield: 16 large bagels
1.5 cups warm water
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
¼ cup oil
½ cup honey
5.5 cups flour (3 cups all purpose/2.5 cups whole wheat)
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds for topping
Mix water, yeast, sugar and salt until dissolved. Whisk in egg, yolk, oil and honey until completely combined. Switch to hook attachment if using stand mixer and slowly add in flour until dough is no longer sticky. Knead for approximately 10 minutes. Remove dough hook, cover with an inverted bowl and let rest for 15 minutes.
Punch down dough and divide into 16 – 20 pieces. Roll each piece to about 10 inches long (long enough to wrap around your hand) and gently roll the overlap back and forth until it is joined (so it doesn’t separate during the boil). Dust the bottom with flour and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil and set the oven for 450F.
After bagels have risen, place in boiling water (about 4 at a time) for 30 seconds per side. Remove from pot with slotted spoon and place in plate full of sesame seeds or other topping. Cover with seeds then place on baking tray.
Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown.