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Montreal Style Bagels

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apprentice's picture
apprentice

Montreal Style Bagels

Woman does not live by rye or barley alone.


So this woman decided to follow suit, when she saw that a lot of other bloggers on The Fresh Loaf were having fun with bagels. I have a formula for Montreal-style bagels from my instructor at baking school. He got it, scribbled in pencil on a brown paper bag, from bakers at the St. Viateur Bagel Bakery where they've been supplying bagel lovers since 1957.


First, I had to scale back the formula. St. Viateur makes almost 10,000 bagels a day at its main location, so the original formula is a big one. It uses 40 kilos of flour, which they make several times a day. At school, we cut that back to 5 kilos. I thought I might manage with 1 kilo at home, which would produce just a baker's dozen. Even so, my poor Kitchen Aid mixer was straining. I quickly moved to hand kneading after the dough came together.


I'll publish the recipe below. There are two significant differences from others I've seen. Firstly, no salt. That always surprises people. I never know how to answer. Either the baker forgot to write it down, or it's what makes this particular bagel extra chewy and delicious. I don't miss it -- not a bit. Secondly, no proofing. At all. You can even skip bulk fermentation, if you let the bagels rest in the fridge overnight after shaping. Or production can be a continuous process after bulk fermentation where you go directly to dividing, shaping, boiling and baking. Then eating. :)


Here's the dough after 8 minutes of kneading:


bagel dough


You can see the stiffness characteristic of bagel dough.  I flattened the ball to a circle about 2" high and used my bench scraper to divide it into 4 oz. wedges. These, I rolled into strips much as Jeffrey Hamelman describes in Bread. As you handle the dough, it becomes smoother and more pliable.


I hadn't made these in over two years, but it was coming back to me. (Don't stack them like that...argh, they'll stick together. Oh yeah, keep a spray bottle handy to mist them or remember to cover with plastic while I process the rest. Wait a minute, no dusting flour...best worked on a damp surface!) The stream of consciousness continued, as I talked myself through the vague memories that my hands recalled better than my brain.


shaping bagels


Then came the boiling and seeding. We never worried about colouring the water much. A handful of brown sugar or some malt syrup if it was handy -- just enough to help gelatinize the starch on the surface in a tasty way, making the bagels smooth and shiny. The dough already has sweetness from malt extract. Today, I used about 2 T of brown sugar in the boiling water. I love sesame seeds, so I used them for most of the bagels and coarse salt for the rest.


boil n seed bagels


Here's what they looked like at half-time on my baker's half sheet pan in the oven. #13 of the baker's dozen got squished. That's okay. I found they needed extra time to brown properly. So near the end, I divided them between two smaller sheet pans without parchment and jacked the heat back up for about three minutes. Did the trick.


bagels at half time in oven


Who's got the cream cheese?


    fresh from oven


Montreal Style Bagels


1 kilo bread flour (about 8 cups)


2 grams instant yeast (2/3 tsp)


40 grams sugar (3 tbsp + 1/2 tsp)


9 grams malt - the flour, not the syrup (4 1/2 tsp)


50 grams egg (1 large)


463 grams water (2 cups or 500 ml)


2 1/2 tsp vegetable oil


Scale or measure out all ingredients. Blend dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until dough starts to come together. If using a stand mixer, change to hand kneading at this point rather than strain the motor of your machine. Continue kneading until developed fully. At this point, you have some choices. The instructions that follow are for continuous processing. If you want to incorporate overnight retardation, see my two replies to Michael below.


Cover the dough and give it about 45 minutes rest on your counter, aka a period of bulk fermentation. When the time is nearly up, put a large pot such as a Dutch oven full of water on to boil and throw in 2 T brown sugar or some barley malt syrup. (Honey or maple syrup are fine, too.) Divide the dough into 13 units of about 113 grams (4 oz) each. Roll into strips and shape as bagels. There is no need to proof the bagels once shaped, but keep covered and/or mist so they don't dry out. Place on a sheet pan beside the pot of water. Process 6 or 7 at a time, however many will comfortably fit in your pan, moving them around in the water periodically for a minute or so. When ready, they float. Remove back to the sheet pan, and put the next batch on to boil.


While still damp, dip the boiled bagels in your preferred topping and place on a second baking sheet which has been lined with parchment and sprinkled with cornmeal. (If you have a hearth-style oven, the bagels may be placed on a peel or other loading device sprinkled with cornmeal and transferred to the oven to bake directly on the hearth. The technique with a wood-fired, brick oven is different again, one with which I'm not familiar.)


Bake out completely until a nice, golden brown, about 20 minutes at 460F. Reduce the temperature after the first 10 minutes, if your bagels are getting too dark. As mentioned above, I had all 13 bagels on a baker's half sheet, roughly 17" x 12", and they weren't quite baked through where they touched. I transferred them to two smaller sheet pans without parchment and gave them an additional 3 minutes. There was a lovely smell and a small bit of smoke when I opened the oven door. The bagels were perfect!

Comments

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Decided to add the recipe to the original blog entry on Montreal style bagels. Silly to have put it in as a comment, sorry!

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

just so I'm clear, these bagels have no retarding period whatsoever??  it doesn't sound like this recipe would yield much depth of flavor at all...thanks for sharing though :)

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Retardation could be added to the process. Why not? In commercial baking, retardation is routinely used to tweak a production schedule. If you also get more depth of flavour from retarding the dough, I say go for it! My textbook says that bagel dough can be:



  • produced by continuous process. That is, the dough is benched (allowed to rest on the workbench for a period), made up, proofed and baked.

  • retarded after make-up. That is, the bagels are made up and retarded. The following day, they're brought out, proofed and finished.

  • retarded after proof. The dough is made up, partially proofed and then retarded until the next day.


With the high turnover at St. Viateur (bagels, not staff), their production is by continuous process. But there's no proofing, once the dough is made up. Like I said, significant differences. They must be doing something right. People make pilgrimages from all over the world to the shop on St. Viateur in Montreal. They have four bakeries, two cafes and ship throughout North America.


A Montreal-style bagel might not be your thing, Michael. But since you've been putting a fair bit of time and energy into making great bagels, why not risk a little flour?


For anyone interested, here's a link to the celebrated Montreal landmark: http://www.stviateurbagel.com/main/

leahweinberg's picture
leahweinberg

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I miss Montreal bagels so much. Now I just need to find some malt and get going.... 


 


Leah 

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Michael's request for clarification led me to further research. For one thing, I looked at the videos on the St. Viateur website. It's clear from the images there that the dough has had a bench rest! It looks all spongy and full of bubbles. (On viewing the video, I remembered seeing that in person, too. My daughter and her family live in Montreal.)


Meanwhile, I emailed my former instructor/head of the baking program at Vancouver Island University and just had a reply. Seems the reason we skipped the bench time was to facilitate dividing 8 lb. "heads" (hunks of bagel dough) in a machine called a bun divider/rounder. The dough got its rest instead after shaping, during an overnight retardation. He reminded me that after taking them out of the retarder, I should let them come to room temperature before boiling.


Have amended the recipe in my blog entry for future readers who might not bother to look through the whole thread. Thanks for seeking clarification, Michael. Look forward to hearing your results, if you try the formula.


All that being said, the bagels I made Monday (even without bench rest after the mix or retardation after makeup) are light years better than anything I can buy! 

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

I've actually read a post here from an individual from St. Viateur, who advises not to let the bagels proof after shaping.  I think you lose the density of the bagel by proofing.  


I've also had a lot of success from taking shaped bagels straight from the fridge, and right into the water and oven. :)   

wildeny's picture
wildeny

Besides no proofing, I am also surprised by the amount of yeast used in this recipe. It's only 0.2% in Baker's percentage.

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Yep, but don't forget that the normal range of 0.5 - 5% yeast in yeast-raised doughs applies to fresh yeast. When you use instant, you need much less. Most formulas suggest a 1:3 ratio when replacing fresh with instant dry.


Even so, I take your point. This style bagel uses less yeast than most -- with fresh yeast, 0.625%. The original formula calls for fresh yeast, 250 grams for 40 kilos of flour.

The Loonie's picture
The Loonie

Thanks for sharing so many tips for this bagel recipe. I am French and Canadian, but I live in Belgium and it's very hard to find a bagel shop in Europe.


I'm a total beginner with bread baking, so I hope it turns into something edible... I'll post again once I have tried it.


Thanks again!


The Loonie

The Loonie's picture
The Loonie

I didn't use any malt syrup or flour because I couldn't find any, and I used a little bit more yeast than was advised. The first dough looked fine and I let it rest for an hour. After that period, it had almost doubled in size and had a very soft texture.


However, once I started to work it to shape the bagels, it became sticky again, very quickly. In the end, it was so sticky and almost decomposing that I couldn't work it anymore.


To see what would happen, I boiled 3 balls of this strange dough, I baked them in the oven, according to the recipe. The crust and the inside looked really fine, pretty much like what you could expect. The only problem was obviously that the dough hadn't risen enough, but I don't know what went wrong.


Can anyone help me with that? I would like to understand my mistake before trying again.


Thanks a lot.


The Loonie

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"I didn't use any malt syrup or flour because I couldn't find any,..."


Did you then add 9g of flour to ballance the moisture in the dough? 


Could it be the dough hydration was too high?  Bagel dough is pretty stiff stuff.


Mini

apprentice's picture
apprentice

That's exactly right. If you can't find the malt flour, it would be advisable to add 9 grams of flour to balance out the moisture.


I can't say whether you should also add extra sugar to replace the malt flour. Some recipes for bagels contain malt and sugar, others only sugar. The malt + sugar is preferable, since bagels need a fairly long bake to ensure a good crust. The heavy browning factor of sugar can create problems.


My tendency in your shoes would be to malt some flour myself just for the fun of it! There's a thread on TFL somewhere about malting barley. In fact, I think it was Mini Oven who did it. And Jeffrey Hamelman has some instructions in his book Bread (p 141 in the formula for Beer Bread with Roasted Barley).


She's right, too, about bagels being a stiff dough. After the first and only rise, it's very tight and best worked on a damp surface. Use no dusting flour at all. Keep a mister handy or some damp towels. Oil is not advisable because the seam of your bagels may come undone. You'll be degassing the dough as you shape the bagels. Keep them covered so they don't dry out, and get them into the boiling water asap. Don't let them rise again!


And seriously, you don't need the extra yeast. Not sure why you're concerned about the dough not having risen more. It's not supposed to rise a whole lot, either in the bulk ferment or in the bake. The ideal water bagel is characterized by a hard crust, chewy texture, shiny surface and rounded profile. The whole point of the boiling is to arrest yeast development, so the bagel will remain dense.

The Loonie's picture
The Loonie

Thanks for all these suggestions, I'll just try again and make sure I stick with the right proportions.


I wasn't that concerned about the size of the dough after the rise period, but much more about the fact that as soon as I started to work on it, it became very sticky again, even more than when you first melt the ingredients.


It was sticking so badly to my fingers I even had a hard time washing it off! When it dried, it was like strong glue... So as I wrote before, it was a very bad first try.


By the way, juste to make sure, what do you use the egg for? I read recipes where they add it to the dough and others where they just use it for colouring during baking.


Thanks again for your help!


The Loonie

apprentice's picture
apprentice

About the stickiness, Loonie, try wetting your hands before working with the dough. Degass it gently and cut off 4 oz. pieces to make your bagels. They should revert back to the tight, stiff dough it was before bulk fermentation, as you shape them. They will stick to each other, which is why you don't want to stack them. But the dough shouldn't stick to your wet hands.


If you continue to have problems with stickiness despite these precautions, maybe try the retardation method? That is, make up the dough right away after kneading. Place your bagels on a parchment-lined sheet, cover with plastic wrap/bag and refrigerate overnight. They don't need any more rising in the a,m. Just let rest at room temp for 10 to 20 min. before boiling. This is to allow bagels to boil properly within 1 or 2 minutes and not lower the water temp too much.


The egg goes right into the mix -- as one of the wet ingredients.


You're very welcome. Good luck with the next batch!

BabyBlue's picture
BabyBlue

I remember watching the guy at St.Viateur making the bagels. He was awesome and fast!  Those things would be whipped in rings in no time and next thing you know they were serving them hot!  He would plunge his hands in a vat of water to keep them wet so he could manipulate the dough better. 


oh, I miss Montreal!


I have made bagels at home before and have a recipe for "Montreal Style Bagels", but it is a bit different from what you have here.  The dough is VERY stiff, and I broke a bread maker making them batch after batch one day (thankfully, they replaced it under warranty... no questions asked!)  I no longer  use a bread maker, and I wouldn't risk my kitchenaid to make a dough this stiff.

The Loonie's picture
The Loonie

Thanks for all these comments.


I'll try that next time. Can't wait to see the result, I am under pressure, now I have promised homemade bagels to all my office team ;-)


Cheers.


The Loonie

The Loonie's picture
The Loonie

This time, the dough was very sticky from the very beginning, so I divided it in individual balls before letting them rest for an hour. After this resting period, the dough was dryier, but still sticky inside. I still can't get this firm dough that is shown on the photos above.


Thanks to your suggestions, I ended up with something that looked and tasted pretty much like bagels. I hadn't realized that your hands can be soaking wet when you work the bagels, it works perfectly.


One of my last problems is that I have an electric oven combining micro-waves and heat. I got the perfect temperature, however, it is quite small and I can only bake 3 bagels at time. I thought it would be better to boil all bagels first and then let them wait, but somehow, they didn't like waiting. When I baked them, they didn't rise as much and were not as airy and chewy.


Anyway, I think I'm on the right track now, so thanks again for your help!


Cheers,


The Loonie

apprentice's picture
apprentice

You're most welcome! Glad you feel that you're on the right track I'm still a bit confused about why you're looking for them to rise when they bake. A Montreal bagel is dense and chewy, not risen and airy. I'm also wondering how come the dough's still that sticky for you.


Maybe I'll make some bagels this weekend and do the bulk fermentation method, to see if I run into the same problem. Or if I learn anything else that may be helpful. I've only ever done the retardation method. It'll be a good experience for me, and anyway I haven't had a decent bagel in a while. :)


Happy Labour Day weekend to you, Loonie! And good baking. Cheers!

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Loonie, I finally got round to making another batch of bagels yesterday. I used the bulk fermentation method instead of retardation this time so I could try and duplicate what you're doing. No stickiness to my dough, so I'm mystified as to why that's still happening for you.


Do you weigh out your ingredients and keep pretty close to the recipe proportions? I'm wondering if it's the flour you're able to get in Belgium. Is it bread flour made from hard wheat with about 13% protein? Does your bag give an ingredient list? Subbing a bit of extra flour for the malt flour you've been unable to find should not contribute to a stickiness problem -- only a slight difference in flavour and crust colour.


I was moderately pleased with this latest batch in other respects, but I think the flavour and texture are better with overnight retardation. The change I notice may also be due to the fact that I scaled the recipe down by a factor of 90% to get a dozen instead of 13 bagels but still used one whole egg. Who knows? Just to be sure, I'll stick to the baker's dozen version of my formula in the future.

JoPi's picture
JoPi

I made these bagels last week. They were the best.  We didn't miss the salt. But I will try them again and add a little salt to see if it affects the texture.  These bagels stayed chewy and didn't toughen up.  One question:  I have found Malt Powder (looks like a mix of flour and the hull of the wheat)  in a local farmer's market Indian section (which I used in this recipe), is it the same as Malt Flour? The package doesn't say whether it is diastatic or non-diastatic.  Great recipe. Thanks!


Just a note:  I made these bagels again and added two (2) tsps. sea salt to the dough.  The salt only made these bagels most delicious.  I don't find that it changed the chewiness at all.  I'll be making these for a long while.  Thanks!

wutmeworry's picture
wutmeworry

Hi!  Thanks so much for this hugely informative recipe. I've been trying to replicate Montreal-style bagels for quite awhile. Living in Vermont, I'm about 2.5 hours from the real thing, but I don't get there too often. I'm a bit surprised that no one has mentioned Fairmount Bagels, located about a block away from St. Viateur, and even better IMHO.  I think Fairmount was the original, too.


Anyway, I'm a rank amateur (as I'm sure will soon be obvious), so here are my questions:  1)  I've been experimenting with using maple syrup in place of sugar to make a sort of Vermontreal bagel, and I've been using maple syrup in the boiling water, too.  I thought I saw a comment saying that there was a recipe using maple syrup in a cookbook, but I can't find that comment now. Does anyone know the name of that cookbook?  2) Until I found this recipe, I always used malt syrup instead of malt powder. Why does this recipe specify malt flour? What is the difference between malt powder and malt flour?  I went to the King Arthur factory store, and they had diastatic malt powder and non-diastatic malt powder but no malt flour.  The salesperson told me the right one for bagels was non-diastatic. Should I just use it in place of the malt flour specified in the recipe?


I've got more questions, but I've gone on WAY too long already.  Thanks!   Deb


 

JoPi's picture
JoPi


Here is a link to the same question I had regarding Malt Powder vs Malt Flour, and I received several answers.....


 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14027/malt-flour#comments


 


I have Malt Powder and it doesn't say whether it is Diastatic or Non-Diastatic, so this is what I use.  It works for me.  


 

wutmeworry's picture
wutmeworry

Thanks JoPi!  I'm probably being a bit dense (and I'm at work, so I'm a bit distracted), but I still don't have a good sense of what the difference is. It does look like the non-diastatic powder is missing something (the diastads, no doubt) that the flour should have. Am I reading that right?  Does that mean I could use the diastatic malt powder in place of the malt flour?  Or could I add it to regular bread flour?  On the back of my package of non-diastatic powder there's a bagel recipe. I'll try it, and post the results.

wutmeworry's picture
wutmeworry

The recipe calls for 2 grams of instant yeast, and later in the discussion there's a post that says, "...the normal range of 0.5 - 5% yeast in yeast-raised doughs applies to fresh yeast. When you use instant, you need much less...The original formula calls for fresh yeast, 250 grams for 40 kilos of flour." 


The yeast I use isn't instant, but I don't think it's fresh, either. At Costco, I bought a bag of Red Star Active Dry Yeast. It doesn't say "instant" on it anywhere, but it looks like the stuff that comes in the little packets. "Fresh" means the stuff that comes in a cake or a jar, right?  So, using the active dry yeast, should I follow the recipe amount of 2 grams? I apologize for asking such an elementary question!

apprentice's picture
apprentice

More detailed answer above, Deb. See especially my advice on rehydrating the active dry yeast. But to answer your question more directly, use 3 grams active dry in place of the 2 grams instant (or 6 grams fresh, if you ever want to try that).


A rough conversion rule is 1:3 ratio (instant vs fresh) and 1:2 (active dry vs fresh).

wutmeworry's picture
wutmeworry

By floating around this wonderful site, I've gathered enough info to adjust what I was doing to result in a fairly decent bagel -although I tweak so relentlessly, my results are very erratic. Still, not too bad. One thing I haven't been able to correct is the way my baked bagels look. They do not have those gradual gradations of golden brown you usually see on a bagel. Instead, the tops and bottoms have dark (not burned, but they can look a little like that) rings where they touched the pan and the rest of the bagel is much lighter. I've turned down the baking temp. to 425, but it still happens.  Thanks!   Deb

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

perhaps you're baking the bagels too close together?? maybe try to give the bagels ample space to bake.

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Life got exceedingly busy for several months! Sorry not to visit and try to answer your questions. Popped in today because I'm just back from a trip to Montreal. Visited the main location of the St. Viateur bagel operation again and settled some things I wondered about.


On the salt issue, they confirmed that they use none whatsoever in their particular recipe. On how many times they let the dough rise, just once for 45 minutes right after the mix. Actually, it's more of a bench rest aka bulk fermentation time than yeast dough's traditional rise to double in volume. (My baking instructor retarded the formed bagels overnight in the fridge instead to fit in with other production demands, which also works and some say yields more flavour.)


Re: what form of malt to use, it's the non-diastatic powder. Malt flour is sometimes used as a synonym for non-diastatic malt powder aka extract in the baking industry, but I hesitate to comment definitively on what any particular manufacturer calls his/her product. You'd have to check with the source.


The person asking about yeast, don't apologize for asking elementary questions. Those are usually the most important ones in baking. There are 3 main types of yeast available to the baker today: fresh compressed yeast in cakes or blocks, active dry, and instant aka bread machine. They're listed in order of historic development. Each works best within a specific temperature range for optimal results.


Converting a recipe from one type of yeast to the other, depending on which type you have/prefer, is easy enough. Active dry is not popular with professional bakers for a number of reasons, but many home bakers swear by it. One important thing to know about active dry is that it must be rehydrated before use. That is, dissolved in four times its weight in very warm water (105-115F). Use about half as much active dry as you would fresh compressed.


The rivalry between lovers of Fairmount and St. Viateur bagels is longstanding. I actually like another Montreal bagel better than both of them. If you get a chance on your next trip to Montreal, Deb, visit Beaubien Bagels on the street of the same name near the intersection with Rue St. Hubert (just a few blocks from the Jean Talon market).


If you revisit this thread, Loonie, the question about yeast has me wondering if active dry was the cause of your stickiness problem. You didn't say if you used something other than instant. One of the reasons active dry is not popular with professional bakers is that it contains a lot of dead yeast cells which release a substance detrimental to gluten quality. This tends to produce a sticky product unless handled carefully. There's really no upside to using active dry, imo, but to each his own.

wutmeworry's picture
wutmeworry

Thanks so much for all this great info! I LOVE this site! Can't wait to try again.


Best,  Deb

wutmeworry's picture
wutmeworry

Thanks so much for all this great info! I LOVE this site! Can't wait to try again.


Best,  Deb

wutmeworry's picture
wutmeworry

I didn't mention it before because it was discussed when Loonie posted, but my dough - using active dry yeast - also came out very sticky. In fact, when I took the shaped bagels out of the fridge the next morning, they stuck to the plastic wrap and the parchment so badly, I had to reshape them. I'm sure you've nailed the problem -- active dry yeast! 


There's a new thread about the diff btwn active dry and instant, and several people have said the active dry just takes longer to rise if you dump it in with the dry ingredients instead of dissolving it first, but that wasn't my experience. It actually rose more, and more quickly than it did in my previous attempts using other recipes which required the yeast to be dissolved. Who'da thunk you'd need a chemistry degree to bake bagels?

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Thanks so much for the recipe. I made them (using the 460 ml figure for water, rather than 434 grams; that has to be an error) and after a bad experience shaping with the rolling method they turned out wonderfully. Next time, though, I won't bother with overnight refrigeration, I'll just wake up a little earlier on Sunday morning. I blogged about it too.


Jeremy

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Apologies to anyone who soldiered on trying to use the previously published amount of water in this bagel recipe. I double-checked the original formula and saw my mistake in scaling down from the bakery-sized version. The water was in kilos, not liters like the liquid eggs on the previous line! Then I compounded the error by converting the supposed ml amount to grams.


The correction has been made. I also added volume measurements to the recipe. That was actually what brought me back to the blog entry -- to add those for a family member who wants to make them and works in volume rather than weights. Many thanks, Jeremy, for noticing my mistake!! Glad you trusted your judgment and added more water.


 

rookiejane's picture
rookiejane

seems like the traditional bagel does not have any egg, sugar, and oli. At least that's what I am thinking about New York style bagel. 


I am so intrigued by this Montreal style bagel. Cannot wait to try them!


Thanks for posting it!

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

...Started to ask a question, but noticed it was answered further down.  I guess there's no way to delete/remove a reply?  Only edit it?  Hmmmm.....


 

Westka's picture
Westka

Firstly, thank you everyone for the excellent info. I made the bagels following the recipe closely (I found the dough too dry and added a bit of water as per the correction) and I used active dry yeast not knowing the difference between that and instant yeast. My bagels turned out wonderfully albeit with a few minor things I'd like to fix if possible. I know on the other thread Vincent from St. Viateur said it was in the wood oven otherwise they'd balloon and mine did just that. Not hugely but a few had minor 'bursts' around the inner 'equator' :)and they were a bit airier than I was expecting. Anyone have any tips to minimize this? I baked them in a gas oven at 460 for 20 min, rotating them halfway through and colour-wise they're perfect. All in all they're better than anything I could buy here but as I'm sure many of you here are as well, I'm searching for perfection :)

cranbo's picture
cranbo

thx for sharing this recipe. 

Made these tonight, turned out well. I went 1hr for rise, but 45min probably would be enough. The rise was visible, but I wouldn't even say it rose 25%. Didn't matter; they have a slightly more open texture than those fermented overnight anyway.

I've never had a Montreal bagel before, so I have no frame of reference. That said, compared to all the bagels I've had over the years, the flavor was creamy, almost custardy (probably because of the egg), with a hint of sugary sweetness. The no-salt aspect I think enhances the sweetness & custardiness. With some salted butter, it kind of balances out nicely. 

Browning was good and not as deep as some overnight fermented bagels I've been making, a little spotty, despite that they had a nice shine. 

I think next time I will add a little bit of salt, perhaps dial sugar back. Not sure if I find this a keeper yet, probably because I prefer savory bagels, and my NY bagel recipes fit that profile.  

Thanks for sharing the recipe! I found it worked quite well. I did 2min mix, 20 min autolyse, 7min at KA speed #3, 1hr rise, shape in 120g portions, boil for 10sec per side in malt syrup water, then immediately 460F bake for 19 min. Would share photos but too lazy :)

jazz_33's picture
jazz_33

hello everyone,

it's my first blog and i'm very new to this. i love this site. people are soooo friendly and helpfull. i'm a transplant from montreal now living in australia. i really miss montreal bagels and montreal smoke meat!! i've managed to replicate a pretty close version of montreal smoke meat, and now my focus is on montreal bagels. i know nothing about baking so i was soooooo happy to find this recipe and can't wait to try it.

i recently stumbled across a dough mixer for sale. it belonged to an older man who passed away. his son just wants to sell it and get it out of the house. when i went to see it i discovered it is a Hobart commercial mixer. it looks really old. i turned it on it and it seems to work really (under mo load). all three gears (speeds) work no problems. the shaft where the attachments attach is not loose at all and everything inside is very well greased. the seller and i agreed to $225 and i'm picking it up tomorrow.

has anyone out there ever tried to bake bread in a southern style woodfired bbq smoker? my oven here is terrible and i was going to try and cook my bagels with my woodfired bbq smoker.

thanks for any comments you guys can provide.

pat

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I haven't used a smoker, but as long as you can sustain heat at around 450F you should be in good shape. You may want to use a big steel griddle plate, or a large pizza stone, or firebrick, etc. to create a deck on your grill and to help retain heat. 

gamutalarm's picture
gamutalarm

I'm a big Montreal-style bagel fan, so very happy to find this thread! I've had St. Viateur bagels delivered cross country, to Alberta. For the last year I've been experimenting with making Montreal style bagles (sans wood fired oven, of course), but just couldn't get the consistency of the bread right. It was never dense enough. This recipe has all of the same ingredients that I'm used to using, but in different proportions. Their are a couple of new techniques to try, such as not letting the dough rest after shaping. 

Of course I couldn't wait. My dough is resting as I type this. (First 45-minute rest, that is.)

Question: Has anyone found that the result was better with retardation? Or is it pretty much the same outcome?

Thanks, everyone (especially apprentice)!

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Sorry for taking awhile to respond. Hope you got the results you wanted, when you made the recipe back in November. Without the wood fired oven, of course, they're not quite the same. But they do the trick for me until I can make another trip to Montreal. Re: your question about retardation, I don't even remember if I've done them without it because that's what my baking instructor recommended. Also I find it more convenient. More depth of flavour and convenience are the two factors usually cited for retarding doughs.

Note: Just re-read some of my own posts earlier in this thread. Seems I did try continuous process, no retardation, at least once. And preferred the results with retardation. But my instructor's choice of retardation was tied to the fact that it was easier to divide 8 lb. chunks of dough in a machine called a bun divider/rounder right after the mix. We then did the shaping, retardation and processed them the next morning.

TiffanyBakes's picture
TiffanyBakes

Thanks for posting all of this useful information. I do have a request, would you happen to have the bulk recipe I would love to try to make a big batch and like to work from the original recipe. If you could post it I would appreciate it.

 

Thanks,

Tiffany

 

ThisOneHere's picture
ThisOneHere

Hi,

I'd also love to see the "original" recipe if you have it!

Thanks,

Eric

apprentice's picture
apprentice

If you want a bigger version of the recipe I supplied, I recommend that you do the math. I'm not into providing bulk formulae of different sizes for people around the world. I don't have a clue what you mean when you say that you want the bulk recipe. The original formula from St. Viateur used 40 kilos of flour, and my baking instructor scaled that down to 5 kilos. My version uses 1 kilo. As you may or may not know, the flour in a baker's formula is always standardized to 100% and each of the other ingredients is expressed as a percentage of the flour weight. Knowing that, It's easy enough to do the math yourself and scale my recipe up to whatever production level you need for whatever purposes you have in mind. In other words, the recipe I've given you has the exact same ratios as the original. What you need is staring you in the face. If you don't understand how to work with baker's percentages, I suggest that learning about baker's math is a good place for you to start.

ThisOneHere's picture
ThisOneHere

Thanks for your response. I cannot speak for others, but I personally did attempt to do the math myself (double the flour, double the other ingredients). I'm not a professional baker, I'm an IT professional who grew up in Montreal. I wasn't sure if simply doubling the ingredients was correct, since perhaps you "rounded" a few ingredients when you divided it up. I'm a technical thinker, so I prefer to see the original formula myself, especially since the flour to water ratio is completely different than other Montreal recipes I've found. I appreciate you taking the time a year later to tell me to "figure it out yourself" though. Happy Holidays!

apprentice's picture
apprentice

it sounds like I may have offended you. Sorry if that's the case. Ever since I posted that formula, I've been hounded by people from around the world who want me to do their math so they can have a custom-designed formula for this recipe in bulk. I assume for their profit-making baking enterprises.

I promise you. Baking math is simple and straightforward - especially for a person with a technical background like you!! It exists to simplify the process of scaling formulae up and down. And it gives you SO much helpful info about a recipe. For example, whether the salt is at an appropriate level (2% of the weight of the flour is good). In short, it's really worth spending a tiny bit of time to learn.

Here's a quick rundown for you. The flour is always 100%, right? In this formula, the yeast is 0.2% of the weight of the flour; the sugar is 4% of the flour weight; the malt flour 0.9% of flour weight; the eggs are 5% of flour weight; the water is 46.3% of flour weight; the veg oil is 1.1% the weight of the flour. The last one might have been a little hard for you to figure out, if you don't have a scale to measure 2.5 tsp. accurately or haven't come across good resources to convert the weight of ingredients when a recipe gives the volume. So I've given it to you based on one cup oil = 215g. Divide by 48 (# of tsp. in a cup) = 4.4791 per tsp. x 2.5 tsp. divided by 1000g flour (amounts in my formula) = 0.0112 x100 to get the percentage = 1.1% The total formula = 157.5%. (I know. Things in the normal world of math total 100%. But baker's math works a little differently, because it's so useful for our purposes!)

Now pick the amount of flour you want to use and do the calculations to get the weights you need for the other ingredients. Or pick the amount of dough you want to end up with and figure out a conversion factor for all the ingredients based on that. For example, you want 40 kilos of dough as the end result? 40 divided by 157.5 = 0.2540 conversion factor. Apply that to all the ingredients. e.g. the flour is 0.254 x 100 = 25.4 kilos, the yeast is 0.254 x 0.2 = .0508 kilos or 5 grams. Work with the conversion factor on every ingredient, or just apply the ingredient percentages to the flour weight of 25.4 kilos if that seems easier for you. Or whatever. In short, baker's math is an excellent tool for resizing any recipe in any desired direction.

If you want a simpler answer still, go ahead and double, triple, quadruple...or whatever....the amounts in my formula There's no concern whatsoever with the effect of my having "rounded" items off in the original recipe because professional bakers always work to four decimal points minimum. Any effect of my having rounded the ingredient amounts to the fourth decimal point is not going to make a danged bit of difference.

I hope this is helpful to you. Joyeux Noël

 

apprentice's picture
apprentice

It would be really hard to supply the original formula since it was given to my baking instructor and head of our program by the bakers at St. Viateur. It was scribbled on a brown paper bag which is now his property. Maybe he tossed it, or maybe he framed it. Who knows? In any case, he scaled it down from 40 kilos of flour to 5 kilos for use in our program which supplied bagels to our university cafeteria and bistro restaurant plus anyone in the public who stopped by to purchase them.

For home use and a gift to all readers of this forum, I scaled it down to 1 kilo of flour and have checked in periodically since 2009 to answer questions as they arose. I've usually answered private messages, too. But I tired of folks asking me to scale the recipe up for them, so rarely bothered reading my messages after awhile. Now you or anyone else who's interested can scale the formula to any production level you want. I am done with this topic.

btw, re: your question by message. Go ahead and use honey instead of sugar, if you like. It won't be a Montreal-style bagel. But it you like the result, that's what counts. Ditto the other changes you saw, tried and liked in the seligman formula. I really enjoy the flavour of the St. Viateur formula; it's a wonderful vehicle for lox and cream cheese, too. To each his or her own.  I actually like the Beaubien bagels better in Montreal, but I don't have their formula.