The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Montreal Bagels

varda's picture
varda

Montreal Bagels

The many nice bagel posts lately have spurred me on toward bagel making.    I was excited to see that In The Jewish Bakery has a recipe for Montreal bagels.   I grew up on New York Bagels which had made their way to St. Louis by the 1960s.    It was a revelation when I stopped for a snack in the Ottawa Airport one day to find a bagel that was completely different but quite delicious.   That was almost 20 years ago, and since I stopped working in Canada,  Montreal bagels have been few and far between.   That is set to change.

Ok.   My shaping needs work, but that doesn't interfere with breakfast for lunch. 

These are quick bagels - from mix to plate in around 2 hours, and so not as much flavor as their overnight retarded New York cousins.   But delicious all the same, a tasty treat. 

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a gorgeous color.  I like a browned bagel crust.  Yours are full of life.  I also think you shaping is perfect.  Much better than a perfect commerical looking shape.  I'm all for rustic in breads.  If ever I make a bagel I would like it to be the M...in the wfo..on my to do list.  I think I would enjoy the way the flavor is sweeter. Did they taste sweeter than regular bagels?

 Varda, you have done these so nicely...how about a wfo version on your to do list for these babies?  I believe that's the specialty of the M. versions is the orginal is wfo baked and you can leave wood in the oven for added smoke flavor.  These type of breads bake up so super fine in a wfo.  I'm thinking like buns do : )  By the way..try Norm's Onion rolls..wow they come out remarkable in a cooling wfo.  Bake them at about 350F and cooling oven.  Photo posted on my blog somewhere.   How is your weather for the wfo?  Is beautiful here, but I'am afraid the baker here is in a recoop from the holidays : )

ps.  You can use the perforated pan your bagels are settting on in your wfo for dehydrating herbs in your wfo and sturdy pizza screens.

Happy New Year,

Sylvia

varda's picture
varda

Hey Sylvia.   You are right - baking these in the WFO is just the thing.   I'll have to try that come spring.   Yes, these are slightly sweet.   You put a bit of sugar in the dough - I think the ones I ate in Ottawa were a little sweeter, but not much.   They are also enriched with egg and oil - but just a bit of each, and no salt to speed up the ferment.    They came out very light and delicious.  I baked them on that pizza tray on top of a stone.    I guess I was commenting on the shape not compared with commercial versions but by other posters like Lumos and Breadsong.   I think I'll need a visit from one of them to improve my bagel shaping, because I have absolutely no idea how they do it.    I will have to try Norm's onion rolls but I may try them without the onions - something about bread and onions just seems wrong to me - I'll have to see someone about it.    Next on my list are those beautiful knotted rolls that David S just posted on.   The temperature outside is too low to use my oven.   I made it quite small and without much insulation because I never expected to be able to use it this time of year.   I think by this time last year, there was over a foot of snow on the ground which grew to two or three by January.   This year nothing since the wierd October storm.   We have so much wood from that storm that we've been making fires inside almost every night just for fun and to aid in the cleanup.   That is without touching the wood we set by for baking which I'm thinking will last me a few years.   Speaking of expertise do you know how to make tortillas?   I was in the supermarket the other day, and just couldn't bring myself to buy the dry sad tortillas in plastic bags.   So I bought some lard and made some myself, and felt that I wasn't quite hitting the mark.   Happy New Years to you too.  -Varda

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

How great you have all that lovely wood to burn and some added home warmth.  I pay about $40 for wheelbarrel full of oak.  At least it's nicely chopped and ready.  I could order large batches.  I just don't want to store to much around the house.  I usually have enough for about 4 firings.

Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Varda, from what I have read your M.bagel shaping is wonderful.  They are to be shaped very rustic, small and have a large center hole and wfo baked in a very hot oven with the wood burning.  They look gorgeous!   

I have to agree about bread with added food..'lol'  I love onions so a little is okay, but I really don't care much for bread with added goodies other than just Grains or cheese.  Anything else in sweet breads is okay with me.  

I would much rather put the stuff on top of bread and eat it.  I guess that's why I love pizza..the Italians do it up great for enjoying bread with additions, pizza is just hard to beat.

Oh, tortilla's...here's a very nice recipe from great baker.  gothicgirl, she posted it a while back..she tested it nicely and came up with the directions to follow in pics.  Nicely done.   http://www.tfl.com/node/11088/flour tortillas.  Sorry I would put in the link..but having a problem with that now.  Just type in search Flour Tortillas.

Sylvia

varda's picture
varda

Sylvia,  I actually used the gothicgirl formula and sad to say did not get her results.   The dough was way too wet to work with, so I was adding flour and what not.   Then, I was trying to use lard on the skillet, and wasn't used to its thermal properties so things didn't go well at all.   Ah well - maybe there's something on youtube.    As far as the shaping for M. bagels, what you are saying fits with my recollections:  Montreal bagels should be small and skinny with a big hole.   I scaled them at 3.2 oz before baking whereas for New York bagels, I do more like 4.2 oz.   These were the first bagels I've ever made where the holes didn't close up in the oven.   Not that you can taste the hole or lack of it, but for some people it's not a bagel without a genuine hole.    Nice that you get wood cut up and delivered - fortunately my husband is still enjoying wielding his new chain saw. but he leaves it for me to stack.  -Varda  

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

We have several resturants here where you can watch the ladies make the tortillas and it does help to see the texture and all.

I don't have the wood delivered..we load up the back of my suv.  Wood yard is a few miles away and they do deliver also we enjoy the ride to get pick it up..they will load it in the suv.  The corner at the end of our neighborhood has a fruit and veggie stand that has the barrels loaded up and they put it in the suv for me.  There were several places all close by, but they passed a law and don't let some people sell it anymore.  I've even seen it stacked beside our entrance free for the taking but, I prefer the oak.  There is a lot of dead oak and fruit trees around.  Hubby lugs it around the back and under the wfo.

I saw that little saw talked about on your blog..the jaws.  I liked it!  Did your husband get that type?

Sylvia

 

varda's picture
varda

I think Janet was talking about that alligator (?) chain saw.   I believe that is only for small stuff - we had branches older than us falling from the top of oak trees during that storm.    Can't wait for spring and wood-fired bagels!  -Varda

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I keep calling it 'jaws'..had a hard time finding it online under that name!  BYT a town very close to me has I believe the largest living oak tree..it looks like a forest and still growing.

Sylvia

varda's picture
varda

what is BYT?

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

typographical error..BTW 'by the way'

varda's picture
varda

The only thing I could find was Beautiful Young Thing which I just couldn't fit into the context.   Is this the tree you were talking about?  http://www.pechanga-nsn.gov/page?pageId=12   Our oaks look somewhat different (:>)    

Syd's picture
Syd

They look delicious, Varda. I really have to try making bagels sometime. As I posted on Glenn's blog the other day, I am not even sure what an authentic bagel should taste like but I have been intrigued by all the postings of beautiful bagels on TFL and just have to try myself.
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year,
Syd

varda's picture
varda

technical issues, bagels are pretty simple so you could give them a try.   The Montreal variety are quick too, and really delicious.   It seems the most important thing for any bagel is the high gluten flour.    The great thing about TFL is the exposure to varieties of bread we wouldn't otherwise come into contact with.   I feel the same way about something like pain di mie.   Never seen an actual loaf in my life.   Thanks so much for your comments, and Happy New Years to you too.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Varda, and Happy New Year!
Your sesame-coated bagels look so delicious - nothing like a fresh bagel.
Also, nothing like fresh tortillas (imho)! I made these once:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/flour-tortillas-recipe4/index.html
I remember really liking them - should make them again - usually default to making corn tortillas (quicker).
:^) from breadsong


 

varda's picture
varda

Thanks Breadsong.   I note that the tortilla recipe you included is marked "easy" so that gives me hope.   I decided to use lard instead of shortening for my first try because of the transfats in shortening.   It seems hard to believe that I'm choosing lard for health, but there you have it.   The wheel turns.   Thanks so much for your comments.