Montreal Bagels

Why a Montreal Bagel?  The flavor that's why! It is a distinctive bagel that is typically a bit smaller than a New York style bagel, the dough has no salt, and is boiled in honey-sweetened water.  Finally, it is baked on a hearth in a wood fired oven.
Above left:  Hand shaping bagels at Fairmont Bagels.  Look at that bathtub sized pile of dough!
Above right:  Putting bagels into the oven at St. Viateur

If you have a baking stone, Montreal bagels are a breeze to make at home and taste pretty much like the ones you get at Fairmont or St. Viateur. I prefer a bagel with salt, so the recipe below includes Kosher salt. Leave the salt out if you prefer to be truly authentic.  They're a real treat warm from the oven but rewarm well for 5 minutes in a 350 F oven also.

The Dough (8 Bagels)

Bagel dough is much more stiff and dry than most other doughs, this makes shaping much easier than it would be with a wetter dough.

Bread flour 2 1/2 cups (340 g)
Whole wheat or rye flour 1/2 cup (65 g)
Dry yeast 1 1/2 tsp (4.5 g)
Kosher salt 1 1/2 tsp (7 g)
Oil 2 Tbsp (28 g)
Honey 1 1/2 Tbsp (11 g)
Barley malt syrup 1/2 Tbsp (3.5 g)
1/2 Egg, large (24 g)
Water 1 cup (237 g, 59%)
Above:  Fill the dough if you like, then roll it up

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, yeast and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the oil, honey, barley malt syrup and egg. Add the water to the middle and stir the liquid ingredients until well mixed, then start working in the flour.  The dough should be on the dry side.  Knead for 6-8 minutes. Cover the dough and allow to rise at room temperature for two hours then refrigerate, OR refrigerate immediately and wait at least 12 hours to use.

Below:  Rolling the attached  ends, then the formed dough.  Make sure the hole is plenty big.
Image may be subject to copyright
When ready to bake, preheat the oven and baking stone to 450 F and bring a 5 quart kettle 2/3 full of water to a boil. 
On a well floured surface divide the dough into 16 equal (double batch) or 8 equal (single batch) pieces. Form each piece into an flat, oblong shape, 12 inches by 6 inches or so in size. Place in a Tablespoon or so full of flavor ingredients (if desired, see below) then roll the dough over lengthwise to trap the ingredients in the dough. Roll the dough out into a 10 inch strand, then roll the dough so it is thinner in the middle and fatter at the ends. Now, make a small tear in each end and interlock the torn ends together. Place 2 or 3 fingers inside the hole of the bagel and roll back and forth until the ends are well sealed together and the thickness is equal. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat the process with the next two pieces of dough. 
Once you have three bagels formed, start the boiling process. Add 1/3 cup honey and 1 Tbsp barley malt syrup to the boiling water, stirring it in so nothing sticks and burns on the bottom. Now, toss in the three bagels. After about a minute, once they've floated to the top of the water, flip them over and give them another minute or so in the water. Don't worry about timing the 
water bath at exactly 1 minute per side, you can be off by quite a bit without any noticeable change in the bagels. With a slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the boiling water bath and place back on the parchment paper. 

While the bagels are still quite wet, sprinkle on any desired topping. Repeat the shaping, boiling and topping process until you have a sheet full of bagels. Slide the parchment off onto a baking stone and bake the bagels for 20 minutes at 450 degrees. Remove to a wire rack to cool. 

Sweet: Chocolate chips or blueberries can be sealed inside the dough, but don't put these on the outside as the 450 F heat will demolish chocolate chips or blueberries that are tacked onto the surface. 
Grainy: Some pumpernickel flour, wheat or rye chops can be sprinkled on for that multigrain feel. 
Seedy: Go for the traditional sesame seeds or get more trendy with flax or chia seeds. 
Savory: I use an asiago/rosemary mix in the forming photos, but you can do onion, crumbled bacon, or any other meat/cheese/herb combo you fancy.