Ever had a hot Fairmount bagel after a night out? No, well YOU are missing out on something here!
Fairmount Bagel on Fairmount Avenue was establish in Montreal in 1919 and has been making the most delectable bagels ever since. Nothing to do with NYC bagels. These are in a whole other bagel category. Unlike their counter part, these are not too doughy, but sweeter and denser. As much as I wanted a homemade bagel recipe that tasted and looked like them, the only recipes I found for “Montreal Bagels” asked for a lot of ingredients and, because I don’t like to be disappointed, I tried another recipe with the knowledge that it would not taste like home. I was at peace with the fact that only Fairmount Bagels are Fairmount bagels, and I went on with my Pinterest bagel recipe.
Don’t get me wrong, this homemade bagel recipe turned out fabulous and oh so tasty. Crispy outside, flavourful dough and perfect with a good layer of cream cheese. Because there ain’t no bagel without cream cheese, you know! And in absence of real bagels (let’s be serious in New Zealand this is pretty likely to happen), I would do them every time I have a craving. Which happened 4 times in the past 3 months…
I tried to write a method as straight forward as possible, but in doubt don’t hesitate to ask questions. Here is also a good blog if you would like some step-by-step pictures. If you prefer using a stand mixer, go to the recipe page on the Natural Chow blog and you’ll find instructions for it.
Don’t let all these steps scare you away, give it a go, and you’ll be rewarded. Just make sure you have a good window of time ahead of you not to rush anything, and everything will turn out perfect if you follow the method.
And as long as you go through the trouble why not double up the batch? You’ll end up with 16 bagels -MAGIC- enough for the whole week plus some to freeze. AWSOME.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Truly Wonderful Homemade Bagel
The only homemade bagel recipe you will ever need. Crisp outside with a flavorful dough, slather with cream cheese and you are ready to go. Also the perfect match for Sunday's Egg Benedictine.
Pour the water in a bowl along with the sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top, stir gently. Let the yeast activate until it is foamy and is mainly on top of the water.
In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt. When the yeast is activated, create a funnel in your flour mix and pour half the yeasty water in. Mix with a fork until the water is all absorbed in the flour. Pour the rest of the water and mix well. At some point it will be hard to mix with the fork, just use your hand. When the dough is altogether, flour a work surface and dump the dough on it. Knead the dough for 7-8 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Grease a clean bowl, place the dough in it and cover with a wet kitchen towel. Let raise in a warm area for 1.5-2 hours.
When the dough as double in size, gently transfer it to a floured work surface and divide in 8 equal parts. Shape into round balls, put on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cover with a tea towel. Let prove for 30-45 minutes.
When there is 5 minutes left to your timer, start preparing the water bath: in a large pot (or wok) bring the water and sugar to a boil and lower to a gentle boil. Preheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas Mark 7 and line another baking tray with baking paper.
When the proving time is over, poke a hole in the center of every dough ball, then stretch the hole by twirling it around a finger until it reaches 2-inches (4 cm). Place them back on the baking tray they were proving on.
One the bagel are shaped, transfer 3-4 bagels (depends on the size of your pot, you don't want to over crown the pot as they will take extension) to the water bath. Make sure the water is gently bubbling, increase the heat if necessary. Boil for 2 minutes on one side, flip to the other and boil for another minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bagels and place on a prepared baking tray. Repeat this step until all the bagel are boiled.
Here I whisked an egg white, brush the bagels with it and sprinkled LOADS of sesame seeds on top. That's up to you thought.
Bake the bagels for 25 minutes or until they reach a nice golden brown color. Leave to cool down on a wire rack, after 5 minutes they should be just the right temperature for a test try.
Don't forget the cream cheese. For the ultimate bagel experience, top the cheese with smoked salmon, capers, and finely sliced red onions.
- For variation on this recipe refer to the Natural Chow Bagel recipe.
- To freeze, leave them to cool completely on the wire rack. Slice each of them, wrap individually and put in the freezer. That way you don't have to struggle to cut a rock hard bagel when you just want breakfast already. When you are ready to consume, take out and put in the toaster at defrost and high.