Bagels are probably the most iconic of all Montreal foods, surpassing even the poutine, because in truth, you can get a legit poutine elsewhere in the province, but only in Montreal can you get an authentic Montreal bagel, as the name suggests. Montrealers are proud of, and completely adore, the signature bagels of the city, yet only a handful of citizens actually know how to make them. Until now.
Food blogger Sami Berger, creator ofMySecondBreakfast.com, a Montrealer herself, decided it was time to delve into the realm of bagel recipes, and so created a very legit step-by-step guide to making Montreal bagels right in your own kitchen. No need to head to the Mile End for your bagel fix anymore.
Although the process is a little lengthy, the recipe itself isn't too complex. Berger's photo breakdown of the bagel recipe definitely helps, giving you a much needed visual aid often unseen on other food blogs, a helpful feature you'll find on nearly all of My Second Breakfast's recipes.
To get making your own Montreal bagels, here's what you'll need:
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 (65g) tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
8 grams active dry yeast
2 large eggs, divided (one is for the dough and one is for an egg wash)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
4-4 1/2 (630g) cups all purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup poppy seeds or sesame seeds
16 cups of water
1/3 cup honey
And here's what you'll have to do. Be sure to check the original recipe on My Second Breakfast for a more detailed breakdown.
Whisk warm water + sugar + canola oil + yeast + egg + syrup. Combine until yeast is fully dissolved.
Stir in salt & 1 cup flour. Then add enough flour (aprox. 3 cups) 'til a soft dough forms.
Knead dough for 12 minutes. Once firm *& smooth, let the dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with a bowl.
Divide dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each piece into an 8-10 inch rope, then curve ends to make a bagel shape
Let your shaped dough rise for 30 minutes
Boil bagels in honey-water for 45 seconds on each side. Drain excess water on a paper towel.
Bake at 425 F for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire/cooling rack
The eight points are a mix of outside perspective, questions and advice for born-and-raised Montrealers. Among the advice: "it's a bagel, chill the f*** out." According to Parys, Montreal's Haitian cuisine and poutine take precedence over the much-discussed dough holes.
The Winnipegger also picked up on Montrealers' humility when it comes to their English proficiency. Often, as he points out, francophone Montrealers' English is much better than their anglophone counterparts' French.
All Montrealers might appreciate two of Parys's pieces of insight: that "you guys aren't crazy drivers, your rules just suck" (see it's not our fault!) and that "Quebeckers being rude is propaganda."
His other points include five archetypes of Montreal residents (shoutout to the ubiquitous "young men with chest fanny-packs") and, most importantly, the fact that "Celine Dion is a treasure."
We also thank Parys for bringing some much-needed attention to the revelation that is French fries with mayonnaise.
He concluded his post by thanking the city's residents.
"This is the first time I have lived outside of Winnipeg and I feel really welcomed," he wrote.
"This city strikes a perfect balance of enjoying life, economic opportunity, culture, great architecture, and friendly people."
On Monday night, the Montreal Canadiens are playing in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 28 years and to mark the occasion, the city's most iconic bagel shop, St-Viateur, has cooked up a batch of game-day ready bagels.
And while they sadly aren't for sale, this just proves that the entire city is behind the Habs!
The order consisted of 1,440 dozen bagels or 17,280 bagels, which Piazza said filled 160 boxes.
It was a fundraiser for the Edmonton chapter of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO), a group for Jewish youth.
"The amount of bagels bought will have a huge impact on raising money for our teen programming," said Tamara Vineberg, an ex-Montrealer who sits on the BBYO board, and who's known as Edmonton's "Montreal Bagel Fairy."
This is Vineberg's second time organizing a massive shipment of Montreal bagels. The first was in September when 5,616 Fairmount bagels were FedExed to Edmonton.
Vineberg said she estimates that the June order raised over $14,000 for BBYO. She said Purolator also chipped in, donating about $10,000 to cover the cost of shipping.
Vineberg's Twitter page is currently full of retweets from people enjoying their bagels — a feeling every Montrealer can relate to.
It's the return of the bagel wars. The longstanding Twitter debate — in which New Yorkers, Montrealers and sometimes New Jerseyans (???) fight over their local recipes for bread with a hole in the middle — has reignited.
And Montrealers aren't going down without a fight.
This time, in addition to their usual New York counterparts, Quebec bagel lovers are facing off with Californians and what looks like a growing neutral faction arguing that the debate is silly and that bagels all basically taste the same.
Among Montreal bagel lovers, there's also the usual splintering of the conversation into arguments about Fairmount and Saint-Viateur bagels.
Interestingly, in some cases, it looks like Montrealers and New Yorkers have stopped targeting each other and are instead saving their strongest feelings for California. Could this be the beginning of a new alliance?
The best bagels are in MONTREAL. https://t.co/kzOpcmgSQD