Bagels – Toronto Style

Homemade Bagels

When in Toronto there’s no reason to make bagels. There’s an excellent bakery close by and I can buy them fresh and hot from the oven.  Raisin, whole wheat and sesame are my favorites.

When I’m not in Toronto it’s not so easy.  In Singapore bagels are an imported luxury and only available in the freezer section of a specialty supermarket. Given my impending return to the island, I decided to try making it at home.

Montreal Bagels
Montreal Bagels

If you’re Canadian, there are two types of bagels – Toronto and Montreal style.  Toronto style is like New York bagels – big, fat and chewy. Montreal style is smaller, paler and thinner – rather like large sesame crusted pretzels.

Montreal bagels are OK but I always find them a bit flat tasting. They’re only good with massive amounts of cream cheese … which I suppose is the point.  I guessed that the difference was due to less salt. I was right! Montreal bagel recipes have no salt and more sugar.

For my home exercise I tried a couple different recipes. This version is my favorite.  It is adapted from the SophisticatedGourmet.com’s NY Bagel Recipe   It is different in that I’ve added more sugar and reduced to the oven temperature from 425 to 350.  The higher temperature resulted in a crispier crust which was almost baguette like. That’s fine but not what I wanted.

Pulling this together with my heavy duty KitchenAid stand mixer was a breeze. The dough hook and powerful engine made short work of kneading the dough.   Pulling this together by hand (as it will be in Singapore) is going to be more of a challenge.  But it will be worth it.

Toronto Style Bagels

The secret of a chewy bagel
The secret of a chewy bagel

2 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ cup warm water
3 ½ cups flour (all purpose is fine)
2 tbs sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ cup warm water

Proof yeast in ½ cup of warm water mixed with 1 tsp sugar.

Mix flour, sugar and salt.  Add ¾ cup water and yeast mixture. Blend and knead into a smooth dough

Cover in oiled bowl. Leave for 45 minutes to 1 hour to raise until double

Cut dough into 8 pieces. Mold into smooth balls before punching a hole and forming into bagel shape.  Note that the balls should be round and smooth otherwise the cooked bagels will not be well formed.

In a large skillet boil water with 1 tbs sugar. Cook bagels in boiling water for 2 minutes before turning over for another 2 minutes. Set aside to drain on a wire rack.

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Bake bagels on a well oiled baking sheet for about 20 minutes.

Makes 8 bagels

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