This week was so busy that I ran out of food for 3 days. All I had in the cupboard was a packet of seeded bread mix and some tinned tuna, and in the fridge, my home made nutella and some dairy free butter. Depressing right?
I figured I might as well whip up some bread between lectures so I made the dough before my 9am, left it to prove, came home at lunch time, shaped them, left them to prove, went to work, came home and boiled and baked them. It took a whole day but I didn’t have to realllly do any waiting around, which is my usual pet hate with making bread. I’m not a very patient gal.
You might be wondering what the heck is a Montreal bagel, and what sets it apart from the New York one that is so commonly sold in supermarkets? Well, it’s sweeter, chewier and traditionally baked in a wood fire oven. Now, I don’t quite have a wood fire oven, but we’ll skip over that part, I never said they were ‘authentic’ 😛
My trip to Montreal this May was full of many of these bagels. There are a few original bagel houses around the city and they supply to the local supermarkets too. I think I became part bagel at the end of that trip! I definitely wished I was a bagel on the flight home, my first flight was delayed and I almost missed my connecting flight back to Indiana, which would’ve made me miss my connecting flight to London the next day. Thankfully someone was watching over me that day, and despite the stress I got home safe and sound!
St-Viateur Bagel have loads of locations around Montreal so it’s really easy to find one, whatever side of town you find yourself on. I wanted to also try their competitor Fairmount bagels but their locations were quite out of the way from where I was staying, so I sadly did not get to sample their baked goods. 😦
And if you were wondering where the home-made nutella comes in, it’s coming! I made it a week or so ago as I had no money left to buy my favourite almond and peanut butters from Pip and Nut, so I put my food processor to the test with Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe at hand. It struggled a little, but with some almond milk and coconut oil to help it along, it got there. Plus, I’m not very good with dairy, so it made a great alternative to spread on my toast, or BAGELS, and honestly, both of them together, toasted, sweet, chewy bagel, with chocolatey, hazelnutty goodness spread thick on top… YES PLEASE? It is absolute heaven, AND all home made, so I knew exactly what went into them.
Right, I’ll stop batting on about my love of carbs and nut butters and give you the recipes!
For the Nutella:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup/sugar/sweetener of choice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2-1 cup non-dairy milk of choice, add little by little
2-3 tbsp coconut oil, melted (optional, depends how your nuts blend up)
For the bagels:
500g seeded bread mix, or your favourite bread recipe
water and oil, if following instructions on packet
extra flour, for dusting surface
1/3 cup honey
1 litre water (to boil bagels in before baking)
To make the nutella:
Roast your hazelnuts and rub off their skins with a tea towel. Add them to your food processor and blend blend blend until they start releasing their oils and become very dough like and sticky.
My food processor started to struggle here, so I added the oil and a little milk to help it along and blended until it was creamy. Add your cocoa, sweeteners, salt, and any other additions here, such as spices to make it Christmassy.
Move into sterilised jars and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To make the bagels:
Make the bread dough according to the instructions on the packet or how you usually would make your normal bread dough.
Knead on your counter-top until the surface is smooth and the dough is elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to prove for 1-2 hours, depending how warm the area you are leaving it in. (My kitchen was cold, so I left it for 2.5 hours)
Once the bread has risen, punch it back down and knead for another few minutes. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and then roll out and shape into rings. Make sure the ring in the middle is larger than you intend it to be, as it gets smaller when the dough rises and is baked.
Place your bagels on a tray and cover with a damp tea towel and allow to prove again.
Once your dough has proved, preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350°F. Mix your honey and water in a saucepan and bring to a gentle rolling boil. Place the bagels in the boiling water and give 2-3 minutes on each side.
Take out and place on a lined baking tray, sprinkle with seeds and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Enjoy! These are really good slightly warm with some butter, if nutella isn’t your thing 🙂
The nutella would make a great Christmas present for someone, especially if you spiced it with some cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. And the bagels could also be, if they are packaged up properly. Why not add some cinnamon and raisins to your bagels, or some rosemary and salt? The possibilities are endless as the preparation of the dough is the same each time. These bagels brought me back to my memories of Canada, and I hope they will transport you there. If not, give STA Travel a cheeky look, because they have a special offer on trips to Canada right now! 😉
Until next time, keep baking!
Love Sian xxx