Montreal-Style Bagels Recipe

Homemade Poppyseed Bagels
Montreal-Style Bagels. Molly Watson
  • 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 18 servings
Ratings (5)

Montreal-style bagels differ from New York-style bagels in several important ways: ​

  • First and foremost, the dough has both eggs and honey in it.
  • Second, the water they are boiled in is sweetened with honey.
  • Third, they are baked in a wood-burning oven. (Learn more about them here.)

This recipe is made with the home kitchen in mind and assumes that you have no wood-burning oven in which to bake these sweet and chewy delights - the result is pretty darn close to the real thing, though, and certainly worthy of some cream cheese and gravlax!

What You'll Need

  • 4 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast (2 packages)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (not hot!) water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup honey, divided
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral-flavored oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • About 5 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 to 1 cup poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk. Stir in 1/2 cup of the honey, the oil, and the salt. Stir in 1 cup of flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If using a standing mixer, use a dough hook to knead. If working by hand, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface to knead, adding more flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking too much. However you knead it, the dough should become firmly elastic. When a thick piece is pinched, it should have a texture quite similar to your earlobe. Cover and let sit until doubled in bulk, about an hour. (Note: You can chill the dough overnight at this point.)
  1. Preheat an oven to 475F. Set one of the oven racks on the bottom rung and move any other cooking racks out of the way (I find just putting them in the top rungs works, but you can also just take them out of the oven, if you prefer). If you have a pizza stone or baking stone, by all means put it on the bottom rack! Fill a large pot with about 12 cups of water. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of honey to the pot and bring to a boil.
  2. While everything heats up, punch down the dough, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 18 pieces. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
  3. Roll out each piece to 8 to 10 inches long. Bring the two ends of a piece together and pinch and twist them, rolling that section of the circle between your hands to be sure it is fully sealed. Set aside on a clean kitchen towel while make the remaining pieces into circles.
  4. Set up two lightly oiled baking sheets or, if you're using a pizza stone, two baking sheet-sized pieces of parchment paper that will fit on a pizza peel or on top of upside-down baking sheets (to ease the paper directly onto the pizza stone).
  5. Put poppy seeds and/or sesame seeds in a wide bowl or rimmed plate.
  6. When the water is boiling, drop three bagels in. After about 10 seconds, use a slotted spoon to gently nudge them and make sure they aren't sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook until they float to the surface, let them cook about 1 more minute before using a slotted spoon to transfer them back to the clean towel. Dip both sides of each one in the seeds and set on the baking sheet or parchment paper.
  1. Repeat with remaining bagels. When one baking sheet or parchment paper is full, transfer it to the oven and bake until the bagels are well browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and repeat with the second half. They are delicious hot, good for the first day out of the oven, and a bit pretzel-like on day two. For longer storage, freeze them!