30 Mar

flour girl: Best Chewy Bagels

Remember back in the summer when I went to Montreal and had those overrated bagels from Fairmount bakery?

Well these aren’t them.

Best Chewy Bagel

Best Chewy BagelBest Chewy Bagel

Best Chewy Bagel

I don’t get Montreal bagels and if that’s sacrilegious to admit then have me excommunicated.

Sure, they are a bit sweeter (thumbs up!) but they are too dense (thumbs down) and too dry (thumbs down) and the centre is too big (thumbs way down—I want more bread, not more air, thank you very much).

So, no, these aren’t Montreal style bagels.These are MY bagels: ever so slightly crispy crust, chewy crumb, and a hint of sweetness. They’re perfect.

At least I think so.

Best Chewy Bagel

The Best Chewy Bagels

Yields 10


18 oz bread flour
4-1/2 tsp yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
12 oz warm water

Water Bath
3 L water
2 Tbsp sugar

1 egg white
1/4 poppy or sesame seeds


In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients then slowly add in the 12 oz water. Mix until the ingredients come together.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed to created a firm, dense dough. The dough should pass the windowpane test for gluten development… if not, keep kneading!

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume (~1hour)

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll them into snakes about 25 cm long. If the dough wont roll out easily just let it rest for 5 minutes and try again.

Best Chewy Bagel

Wrap the snake around your palm to form a bagel shape and with your palm still in the centre, roll the bagel on the counter to seal the seams.

Best Chewy BagelBest Chewy Bagel

Best Chewy Bagel

Cover the bagels and let them rise for 10 – 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bring the 3L of water to a boil on the stove. Once the water is boiling, add in the 2 Tbsp sugar.

Add the bagels to the water bath 3-4 at a time being careful not the overcrowd the pot. Keep them in the water for 30 seconds on one side and then 30 seconds on the other. Remove them with a large slotted spoon and place them on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.

Best Chewy BagelBest Chewy Bagel

Brush the bagels with the egg white and sprinkle with seeds of choice.

Best Chewy Bagel Best Chewy BagelBest Chewy Bagel

Bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes or until the bagels are golden brown. They will still be soft when you take them out of the oven but once they cool the the crust will firm up a bit.

Best Chewy Bagel

Best Chewy Bagel


This post was submitted to Yeastspotting.


Previous Posts in the Flour Girl Series:

All About Enzymes

Gluten and Its Role in Baking

Baking Tips and Tools

How to get a Crispy Crust

German Bread

Italian Bread – Ciabatta

How to Fix an Over-Risen Dough

Multigrain Wheat and Barley Bread

Sweet, sweet Stollen

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20 thoughts on “flour girl: Best Chewy Bagels

  1. I am with you on this, but just recently this Montreal bagel place opened in Seattle and the bagels are small but the best part is their toppings. They have made it to a more middle eastern theme with Montreal bagels and it is just fabulous i love it. I have never made my own bagels but this recipe just looks awesome, i might just have to try it out.

  2. I never understood the appeal of Montreal Style bagels either – nice to know I’m not alone, lol! Growing up in NY may have had an influence, to be fair. I have yet to make bagels, but I think I’ll try them next week, using your recipe, they look delicious!

  3. I was considering making bagels and I may just have to try your recipe – these look fabulous!!! 🙂

    Oh and I have to confess I’ve never had a Montreal bagel. Although, I have completely fallen in love with the bagels they make at a particularly wonderful place in nearby Fernie.

  4. They look GREAT, and I always love making them try adding soda to the boiling water, as of late I have discovered sourdough bagles, give them a shot, the taste is phenomenal, very hard to decide which version to make 🙂

    • Oooh good call with the sourdough! I’ll have to do that.

      I’ve tried using baking soda in the water bath but wasn’t happy with the result. I prefer sugar or honey because I like the hint of sweetness.

  5. Yesterday decided to google bagel recipes. Came upon your website and loved your description of what you like about bagels so decided to try it out. I’m not a baker and I have to say these bagels turned out to be awesome. The perfect bagel. Just like your pictures. It was simple and fun. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be keeping this recipe forever.

  6. Pingback: BAGELS! « SamanthaMenzies.com SamanthaMenzies.com

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