Mmm…Canada, savoury: the montreal bagel.

At the beginning of this month I received an invitation from Jasmine, The Cardamom Addict to take part in a blogging event that she was co-hosting with The Domestic Goddess: Mmm…Canada.

The Mmmm…Canada event is being held to coincide with Canada Day, July 1st, and being a proud Canuck, I jumped at the chance to participate. The Cardamom Addict would be taking submissions for savoury treats while The Domestic Goddess would be handling all things sweet. The name of the game is to present something either sweet or savoury that is quintessentially Canadian. I decided to do both.

First up, something savoury.

The first order of business was to brainstorm about Canadian cuisine, ruminate about all the good foods that I grew up with. I thought of a million and one delicious possibilities to be sure before finally deciding on the Montreal Bagel. With that decision made it was time to find the right recipe. With a little looking around online I found a very respectable recipe for the Montreal Bagel in the New York Times of all places. It was actually somewhat of an ode to the Montreal Bagel – the recipe is accompanied by a great article about the Montreal Bagel’s history.

There is a history of friendly (and not so friendly) competition between the New York Bagel and the Montreal Bagel. The Times article points out that a Montreal Bagel is essentially made like the New York bagels of old – they have a shared history, made in the tradition of the Old Country from whence their makers came before settling in the New World.

A Montreal Bagel is the kind of bagel I really love. It is soft and chewy on the inside, with a delightful hint of sweetness that makes it irresistible and downright difficult to stop at one – so it’s a good thing that they are traditionally made on the small side. Well, they’re smallish when compared to their usually swollen, often gargantuan modern day counterparts.

I recently discovered an absolute love for working with dough, so I set about the task of making these bagels with glee. This was despite the fact that I had never made bagels, or anything remotely resembling bagels or their bread cousins before. The first step would be to make the appropriate substitutions since I would be making a vegan version – flax meal with water plus plain soy yogurt in place of the eggs, and agave syrup in place of honey. I also increased the leavening (yeast, in this case) which I recently learned is advisable when omitting eggs.

Note: I’ve updated the bagel recipe, and you can find it here.

My husband took a few to work and shared some bites with his co-workers. He returned home with his fellows’ declarations that I ‘make good bread’ and (my personal favourite), ‘is there anything she can’t do.’

I’d say these worked out well. Happy (early) Canada Day!

Be sure to check back on July 1st and click on the Mmm…Canada picture at the top of the post so you can see the full roundup of Canadian savoury cuisine on the Cardamom Addict’s site.

Next up, Mmm…Canada, sweet edition.

15 thoughts on “Mmm…Canada, savoury: the montreal bagel.

  1. I love Montréal bagels. Rumour has it that a former baker from Fairmont moved to town and opened a bagel shop…I tried his wares…absolutely amazing and very much like the real thing.

    Thanks so much for participating!


  2. I love this post! You rock! I’ve been thinking about making bagels, and being an (almost) honorary Canadian (grew up on the US/Can boarder), I will be all over these babies! :) Yours look really great!

  3. Jasmine – you rock for getting this event together – it was so much fun :)

    happy herbivore – thank you! – I was a bit nervous at first, but I’m so glad I made them!

    shellyfish– YOU rock! :)

  4. Pingback: Mmm…Canada, sweet: nanaimo bars. « madcap cupcake

  5. Those look great! I love Montreal-style bagels, and I’ve greatly missed them since moving from Ottawa (where they are widely available) to Toronto. Perhaps I’ll just try my hand at making them myself!

  6. Those look amazing and I miss bagels terribly! I’ll have to play around with your recipe and make substitutions for the ingredients that aren’t available here! Happy Canada Day!

  7. These Montreal Bagels look AMAZING! I’ll have to counter that with some genuine NYC bagels (you know us New Yorkers, we think we ‘own’ bagels, pizza and cheesecake lol) ;D

  8. THANK YOU’s to everyone who visited and commented, I really appreciate it :)

    lisamichele – bring on the NY bagels!! – I was a New Yorker for a cherished, all too brief time (almost 3 years)…and I would love to sample some of those doughy gems again :)

  9. Wow, how wonderful that you made your very own Montreal bagels! Great work!
    Hubby has a connection for bagels, his co-worker regularly drives to Montreal and brings us back a few bagels.
    They really are unique.

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