Montreal Bagels Recipe

July 14

Montreal poppy seed bagel
I have to say when I read that loveandoliveoil’s monthly challenge was to make bagels, I was pretty stoked. In many ways, making bagels was one of my main inspirations for becoming more adventurous in the kitchen. When I was living in London, my boyfriend (who was living in Vancouver at the time) decided to make bagels with a friend of his and he later told me how much fun it was and what a success they were. I had never thought it was even possible to make bagels at home. Coming from Montreal, I was (and still am) pretty snobby about my bagels (because Montreal bagels are awesome, not because people from Montreal are snobs!) and I thought it would be a great thing to do and share with my new-found friends in London.
montreal bagels
montreal bagels
I have to say, after making bagels that first time, I haven’t looked back. I found it surprisingly easy to get a product that tasted heaps better than the stuff you buy in British supermarkets (I guess the bar isn’t too high) and with a little bit of practice you can really approach the glory that is an authentic Montreal bagel: slightly sweet, chewy, and covered generously with poppy or sesame seeds. I have enjoyed making bagels so much over the past two years that there have been countless moments when I have considered dropping my current career path to become a bagel maker (I still haven’t completely given up on this idea).
montreal style bagels
montreal bagels
montreal bagels
montreal bagels
And so, I am sure there will be a lot of bagel experimentation in my future, but as it stands, this recipe is pretty awesome. While it does take a decent amount of time, and is more involved in terms of active work than bread, it is really worth it. The trick is to make a huge batch and then freeze them. I can attest that they freeze beautifully and are a great snack (or meal) to have on hand. I have made chocolate chip, sesame, poppy seed, and cinnamon raisin variations from this recipe and they’ve always turned out great. It’s also a lot of fun to have a ‘bagel party’ and make them with a bunch of people.
montreal bagels
montreal bagels

Montreal Bagels

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Serving Size: 12 large bagels or 15 smaller ones

Montreal Bagels

Adapted from

I think these are perfect served with cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomatoes, onion and capers.

Make sure to freeze them once they cool down to preserve the 'fresh-out-of-the-oven' texture.

I've also made these vegan by replacing the egg in the dough with some chia gel (mix 1 tbs crushed chia seeds with 3 tbs water, let sit for ten minutes, until it turns into a gel) and it totally worked! You can just skip the egg wash and seeds, but keep an eye on them because they will brown quickly without them.

1 1/2 cups warm water
5 (65g) tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
8 grams active dry yeast
2 large eggs, DIVIDED (one is for the dough and one is for an egg wash)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
4-4 1/2 (630g) cups all purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup poppy seeds or sesame seeds
16 cups of water
1/3 cup honey
For chocolate bagels, add 1/2 cup of chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

In a large bowl whisk together the warm water, sugar, canola oil, yeast, egg and syrup. Combine until the yeast dissolves.

Stir in salt and one cup of the flour.

Add enough flour to make a shaggy, soft dough, about 3 cups.

Knead your dough for about 12 minutes, adding flour as needed as you go (I added an additional 1/2 cup, giving a total of 4 1/2 cups of flour). If you are making chocolate bagels (or raisin etc), knead in the chocolate chunks in the last minute of your kneading.

Once your dough is firm and smooth, cover with inverted bowl and let the dough rest 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 equal parts (for large bagels). Roll each piece into a 8-10 inch rope, then curve each one pressing together the ends to make a bagel shape. Make sure that the ends are firmly stuck together or they will come apart when you boil them. Note that your bagels will look pretty deformed at this point (the holes will be very big etc), but just remember that the dough really puffs up after they are boiled.

Let the shaped dough rise for 30 minutes

About five minutes before your dough is finished rising, fill a large pot with water (16 cups of water) and stir in the honey. Bring that to a boil.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Boil your bagels by placing them in the pot (3-4 at a time, you don't want them to be on top of one another), and boil for 45 seconds on each side (90 seconds total). Remove and let the water drain off onto a clean towel or paper towel.

In a small bowl whisk your egg and pour your seeds on a small plate.

Dip your bagel in the egg wash and then coat both sides in the seeds. Note, the bagels tend to get very dark in areas where they are not covered with seeds. If you are making chocolate chip or raisin bagels, I suggest that you still cover them with seeds. If you are not covering them with seeds, keep an eye on them in the oven to make sure that they don't burn.

Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes (they should be starting to get golden brown on the side touching the baking tray), then flip and bake another 6-8 minutes (until completely light, golden brown). This is really going to depend on your oven temperature. Usually the second side (and the second batch) bakes a lot faster than the first so keep an eye on it!

Cool the bagels on a cooling rack. Once completely cool, store in a freezer bag for a few days. Even better, freeze the majority of the bagels immediately after they are done cooling to preserve their texture.

Montreal Bagels Recipe was last modified: July 14, 2013 by My Second Breakfast

114 thoughts on “Montreal Bagels Recipe

  1. Hi! Thank you for sharing this recipe! 🙂

    After you shape the bagels, but before you put them in the water bath… how do you store the shaped dough when it rests for 30 minutes? I stored my dough on parchment paper, and the bagel dough stuck to the parchment.

  2. I lived in Montreal for many years but since returning to the UK have been evolving my own “Montreal Bagel” recipe. I’ll make a few comments on yours (which I haven’t tried but I’m sure is very good) because it might address some of the experiences described in the comments.
    1) I’d use honey or honey+Molasses instead of sugar to start the yeast.
    2) I would NOT add either the oil or salt until after the flour. The reason for this is that both these ingredients can stop the yeast. If your oil is floating on top of the water when you add the yeast then it can completely seal the yeast granules and they don’t start! I think that Montreal Bagels actually have no salt, though I use 5g of salt for 850g of flour.
    3) The flavour is infinitely better if you let the dough prove in the fridge for 24 hours AND you knock it back at some point.
    4) Don’t egg-wash: It’s a cosmetic step that adds a horrible taste and is not done on Montreal Bagels (I have video’s of them preparing at both Fairmont and St. V.)
    5) Start bake off hot (240c) and reduce by about 30c after 8 min (in Montreal, the Bagels start off close to the fire and are moved gradually away as they cook)… time/temp will depend on your oven, so experiment.

  3. I have made these bagels dozens of times and they always work perfectly! My question is if anyone has ever tried to make a whole grain version? If I use a whole wheat flour and add some grains, should the recipe work the same way?

  4. I was a McGill student in the early ’80s and remember well the St. Viateur bagels. I have been looking for a recipe like this for a while. I live in Southern California, where the bagel situation is horrible, so I’m excited to make my own! Is there anything I need to do to adapt this for a bread machine?

  5. Out of the park!!!

    These are just amazing, (this from a Canadian who goes to Montreal often and loves a great Montreal bagel ) thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I followed the instructions exactly and they turned out phenomenal. One thing I would like to share from my experience, I used a baking stone at the bottom of my oven so when baking them for the first 8 to 10 minutes and then turning them over they were already quite baked underneath. I think when I make them again, I would still use the baking stone but move it to the middle of the oven. Either way, this is an absolute keeper! 5 ***** Thanks again!! 🙂

    1. I am a former bagel lovin Montrealer! St-Viateur was my go too! This recipe, easy to follow, absolutely delicious! Next time making them a bit smaller, make 10 instead of 8. Thank you for this awesome recipe!
      Will be my got to for bagels!

  6. I just posted to your reply. I love the recipe and am wondering if I could make the dough and leave it in the fridge overnight. If you have any suggestions or methods as to how to go about this, it would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Yes we leave overnight all the time. I make the dough, leave it rest for ten minutes and then form the bagels. I then place them on a parchment lined baking sheet , cover with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning you take them out of the fridge, put your water / honey on to boil and after 30 minutes proceed as usual. They turn out even better this way

  7. Made these today. Turned out really good. Relatively quick and easy. I used instant yeast (1and 1/2 tsp) and probably 5 and 1/2 cups flour.Very similar to Montreal bagels and I’m from Montreal. Great recipe! Thank you!

      1. Hello. I love this recipe. My question is could I make the dough the night before … put in fridge. So it’s ready to bake in the morning ?? Do you have any suggestions as to how to go about this?Thanks for any help!

        1. I just did this. Place it in the fridge overnight, let it rise, and then let the dough come to room temperature before punching it down, and separating into pieces for each bagel. Came out fine.

  8. I really like this recipe, just enough to last while still fresh. As I enjoy and have time I don’t mind the work, all worth it. The taste is there, i just want to have the same chewiness as the Montreal bought ones. I tired shortening the 30 minute rise after shaping to 15-20 minutes. I am thinking of continuously moving to the next step (boiling) after I shape the 12th bagel. Of course in order of shaping. It takes me about 10 minutes or so to shape the 12 pieces of dough.
    I found a Club House Everything Bagel seasoning in Costco (Toronto) 50 grams for about $5. I am sure this will make my next batch awesome and hopefully the chewiness i prefer.
    Other tip- as I find it hard to work with the dough sticking, I use wooden board sprayed with water to put my shaped dough. Lightly floured or lightly oiled baking mat and hands also helps. I also lessened the volume of water to boil to be economical with the honey- maintaining the ratio in the recipe. You really pay attention while boiling one or two at a time.

    1. I put everything in my standing mixer, used active not instant yeast 1.5 tsp, whisked it, then started adding flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and let that go, used only 4 1/4 cups flour. Formed them all, let them proof the additional 30 mins, then dropped them in the boiling water 3 at a time 45 seconds per side. Did egg wash did, and all dressed mix. Came out Montreal chewy delicious. Wish I could add a pic.

    2. Hi there. Did you manage to improve on the chewiness? It is a great recipe and we enjoyed it hot out of the oven, but I had the same review from my family (we lived in Montreal for 10 years and are craving the bagels back home in Singapore). I read the New York Times recipe and it calls for bread flour, a 20 min rest before shaping and a 15 min rest after. I might try this next time. I used the Everything Bagel seasoning too but it was so salty! Will make a salt-free combination of the same seasonings next round. Also I made 15 bagels, 80 grams each, because that seemed more like the Montreal style ones.

  9. Although canola oil is unhealthy in many ways, I found that if you use just a bit of it, it could actually be fairly decent to eat (especially if it’s clean/cold-pressed).

    Like most other people in the comments, I swapped out the canola oil for olive oil since I like that flavor much better, especially since canola oil’s flavor is fairly neutral.

    The article was a great read! What I would suggest to further improve it, making it better for your readers and your webpage, would be to include a section showing the nutritional facts and information of the foods you showcase on your website. We have examples at that shows the nutrition facts for a specific ingredient, in this case, canola oil.

    Our HTML and CSS is free to use if you want to add it to your website!

  10. I made these and they turned out great but – I used the egg yolks IN the bagels and the egg whites for the wash. I thought that was the direction, since they were noted as separated. I see from the comments that’s not the case, but I will keep mine the way they were. Tasted great. I used buckwheat honey (and about 1/4 cup) for the boil and the flavour is lovely.

  11. First batch out. Omg. Yum. Hubby from Montreal recommended a wee bit sweeter and maybe maldon salt on top. I used bread flour for increased chewiness. The dough when shaped into bagels was very hard to peel off the parchment and I had weird shaped bagels as they hit the water. But I decided to cut the parchment into squares with the dough and plopped them into the water and it was easy to peel the parchment off once the dough cooked a little in the hot water. They look amazing! Best taste thus far and I have made really flat bagels in the past. The water bath- I added some brown sugar. I had malt barley sugar and added that in lieu of maple syrup to the dough. Thank you for this recipe!!

  12. Thank you so much. I’m a Montrealer living in Paris. Bagels were the staple of my diet. As a kid, I still remember my mother bringing home the big paper bag(s). As soon as I got my driver’s license,. I went to Saint Viateur every Sunday morning to treat my family to brunch. That was 40 years ago, so I was quite emotional when I tried this recipe. The same smells, the same taste. It’s exciting and I’ve made them for everyone I know. In terms of the recipe, I use between 5 1/2 -6 cups of flour, otherwise the dough is too sticky to handle. I also replaced the honey in the water with treacle molasses. It brings the bagels closer to the wood burning taste. Again, thank you so much. This recipe will be passed down to generations!!!

  13. Made these yesterday and they turned out delicious even though I cheated. Put all the ingredients into my bread machine on dough setting. I baked at 415 for 8 minutes on the first side and 6 on the other. Turned out perfect especially when my husband brought out his home smoked salmon and mixed it up with cream cheese!
    We have recently moved to the country and the only thing we are not all that happy about is the breads. If I wasn’t so lazy I probably could run a successful bagel shop!

  14. I’m a NYC boy, exiled these last 40 years to upstate NY. I always found Montreal bagels a bit too sweet. I feel funny about using plastic wrap when the dough is rising. I like your technique of turning the bowl upside down. And your bagels look beautiful, so I’ll try them.

    1. I found this recipe insanely sweet. Possibly why son loved them so much! Had ‘Best Ugly Bagels’ in NZ a week or so ago. They were amazing and based on the Montreal fave. But they certainly weren’t this sweet. Shall have to adjust the recipe!

  15. Depending on the weather on the day that you are making them, you may need more flour. I made this recipe exactly as described on a damp and very rainy day and I had to add 6 cups of flour (vs the 4 or 4 1/2cups in the recipe) in order to get the dough to go from very wet and sticky to a shaggy dough as stated in the recipe.

    And they turned out amazing! Super thin but crispy crust and chewy delicious on the inside. I found that I had to do 415F on the oven as they can brown really fast at 425F without an egg wash.

    These were my first bagels ever. Thank you soooo much for the recipe and blog!!!!!!!!!


  16. These are flat out awesome!
    As a teenager I worked in a bakery specializing in Montreal style bagels. I’ve been nursing an addiction ever since. Today was my first time attempting to make them on my own and I was shocked at how easy the recipe was to follow & execute.

    Big high five to you my friend – you freakin’ nailed it!

      1. The proper way to bring back the bagel shop freshness and texture is to not slice them until you are about to eat them after rebaking from frozen at 275 for 5-10 minutes.

  17. Just made these in Nicaragua… the recipe gave me a great starting point, and my results were spectacular! World’s better than any commercial product….
    Now I don’t have to wait for my very occasional trips to Montreal… to have a Montreal bagel!

  18. Fantastic! I grew up on the south shore of Montreal and our special trip to the island on the weekend always included a stop at the Fairmont bakery for dozens of sesame seed, poppy seed and cinnamon raisin bagels to store in the freezer until the next trip. Enjoying a hot fresh bagel out of the wood oven was always my favourite part while my parents always opted for the lox and cream cheese treat. There is nothing in the world like a chewy, seeded Mtl bagel. This recipe has satiated my cravings and will become a new weekend tradition. Pretty easy if you can follow directions. I’ll try the slow fermentation next time to deepen the flavour.

  19. Where to begin. We were so excited to see this recipe but alas it never worked for us. Dough was too sticky despite adding flour and then splitting it into 12 pieces proved also difficult. Then when we said screw it and made any shape and put in it in. The boiling water they sunk to the bottom. Baking was way more than 30 minutes. So any insights as to where w e went wrong?

    1. Depending on the weather on the day that you are making them, you may need more flour. I made this recipe exactly as described on a damp and very rainy day and I had to add 6 cups of flour (vs the 4 or 4 1/2cups in the recipe) in order to get the dough to go from very wet and sticky to a shaggy dough as stated in the recipe.

      And they turned out amazing!

    2. THey should sink, like gnocchi or other dumpling things. BUT! Then they rise to the surface as they cook, which for me took about. a minute. They needed longer in my oven, too, like 10-10

  20. I replaced the canola oil with olive oil. It made them tastier than Fairmount and st-viateur bagels. Thanks a million for this recipe.

  21. This recipe is fantastic! I use it all the time, I’m so glad I found it. I really like adding an everything seasoning or garlic and herb seasoning as a contrast to the sweeter dough. But no matter what I use, the bagels are delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  22. Firstly, thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
    I’m British myself, but after spending two years in Toronto and numerous trips to Montreal, I found myself hooked on the bagel delights of St Viateur. We have the infamous (formerly cheap) Brick Lane Salt Beef ‘Beigels’ here, but they’re a completely different breed in my opinion. This I guess, is what encouraged me to get my pinny on and finally try out this bake, and I was pretty happy with the results too, especially seen as I haven’t baked in around a decade!

    A few things to note in practice:
    Despite living in Hackney, London, I wasn’t able to locate any Active Dry Yeast unless is the Quick Bake Yeast is the same.?
    Anyhow, I’m unsure if the recipe could do with more, as I didn’t get much rise from the prooving? I wasn’t able to source any Canola Oil either, even in organic and health food shops, so instead I just went with Olive Oil to keep costs down.

    Unbleached all purpose flour? Not sure what this is either, but my research across a few recipes recommended strong bread flour which was easy enough to find. (

    On to the bake…
    My main observation from trial and error is the down to the size of the bagels. I found the bagels I ended up with had holes about the size of a wrist! This isn’t terrible, and again, may be exaggerated due to the lack of rise? In future I’d probably roll the bagels out much shorter (maybe around 6 inch) leaving them with a hole the width of a finger before bake. This is mainly because I found they often stretched and opened up much wider, in the transfer to drop them in for the boil. Also, I found this worked best when using a wide spatula, lowering them into the water. I would let them rest for a few sections on the spatula before removing to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the hot pan. I also ended up doing this whole process one by one to assure no botch ups.

    On removing the bagels from the boil I’d highly recommend using a tea towel as I found the paper kind stuck to the sticky doughy exterior.

    Finally, for that decadent Viateur seedy crust, I found I got the most dense results when sprinkling the seeds over the egg dipped bagel instead of moving it around a seeded plate. Perhaps if you do this using a cooling rack you could collect any excess through a tray on the bottom?

    Anyway, I hope this helps fellow bakers out there, if not my future self when I revisit this post at some point in the future.


  23. These are amazing. I’m making them for the second time. However, I just made a few today and have put the rest of the dough in the fridge. Do you know what else I could use the dough for if I don’t want to make more bagels? A regular loaf or rolls or something like that?Thanks!

    1. I’m glad you enjoy them. I’m not sure about using the dough for anything else, I haven’t tried that!

      1. Ok thanks, I can’t stop making them – they’re so rewarding and so much appreciated by those I make them for. Love them thanks for putting together such a great recipe.

  24. I rarely post comments on recipes, but these bagels deserve it, they made my day, my months, my time until my next flight to Montréal…
    I am an unrooted Montréaler and have to admit that my hot St. Viateur cravings were never satisfied abroad. Even when attempting ‘the best bagels in…’ on Google, I never found anything near satisfaction (generally even total delusions) in the five countries I’ve lived in. All to say, those bagels made me madly happy. It’s not exactly the same as I do not have a wood oven, but wow! they really are the closest bagels to St. Viateur I’ve had abroad!
    The recipe is very well written and simple to follow. No stress in making them either! I ended up with 15 (+ 1 mini) bagels, weighing them to be between 78 and 85 grams. I have used instant yeast (it’s all I found) and added a bit more flour as my dough was very sticky (probably around 4.75 cups total). I have also cooked them quite longer than the recipe called for, as I remember these well-browned bagels were always the hottest and munchiest.
    Great work, and HUGE thanks! This will remain in my recipe book!

    1. What a lovely comment Noémie! I’m so glad that you enjoyed them and that they were able to bring a little bit of Montreal to your kitchen (:

    2. I too,am a displaced Montrealer…living in Victoria BC. I crave my St. Viature bagels regularly.One of my sons,living in Montreal,often will bring a supply home…but that depends on how organised he is. I decided to have a go of it using your recipe…and voila! They turned out beautifully…not quite as good as St.Viature or Firmont…but good enough to satiate my insane desire for a taste of home! Thanks so much!

  25. I am a Canadian living in Europe and needed a little dose of home today. My Montreal Bagels are in the oven now and I had so much fun making these for some reason! Thanks 🙂

  26. I realise this was posted a while ago but I just made this recipe today. It is spot on! Exactly how my family loves their bagels. Plus, it was fun to make. I think this may become a Sunday morning routine.

    1. I’m so glad that you and your family enjoyed the bagels! I think that sounds like an amazing idea for a Sunday morning routine (:

  27. They may not be from Fairmount or St. Viateur, but they are the closest facsimile I can access from Phnom Penh, Cambodia! Now at least I won’t have to beg friends and family to put a couple dozen in their suitcase when they come visit. Thanks!!

  28. Good article but two major problems with it. 1. There is no salt in Montreal-style bagels – so omit it entirely. 2. They’re much thinner. What you have there is much more NYC style. They look great, but they’re definitely not Montreal bagels.

  29. Just made these for my second time, and they are so great!! Thanks so much for the recipe! I’m sure this won’t be my last time making them…. 🙂

  30. Hi! I’m excited to try these; when you say to use “egg,” does that mean the egg yolk or the egg whites? And what should I do with the part of the egg I don’t end up using?


      1. I had the same question. For future visitors, it appears to mean you should use one egg in the dough and one for the wash. Both whisked.

        Mine turned out a bit soggy in the middle; I guess I should have added more flour here in the humid Deep South? Also I made 16 bagels and they had to cook for about 20 minutes till they were a nice golden brown. Very strange.

  31. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I plan to. I have a problem with my MTL bagels usually in that they taste great and all, but the end product is always too thin. Like too-uncomfortable-cutting-them-in-half thin. I let them rise plenty after shaping, when I boil them, they seem to be more-or-less a good size…

    I guess I always expect that oven spring to help them out but they just end up collapsing. I even have bagel boards to bake them on (haven’t really noticed a difference, haha)! Would a problem like this be because I’m allowing the yeast to work at them too long, resulting in an airy bagel that collapses? Should I be cutting them bigger? Should I be using more flour? The bagels seem to rise very little vertically, but rather seem to spread out horizontally, :-/

    Any tips on any of this is appreciated. The general problem is: BAGELS AREN’T THICK ENOUGH!!!! AHHH!

    1. Hi Eric. The only time I’ve had that problem is when I make the rope of dough too long (so the hole in the middle of the bagel is huge). I’ve never had a problem with dough collapsing in the oven or not rising properly. However, the shape of the bagel after you boil them is the shape that the final product will be. How about trying out the recipe and see if that fixes the problem (: If not, let me know and we can brainstorm some more!

  32. THANK YOU! Wow, I didn’t realize bagel making was so easy! I tried your recipe last night…. and to my excitement they turned out wonderfully! I couldn’t wait for them to cool so obliviously bit into one fresh out of the oven! Can’t wait to eat my lunch today. 🙂

  33. Moved away in ’89
    Livin in the Philadelphia area now,
    Lucky me…
    There is a place in Philly that makes Montreal style beagles.
    The owners went to Montreal to learn how to make them..
    I did a taste test of sorts.
    When my friends came from Montreal to visit, I took them to the place and got some beagles. We told the owner we were from Montreal. He was interested in our comments….
    Spot on!
    Miss Montreal, but at least I now have a place to get Montreal beagles if the need arises.

  34. What an Amazing looking bunch of Bagels! I’m a fan of Fairmount Bagels. When I used to lived in Montreal in the 90’s, we would drive from NDG to Fairmount at all kinds of hours to grab 4-5 dozens of sesame, cinnamon raisins bagels, then eat one right away… My last Montreal Bagels were St. Viateur’s, (somewhere in the west island) in the Summer of 2007.
    I missed Montreal Bagels so much! The only ones I get in Singapore are the NYC Bagels.
    I’m so making these bagels this weekend….. Thank you for this recipe!!
    Can’t wait to move back to Montreal!! Fairmount Bagels, Canadiens, Farmers’ Market….4 seasons!!!!

  35. Here in Brussels bagels seem to be hitting a level of trendiness in restaurants. I am determined to not be extorted for a bagel so I sought to make my own. I am I credibly fussy with the results of what I make but the bagels were incredible! My wife sent me to hunt for smoked salmon and cream cheese as soon as she tasted one.

    My family are from Montreal and you brought back memories of St-Viateur and the Snowden deli…

    1. Seth, that’s so nice to hear! I know the comfort of a good bagel when you’re overseas (or outside of Montreal!)

  36. Just made them as per your recipe. They turn out wonderfully and that chew I was hoping for. Thank you for sharing. Will definitely make again. Debating now whether to freeze the rest of these or just make another batch. I’m leaning to make another batch. It’s that good! Thanks again.

    1. Glad you enjoyed them. They freeze really, really well if that helps with your decision! You just defrost them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then you can toast them or leave them untoasted- either way, they still taste super fresh. Although another batch can’t hurt either (:

  37. These are awesome! I agree that they are a little softer on the outside. The 2nd time I made them, I made these modifications, and they turned out even more deliciously:
    – butter instead of oil,
    – brown sugar instead of white,
    – 1.25cups of whole wheat flour, 3.75 cups white flour
    – golden(light brown) sugar instead of honey in boiling water

  38. I made these montreal bagels on the weekend — I’m still in shock that they turned out so well! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  39. Made these today and they turned out awesome! A little softer than the Montreal style bagels I am used to but still great. I ran out of sesame seeds for the last 4 bagels so substituted with chia seeds and that worked well too. Thanks again!

  40. In the early 1070’s I lived on Esplanade off St Viateur where the 24 hour Bagel Bakery was much visited – the oven, the bakers the fresh bagels -often middle of the night feasts. And every time I return to Montreal I return to the Bagel Bakery -mmmm
    Thank you for this site – I only found today –
    Now back living in UK I will be baking – my even have to build a wood oven in my Hertfordshire garden!

    1. From what I understand you can substitute it no problem. The difference between the two is that active dry yeast has to be activated in water before it can be used (that’s why the yeast needs to froth in the water first in my recipe) and instant yeast does not. Instead of putting it in the water, just mix your instant yeast in with the dry ingredients. I also think you need about 6g of instant yeast (to replace 8g of active dry). Enjoy your bagels!

  41. I can’t wait to try these. Whenever I’m in Montreal I make a special trip to Fairmont bagel to take back to Nova Scotia. Now I am living in Baku, Azerbaijan. No bagels here!
    Years ago there was a great bagel shop in Halifax, they tasted like Montreal bagels. They told me they also boiled them in honey before baking them
    Guess I know how I am spending my day. Thanks for posting this.

    1. So glad to hear you’re going to try this out- hope you enjoy! There’s nothing better than a Montreal bagel (:

  42. I never see them boiled in the bakery when I watch. There is usually this big hunk of dough, they make the rings and right into the oven. Am I missing this step when I watch in the bakery?

    1. From what I understood the boiling process was important for the texture and the crust of the bagels. Of course it’s possible that not everyone follows this step, but I thought it was part of the ‘hallmark’ of Montreal bagels. If you ask your bakery next time you go there I’d be curious to hear how they do it!

      1. Come to think of it, I also remember watching the bakers at Real Bagel on Queen Mary cutting strips off of huge hunks of dough, then magically spinning them onto wooden poles which went into the oven. Retrospect being what it is, I hazard to guess that I simply missed watching where they put the bagels into pots of boiling water. It’s clear from the consistency (chewy inside, crisp outside) of a fresh-from the brick oven bagel, that this step was crucial. Now that I’m living in Glasgow, Scotland, where they have these round things in the supermarket that they sometimes call “bagels” but have little to no similarity to St. Viateur or Fairmount or even Real Bagel, for that matter, I’ve been searching for some reprieve (especially since the lox around here is some of the best in the world). This is an excellent recipe (I’ve tried several), however I did notice some of the other Montreal bagel recipes called for malt syrup (or powder) as an ingredient for authenticity. I found some at the health food store and will try it and let you know how much closer it comes to perfection. We who have moved away from sources of Montreal bagels must stand together.

        1. Yes, the bagels that I had in the UK were pretty dreadful (the ones I found anyway, I certainly didn’t try them all!). Now I feel confused about the boiling issue- I still feel fairly convinced that it is an essential part of the process but thinking back I’ve also never seen anyone do it in person (at a bagel shop). If anyone asks their local shop (there’s no one to ask around here!), please let us know! Yes, many recipes call for malt. I understood that it will give it a darker colour as it baked but I never got my hands on any and was completely satisfied with the taste/look of these. Do let me know what sort of different it makes if you try it and maybe I’ll have to hunt it down! I am glad you are enjoying them thus far though.

          1. Montreal bagels are definitely boiled. They are scooped out with a wire scoop drained over the pot and dumped into the mound or tray of seeds then they go on the the pole and into the oven. The boiling makes them chewy. The longer you boil the chewier they will be! Often the dough is mixed then stored over night in the refrigerator. More flavour with the long slow fermentation, and easier to shape as the dough is firm. Yumm I think its time to make some.

  43. Oh my, you don’t know how happy I am finding your site. Thank you thank you so much for sharing this montreal bagels recipe! I didn’t know it was even possible to make those bagels at home and I have missed them a lot.

    I had my first taste of Montreal bagels while traveling in Montreal a few years back, and took home with me 4 dozens of them. Luckily for me, there is a bakery in Vancouver that specializes in Montreal bagels (though I don’t think they taste like St. Viateur’s, not the same, not the same). But now I am in Asia, people don’t eat bagels, or whatever they call bagels aren’t really bagels :S

    1. Your message just made my day! I hope that you make the bagels and enjoy them. I always have some in my freezer and after a bit of practice, I really can’t tell the difference between them and the real deal (:

  44. Go Montreal! 🙂 I have been living here for 7 years and I agree, Montreal bagels by far exceed other varieties (including New York bagels!)… at least in my opinion!
    These bagels look great, and I can’t wait to try them out myself.

    1. Woohoo! I hope you enjoy. They are a lot of fun to make. Although, I have to admit, nothing beats fresh from the oven Fairmont bagels right at your doorstep…!

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