Cinnamon Raisin Bagel

Always a big debate in our house… Montreal or New York bagels ? So different… just like their culture. The difference is important, yet both baked goods are so satisfying and are part of a food group I call small indulgences. I obviously come from Montreal, so I am a little biased, when it comes to the lighter version of a bagel. I used to bike to Fairmount Bagels no matter what time of day and would always find freshly baked bagels, mostly with sesame seeds…my favorite. Still warm and crunchy, I could easily eat 2 or 3 on your way home. They are wonderfully sweet, crispy and chewy at the same time. When I first tried a New York bagel, I could not believe how dense they are and yet, you find the same crunch and sweetness in the dough. They make much better sandwiches, as the hole is much smaller and the dough “breadier”, but when it comes to toasted bagels… I think Montreal bagels hit all the marks. A perfect accompaniment to Smoked salmon and cream cheese, they are simply superb and so much part of our Montreal history. The only drawback is they do not keep well. As the dough doesn’t contain any fat, the dough dries up quickly and hardens the baked good. But if you are like me, you cut them in halves and freeze them, so you always have fresh bagels in the morning, such a treat. Here is a version with cinnamon and raisin, one which gained popularity, especially in New York where you tend to find more varieties. This recipe is rather quick in preparation and unlike the other two recipes I have in my blog, does not require pre-ferment or slow rising overnight. It is a quick and easy recipe to put together. Yes, it is a lot more work than cinnamon raisin bread and it requires several steps, but it is nevertheless very satisfying and a pleasure to enjoy.
Toasted, with just a hint of salted butter. That’s all you need.

INGREDIENTS – Make 12 bagels
360 ml. – 1 1/2 Cup lukewarm water
2 3/4 Teaspoon Dry Active Yeast
500 Gr. Bread flour
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla essence
112 Gr. (3/4 Cup) dried raisin
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Large egg

METHOD
In a bowl of a stand mixer, stir in the water and yeast and mix well. Let it stand for 5 minutes, just to ensure the yeast is activated.
Stir in the flour, brown sugar, vanilla essence, sugar and cinnamon and start to knead. When the dough has come together, let it rest for 15 minutes. (Called autolyse). Then add the salt and knead for 10 minutes. Add the raisins and continue kneading for 5 minutes.
The dough will be a little sticky, but very soft and will bounce back if you press on it.
Let the dough rest in the oven for 1.5 hour. I usually place a small bowl of hot water next to the dough. This helps the dough rise faster as the steam brings moisture in the dough.
Using a scale, divide the dough in 12 pieces and form small balls. Cover them and let them rest for 15 minutes, so the dough can relax.
After 15 minutes, press a hole in the middle of your ball and start rolling to enlarge the middle hole. Place the bagels on a baking tray, covered with parchment paper. Let the bagels rest, covered with a tea towel, for a good hour.
Preheat the oven at 210 Celsius.

Bring a large pot of water to a soft boil and add a generous tablespoon of brown sugar. Boil all the bagels for 1 – 1.5 minute on each side and flip them over. Place them on the baking tray and brush each one with the beaten egg.

Bake the bagels for 18-20 minutes – Turn them around after 10 minutes.
They will be golden brown and crispy.
Wait 15 minutes… yes, 15 minutes ! and serve

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