The Great Canadian Baking Show·Baking Show

I made the Montreal bagels from The Great Canadian Baking Show

"Montreal would be terribly disappointed and I’m an absolute disgrace to the province of Quebec, but I made bagels." Amateur baker Anne T. Donahue takes on the technical bake from Bread Week.

Amateur baker and Baking Show superfan takes on the technical challenge every week.

Amateur baker Anne T. Donahue takes on the technical bake from Bread Week: Montreal bagels. (Anne T. Donahue)

Oh man, I'm sick. I am so sick this week, guys. I am Erin Brockovich when she talks about her work being personal. I am Fantine in Les Miserables, singing "I Dreamed A Dream." Between you and I, there is nothing in my life I would like to do less than bake, but guess what: I made a promise. And because of that promise, we all (but especially I) must suffer.

So this week I will attempt to make bagels. Which, considering how intricate technical bakes tend to get as weeks go on, are the perfect thing to make when you're not sure if you'll actually survive the full two-hour, ten-minute bake because you will pass away before you even turn the oven on.

But we might as well learn! One bagel for every coughing fit. Just kidding: there are not enough bagels in the world. Also, I forgot to buy seeds and because I'm currently wearing eight pounds of Vicks and my PJs, I will not be buying any. How do you like that, Rochelle and Bruno? (Spoiler alert: they do not care.)

The perfect Montreal bagel is baked to a golden colour, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. (The Great Canadian Baking Show)

00:00 — I want to die. I've gone through five boxes of Kleenex since Sunday. You guys in the mood for bagels? I'm going to use the boiling water as a steam bath. Anyway, oven preheated, and I just had to dump a bunch of leftover Halloween candy out of the large bowl this dough's getting made in.

The sacrifices I make for you people.

00:04 — You're supposed to add the sugar to the water (and eventually the oil, egg, etc. and whisk it all) but I just wanted to pop in and say I felt like the wife in Men In Black who had to prepare sugar in water for her cockroach husband, Egger. (Er, Edgar.)

00:07 — Stage one ingredients whisked together. Bring on the flour, I absolutely didn't measure the honey or salt because honestly at this point I figure if they look even half as good as James' (no shade, James, but we all saw what happened) I'm doing fine.

00:30 — Okay, so by accident I just ended up adding the flour and making the dough and then kneading the dough, and it's having a rest now. We're both very tired. I am amazing.

(Anne T. Donahue)

00:45 I just realized I did not oil the bowl in which my dough is resting. I do not care.

01:00 Time flies when you're battling what you can only assume to be tuberculosis! Let's look at what we've accomplished in our last 30.

(Anne T. Donahue)

It … doesn't look any different at all. This should go well!

01:03 — So instead of dividing them into 16, I have divided them into 12. This is because there is no way I can consume 16 bagels over the next week, and also because I misread the instructions in my cold medicine haze. So you know: kind of like when Corey disregarded the baking instructions, but entirely different because I'm succumbing to the plague and Corey's a lawyer who had no excuse. (Come on, Corey! You know better than that!)

(Anne T. Donahue)

0:13 — I am not rolling these right. I know this because I'm not rolling them out on the counter, and am instead twisting them because I am lazy. Also, the holes are too small. But look: the fact that I'm even here right now is a miracle, so let's not be choosy.

01:23 — First bagel is going in. The water.

01:25 — Okay! Okay. This isn't terrible! Clearly they're all too small and if we manage to get any bagel holes at all, it will be a beautiful miracle but if I stand over the boiling honey-water I can breathe through my nose and at the end of the day, that's a true victory.

01:30 — Look at them! Look at all my little, disfigured bagels!

01:40 — Do I like making bagels? Will making bagels be a thing I do?

01:45 — No, because I am now very warm. But maybe! Maybe I just make tiny, miniature, adorable bagels and that's my new business plan.

I mean, it isn't. But if I wanted it to be, you never know.

01:50 — And now the first batch goes into the oven. Guys, I'm doing it! I may not have a bagel board because I don't know what that is, and will never be making these again, so I can't justify buying one, but who cares! I'm doing this TIME. And what do you think of that, everyone? (Do not answer me, I cannot hear you and I do not care.)

02:04 — And they're out! They are out and they are sticking to the baking sheet and the flour I left on the baking sheet has burned, but WHO CARES, they are out, and they are DONE, and they are cooked all the way through and Tim Hortons, my tiny disfigured bagels taste … really good! Like sweet bread! I mean, I ultimately think that means I've made a huge mistake, but I'm not competing in the tent, I'm a grown-ass woman with a head and chest cold making bagels and drinking this cranberry juice cocktail I've been working on for two hours because I'm sure it'll cure me.

But BAGELS! I did it! Montreal would be terribly disappointed and I'm an absolute disgrace to the province of Quebec, but I made bagels. Me. I did. Not you. Me. Or maybe you, I don't know you, I should stop projecting.

But I won't. I made bagels while they were too small, lacked sesame seeds, and in no way resembled anything we saw at the start of the technical. I am Jude, and my bagel mantra is "No whimsy, no whimsy!" And on top of that, I am positive they wouldn't have been the reason I'd be sent home. My cursing while attempting to roll the bagels would've done that. And I'm shocked none of you heard it from your respective homes.

now