Asiago Cheese bagels are my favorite flavor. Every time someone brings bagels to work, I immediately reach for the Asiago cheese variety, and I’m severely disappointed 0n those rare occasions when I find all the Asiago cheese bagels have been picked over before I arrive.
This morning I decided to try my very first homemade bagel, and, of course, I would need to try a cheese variety. I didn’t have Asiago cheese in my fridge, so instead I opted for a cheddar bagel (with some dried chives) and a Parmesan variety (with dried basil, oregano and thyme). I didn’t try the Parmesan variety (I limited myself to one cheese bagel and half of a plain one and still ended up in a carbohydrate coma), but the cheddar and chives bagel was simply delicious. As good if not better than any cheese bagel I’ve ever bought.
I used the King Arthur Flour recipe that has disappeared from the web today but was inspired by Sweet Anna’s recipe for cheese bagels.
- 1 T. instant yeast
- 4 c. (King Arthur) Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 T. non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup (I used brown sugar)
- 1 1/2 c. water, lukewarm
- 2 to 3 c. shredded cheese (reserved for topping)
- dried herb(s) of choice (reserved for topping)
water bath ingredients.
- 2 quarts (64 ounces) water
- 2 T. non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup (I used brown sugar)
- 1 T. granulated sugar
- To make this dough by hand or in a mixer, combine all of the dough ingredients and knead vigorously, by hand for 10 to 15 minutes, or by machine on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and set it aside to rise till noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up slightly.
- While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it’s about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4 inches across). Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. According to other recipes I’ve seen, you can swap steps two and four (shape the dough into bagel shape before letting rest).
- Prepare pans for baking by sprinkling some of the cheese and herbs in the approximate places where you plan on placing your bagels to bake.
- Transfer the bagels to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
- As soon as the bagels come out of the water, place them on your pans prepared with cheese and sprinkle them generously with additional shredded cheese and herbs. You can omit the cheese underneath the bagels if you don’t like cheese. But if you don’t like cheese, why are you making these bagels?
- Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re as deep brown as you like, turning them over about 15 minutes into the baking time (I neglected this step because I could NOT locate the King Arthur recipe once I got midway through the process). Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Yield: 8 bagels.