Jalepeno and Cheese Bagels

A circle has no beginning and no end. This “circle” began with a Jewish baker but it definitely didn’t end there!

Before living in Canada, bagels were foreign to me. The first time I tried them, I thought to myself, “Why is this doughnut so hard? And it’s not even sweet!” I never enjoyed bagels until I discovered the endless possibilities with this hole-ly bread! Cream cheese, BLT, smoked salmon, butter and asiago just to name a few. You can have them sweet, savoury or (my personal favourite) a combination of both! I really miss the bagel place at UBC where they sold “sundried on sundried” (sundried bagels with sundried cream cheese), TOASTED! Those were the best! Oh, university days…

Magical Bagels

I wanted to experiment more with yeast and hence, I joined Fresh from the Oven. I love the idea of having challenges set out for me. It is a great way to motivate me to bake things I would otherwise have not even considered! Just a couple days ago when my manager asked me what my plans were for the night, I said, “Oh I’m making bagels tonight”. She gave a confuzzled look. It was priceless. Then she laughed and replied, “Well, that’s the first time I’ve heard an answer like that!” Well, I gotta admit, it’s probably  a little unordinary.

Now that I have my new KitchenAid, I was really excited to try out my hook pedal. I haven’t made bread very often in the past but I’ve always had to knead the dough by hand. After trying out my new stand mixer, all I can say is that I don’t think I can ever go back to mixing by hand…!

Jalepeno and Cheese Bagels

original recipe from Claire. makes 8 bagels
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 small jalapenos (Jalapenos lose a little bit of their spice when they are baked. So 3 is not a lot!)
  • 1 cup cheese (I used 1/2 cup shredded cheddar and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • parmesan cheese to top
  1. In a large bowl add the salt to the flour and then the yeast (I usually put the yeast in a small well in the centre to keep it a way from the salt). Add cheese and jalapenos
  2. Measure the warm water and then stir in the oil and honey.
  3. If kneading by hand, make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the liquid in gradually, bringing the dough together with your hands. Turn the dough on to a clean, dry and floured work surface. Start kneading the dough by stretching it away with the palm of one hand and folding it back again with the other. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. You may need to add more flour as you go if the dough is too sticky.
  4. I kneaded with a mixer, slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients with the mixer on a low speed (I use speed 2 on a kitchenaid). Knead on this slow setting for 10 minutes. Add more flour is the dough is too wet.This dough is stiffer than normal bread dough but will still have elasticity.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat in the oil. Cover with cling film or a plastic bag to create a draught-free environment and put in a warm place (not hot) for between 1-3 hours or until doubled in size.
  6. Lightly oil two baking trays.
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl, punch it down to knock the air out and knead briefly.
  8. Roll in to a sausage shape and divide into 8 chunks. As you work one, keep the others covered with a clean tea towel. Make sure that they are of relatively the same size. This will ensure even browning

    Half it, then half it again, and again...

  9. There are two ways to shape the bagels. One is to firmly roll out each chunk in to a long sausage shape, then form a ring and seal the ends together with a tiny splash of water and squeezing. The other method (my prefered method) is to roll each chunk into a ball. Piercing a hole in the centre with your finger, pull the dough open wide by twirling it round your index fingers (wider than you think you need as the hole will shrink when the dough proves, is poached and then baked).Place on the prepared baking tray and repeat with remaining dough.
  10. Cover and allow to rise for a further 10-20 minutes.

    Rising again

  11. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (400F fan). Fill a large sauce pan with boiling water (from the kettle) and return to a simmer. Gently lift each bagel into the water to poach (do not try to put too many bagels in at once as they will expand slightly). Poach for about 90 seconds on each side, turning gently with a slotted spoon.
  12. Remove the bagels from the water, allowing them to drain first and place on the prepared baking trays spacing them about 3-4cm apart.
  13. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn upside down for a further 10 minutes to cook the bases. Cool on a wire rack.

Ta daaa!! Here are my Jalapeno 3-Cheese Bagels! They definitely taste best fresh from the oven!

These pictures were taken the morning after I baked them though. Nothing like natural lighting for the best photography…

Bagelwich

I decided to make myself a BAGELWICH for lunch! Of course I had to include cheese, mushrooms, 2 slices of ham and tomato. Very filling and scrumptious indeed!

Lunchtime!

Aren’t bagels such a wonderful thing?

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