Cheese is something that I can add to just about any food, and it will bring it to a whole new level for me. Think about it... I'll add melted cheese to salsa, top a cracker with a slice of cheese, nibble some cheese with my wine, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on my pasta, dip my french fries in cheese sauce and more! It even works with desserts, like cheesecake and cannoli. This must be why I have a natural love for the marriage of cheese and bagels.
If you've already made the homemade bagels I posted long ago, then you have already mastered this recipe because I didn't change anything except add cheese! I totally guessed on how much cheese, but it seemed to turn out perfectly to my taste. You may want to add more or less. This time around I used Parmesan Reggiano because I had it on hand and needed to use it up. It was fantastic! I would like to try Asiago cheese as well.
These are great for breakfast or for sandwiches. One of our favorite way to eat them is stuffed with bacon, eggs and cheese. Mmmmm!!! Ben really liked these, but his favorite is still the "Everything" bagel, which was typically how I made them. (See Homemade Bagels for recipe.) But, since these are now MY favorite, in the future I'm going to make half batch "Everything" and half batch "Cheese". It's only fair. 🙂
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¾ cups water, warm (100-110F)
4-5 cups bread flour (not all purpose)
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg, for egg wash
1 cup shredded cheese (Asiago or Parmesan Reggiano), divided
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) combine yeast, sugar and water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in flour and salt. Mix dough thoroughly until it comes together in a large ball, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Gently stir in ½ cup of the cheese. Add additional flour, if needed.
If kneading by hand, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, knead dough with the dough hook until elastic, about 8 minutes on a low speed. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
When dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces (first quarters, then halves). Shape each piece into a tight ball, pinching the corners together at the bottom of the dough. When all the balls are shaped, let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered with a clean dish towel.
Once dough balls have rested, the bagel shape can be formed. Using your fingers, poke a hole through the center of each dough ball. Stretch out the dough into a ring with your fingers and be sure to make the hole a little larger than you want the finished bagel to have, as it will shrink slightly while the bagel is expanding during the baking process. Let bagels rest for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and another baking sheet with parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal.
Working four at a time, drop the bagels carefully into the boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes on each side. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer bagels to the paper towels to drain for a moment, then place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining bagels.
Brush boiled bagels with lightly beaten egg (a pastry brush is a good tool for this) and sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese. Bake for 24 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack (bagel will soften slightly as it cools). Slice and toast to serve.
To store: Since these are best consumed within 24 hours, they will harden the next few days. If consuming within the week and they have hardened, microwave to soften, then slice. Or, slice them and store individually in freezer.
Source: Inspired by Baking Bites