Bakery, Bread

Asiago Bagels

4 Comments 18 January 2012

I’ve been wanting to make homemade bagels for some time now. But you need to let things rise, which can take a while. Then you fiddle with them and let them rise again or rest (hey, no fair that bread gets more rest than me whaaa). Bread is one of those things that just seems like it takes a while to make. Then, when you finally make it, you realize that time was totally worth it. That’s how it went with these bagels. We decided to take it easy that day and only made one thing for the blog – means this post is it for the week – so that we could make sure we were doing everything right, as well as taking the opportunity with the recipe down times to play around with future recipe ideas. If nothing else, you can get other things done while coursing towards wonderful, delicious homemade bagels.

But  I’d like to take a sec to stand tall (as tall as five foot two inches allows) and just repeat – WE MADE BAGELS. Like, we spanked the store-bought bagels all the way back to their manufacturing facility, people. Consider it a new food blogging sport.

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Surprisingly few ingredients are needed for bagel crafting. Not pictured is a little sugar, which feeds the hungry yeast beasts.

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No, this isn’t a brain on drugs – it’s the bagel dough…on a chopping block! I have a bread maker (thank goodness, love it) and we followed the recipe’s advice by letting it do the kneading and rising for us. In my machine, the dough setting takes an hour and forty minutes. I reasoned if I was going to do all that kneading myself, you might as well chop off my hands after because they’d be that worthless. I’ve got that carpal tunnel pain sometimes and I’d like to actually finish these things, thanks!

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After shaping the dough into a log and cutting it into 8 equal-as-possible pieces, and rolling each into a ball-ish shape, just insert your thumb in the center of each to start making your bagel shape. Kind of twist it around your thumb and slightly pull and stretch it with your other hand a little to help turn the whole thing out into a more round bagel shape.

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Like so! And don’t worry if the dough shrinks back a little and your bagel holes close up slightly. Also don’t worry if they’re not perfectly round. They’re funky shapes help mark them as lovingly homemade.

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After the bagels rest for a bit more under a damp paper towel, it’s time for their quick, hot bath!I’m guessing this is the step that helps them to form a chewier outer layer. Maybe? Whatever the case, they will also puff up more, almost to the size they’ll be once baked.

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Let ’em rest on a paper towel to dry a little. They might stick to said paper towel a little. Don’t panic like I did – just gently pull them away from the wet paper towels and remove any that sticks as best as possible.

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Folks, it was our day for Things That Stick. Maybe we didn’t put enough corn meal down on the pan, but our bagels felt super glued to the pan. Next time I’m using parchment paper. We were able to get them off the pan after gently sliding a spatula under them – a lot and forcefully, but gentle still. Just beware, the corn meal may not be enough and I couldn’t tell you how much exactly to sprinkle on your pans.

But just look at ’em. *sniffle* WE MADE BAGELS! Where’s mama’s parade, huh? It’s obvious by now, but we were quite proud.

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BAGELS. Nom nom nom!

So tantalizingly smellerific. Chewy where you need ’em chewy and soft inside. They toast perfectly. They wear the cream cheese well. There’s just no earthly way possibly we could be any more pleased with our first attempt at homemade bagel goodness. We urge you to run mad silly with them yourselves! On that note, enjoy.

Asiago Bagels

from Holly’s Helpings

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 25 minutes plus knead/rise time    Level: Easy (ish)    Makes: 8 bagels

  • 1 cups warm water (plus 2-1/2 tbsp for high altitude)
  • 3 cups flour (we used King Arthur unbleached bread flour)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 packet or 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • water for boiling (about 3 quarts)
  • 3 tbsp sugar to add to boiling water
  • cornmeal to sprinkle on baking sheet
  • 1 egg white for topping
  • extra shredded Asiago for topping, about 1/2 a cup

Add the first 6 ingredients to the bread machine pan (water, flour, cheese, salt, sugar, yeast) and set to dough or remove after the second kneading.  To mix by hand: slow knead for 10 minutes,  knead quickly for 20 minutes,  let rise for 1 hour in a warm area. (We can’t tell you how the kneading by hand went, though, as we used a bread machine.)

Remove the dough from the bread pan and separate into 8 equal parts.  Roll the dough into a log of approximately uniform length and cut it into quarters and then halve the quarters. Like the original recipe, ours were not uniform – it’s hard to get them all the same – but what matters is they tasted wonderful.

Roll each piece into a roll as best you can.  Stick your thumb in the center of the roll to make a hole.  Spin the bagel around your finger to widen the hole, using your other hand to stretch the dough out slightly, continuing to round the bagel shape more.  Set the bagels under a wet paper towel for about half an hour.  Bring the water for boiling to a boil and add the sugar.  Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the bagel into the boiling water for 30 seconds, flip, and let it  boil for an additional 30 seconds.  Pull the bagel out and set it on a dry paper towel.  Do this for all 8 bagels.

Sprinkle the cornmeal onto a baking stone or baking sheet, or if you don’t have cornmeal, use parchment paper.  Transfer the bagels to the baking stone/sheet.  Brush each bagel with a little of the egg white. Sprinkle bagels with the extra cheese. Check on the bagels at 20 minutes and add an additional 5 minutes until golden brown (as my sister put it “bagel colored”).

Set on a cooling rack and cool for at least 5 minutes or longer to get that chewier bagel texture. (The original recipe advises about an hour and we agreed with this time length.)


I stored my share of the bagels in the fridge, a. because I’m just a little paranoid about stuff going bad sometimes and b. I figured there are no preservatives of any kind so better safe than sorry. Whenever I wanted one I just split it with a knife, toasted and ate it with cream cheese. It was like we’d just baked them. Noticeably better all around than store-bought bagels. Just the right amount of chewiness on the outside, but softer, yet not too soft, on the inside. The asiago cheese was a noticeable addition, but not overpowering. Very happy with these bagels!

The original recipe notes that if you don’t want the cheese, just leave it out to make plain bagels.


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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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4 Comments so far

  1. Penny says:

    These look incredible! Do you think you could substitute whole wheat flour, or maybe 1/2 wheat, 1/2 white flour in this recipe? I’m trying not to eat any simple carbs. *sad, hungry face*

    • KMont says:

      Did you see Tracy Faul’s response on Twitter? Apparently substituting up to half whole wheat flour for the regular flour is ok! I think I have some whole wheat flour at home, might try that for my second batch of bagels.

  2. Jersey says:

    Where does the egg white come in to this? do you just brush it on top of the bagels and cheese before it goes into the oven? I couldn’t find it in the recipe. Thanks!

    • KMont says:

      Jersey, thanks so much for pointing that out; I will fix it right now. Yes, it’s as you say. The egg white is used for brushing onto the bagels before baking. After that we sprinkled on the extra cheese and baked. Thanks again for correcting me!

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