These bagels are a copycat of Panera Bread's most popular bagel. I had no idea these asiago cheese bagels existed, but when the "asiago cheese bagel incident" happened at work, I knew I had to figure out how to make these.
Panera Bread sells this take out pack of a Baker's Dozen of bagels, two of which are the asiago cheese version. We had a "welcome" breakfast with bagels for a new colleague with the aforementioned baker's dozen. When that box was opened, two folks immediately pounced on the asiago cheese bagels, to everyone else's dismay. I had no idea they were so coveted!!! There was lots of pouting and muttering. At that moment, my plot to duplicate these bagels was hatched.
The next week, I made these and brought them in for all of the "have nots." They didn't last very long!
Just this week we hosted a training at work, and we had Panera Bread's bagels. And guess what? The asiago cheese bagels went first! I'm pretty sure we need to change our order to include mostly asiago. Right?
These bagels are smaller and airier than the Panera version, and that's not a bad thing. They are so good toasted and spread with butter... or my garlic and vegetable spread.
Want more bagel recipes? Give these a try:
- Onion Bagels: This same recipe without the cheese and topped with onions.
- Everything Bagels: These bagels are round and shiny, and, if you are a bagel purist, totally authentic.
- Leftover bagels? Stir fry them with cabbage and bacon!
- The bagel's forgotten cousin, the Bialy, an onion and poppyseed filled roll.
I am a member of The Bread Baking Babes, a group of bloggers who absolutely love baking bread. Each month, one of the Babes chooses a new (to us) recipe, and we all post our results on the 16th of the month. This month, the Bread Baking Babes are baking Asiago Cheese Bagels, and I am hosting. And guess what? If you make this recipe by the end of this month and send me a photo or a link to your blog post (if you don't have a blog, just send me a photo, you'll still be a rock star), you will be featured in a round up on this very blog. I'll even send you a fancy Buddy Badge! You'll achieve bread celebrity status! Send your contribution to me at email@example.com. I can't wait to see your results.
Here are the Babes' who baked along bagels:
Kelly from A Messy Kitchen
Lien from Notitievanlien
Elizabeth from Blog from OUR Kitchen
Cathy from Bread Experience
Makes 8 bagels
1 tsp (7 grams) diastatic malt powder, or 1 tbsp barley malt syrup
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp (10.5 grams) salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (255 grams) 95 degree F water
3 1/2 cups (454 grams) unbleached bread flour
3 ounces (87 grams) grated Asiago cheese
1 1/2 ounces, about 3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
1 1/2 ounces, about 3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
To boil the bagels:
2 quarts water
1 1/2 tbsp barley malt syrup
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
- Stir the malt, yeast, and salt into the water.
- Measure the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer, and pour the water mixture over it.
- Mix on low with the dough hook for three minutes. The dough should be stiff, but not super dry. Adjust the water if necessary. Cover and let sit for five minutes.
- Mix again on low for another 2 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to your unfloured work surface, and knead the cheese in by hand, for about one to two minutes. If the dough seems a bit too dry, wet your hands a few times as you knead.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or bucket. Turn the dough to coat with the oil. Cover and let rise for one hour.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter and cut it into 8 equal pieces (about 2 3/4 ounces each).
- Form each piece into a ball.
- Line a baking sheet (or two quarter sheet pans) with parchment and spray with spray oil or brush it with oil.
- One at a time, roll each ball into an 8 to 10 inch strand. Wrap it around your hand, overlap the ends under your palm, and roll the ends together on the work surface. Sometimes a few drops of water helps glue the ends together. If the dough resists rolling, let it rest, covered, to relax the gluten. Alternatively, you can poke a hole in the middle of the ball of dough and gently pull the dough out into a circle with your thumbs. You're aiming for a 2 inch hole. This is what I did.
- Place each shaped bagel on the parchment. When done, spray the bagels with spray oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 2 days.
- On baking day, remove the pan from the refrigerator 60 to 90 minutes prior to baking.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- At one hour, check to see if the bagels are ready by doing the "float test." Fill a small bowl with water and place one of the bagels in the water. If it floats, they are ready. If it doesn't, wait another 20 to 30 minutes (Note: if your kitchen is very warm, do the float test earlier).
- To prepare the poaching liquid, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Lower to a simmer. Add the malt, baking soda, and salt.
- Lower a bagel, top down, into the simmering water. Simmer about 45 seconds on one side, and then flip with a slotted spoon. Simmer for another 30 seconds. Using the slotted spoon, place it back onto the oiled parchment lined baking sheet with the top up and sprinkle with 1/8th of the cheese topping. Continue with the rest of the bagels.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven and reduce the oven to 450 degrees F. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet, and bake for another 12 minutes.
- Cool the bagels on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
These bagels are adapted from Artisan Bread Everyday by Peter Reinhart, one of my bread idols.