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Oct 16, 2016

Asiago Cheese Bagels

These Asiago Cheese Bagels are both stuffed and topped with melted cheese. Bread and melted cheese.... doesn't that sound magical?

These Copycat Panera Bread Asiago Cheese Bagels are both stuffed and topped with melted cheese. Bread and melted cheese.... doesn't that sound magical?

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!

These Copycat Panera Bread Asiago Cheese Bagels are both stuffed and topped with melted cheese. Bread and melted cheese.... doesn't that sound magical?

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:

  1. Onion Bagels: This same recipe without the cheese and topped with onions. 
  2. Everything Bagels: These bagels are round and shiny, and, if you are a bagel purist, totally authentic. 
  3. Leftover bagels? Stir fry them with cabbage and bacon
  4. The bagel's forgotten cousin, the Bialy, an onion and poppyseed filled roll.

These Copycat Panera Bread Asiago Cheese Bagels are both stuffed and topped with melted cheese.

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.

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

Asiago Bagels

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

To boil the bagels:

2  quarts water
1 1/2 tbsp barley malt syrup
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt


  1. Stir the malt, yeast, and salt into the water. 
  2. Measure the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer, and pour the water mixture over it. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Mix again on low for another 2 minutes. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. Turn the dough out onto the counter and cut it into 8 equal pieces (about 2 3/4 ounces each). 
  8. Form each piece into a ball. 
  9. Line a baking sheet (or two quarter sheet pans) with parchment and spray with spray oil or brush it with oil. 
  10. 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. 
  11. 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. 
  12. On baking day, remove the pan from the refrigerator 60 to 90 minutes prior to baking. 
  13. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. 
  14. 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). 
  15. To prepare the poaching liquid, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Lower to a simmer. Add the malt, baking soda, and salt. 
  16. 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. 
  17. 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. 
  18. 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.

These Copycat Panera Bread Asiago Cheese Bagels are both stuffed and topped with melted cheese.

Would you like to comment?

  1. The Panera Bakery Bagel incident is hilarious! And how clever of you to recreate the most coveted flavour for your colleagues who weren't quick enough with their lunch hooks.

    We loved making bagels again and we LOVED the bagels with Asiago - even though I couldn't quite bring myself to bake the cheese right into the bagels. (This is what comes of being an overzealous purist.)

    Looking at the photo of your stunningly beautiful Asiago bagels, I'm almost getting swayed into straying from the Path....

    Many thanks for making such a great choice this month, Karen!

    1. Thanks so much for baking along! I'm so happy you liked them =)

  2. I didn't have Asiago (I used to bring that home with me from Italy!), but my substitutions worked really good too. I find it very easy to eat a bread with cheese without slicing it and putting it on. Warm the best!! Thanks Karen it was a joy to bake bagels with you!!

    1. I agree with you about cheese and bread. The first one I had was still warm from the oven and it was so good on it's own.

  3. Yes, loved the story! And these were delicious toasted with butter.

    1. Thanks so much, and thanks for baking along TWICE! You are a trooper!

  4. Looks delicious ☺

  5. Hello Karen , I have been saying good bye to my Mother and still hard to do so, I love your cheese bagels. they look delicious, I was wondering if I can use cheddar cheese if it's possible or not , please let me know.

    1. Hi Rosa. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I'm sure cheddar would be fine in these. Gruyere would also be very good.

  6. What a great story and a great choice for the monthly bake! Thanks for the inspiration. I loved the cheese in these bagels. Your bagels look fabulous!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm so happy you baked along!

  7. Kimberly @ Berly's KitchenOctober 17, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    I didn't realize had badly I wanted a bagel until I saw this post. Asiago cheese bagels are the BEST!!!

  8. Those look to die for! Wow. You're such a pro baker Karen!
    Can we use Parmesan or Pecorino instead of Asiago(it's not sold here)? Does that sound ok?
    Again, thank you for the mouthwatering recipe:)

    1. I would suggest Gruyere mixed with Parmesan or Pecorino. You'll get the melty-ness of the Gruyere, and the intensity of the Parm or Pecorino.

    2. Excellent advice,thank you so much Karen! xoxo

  9. oh how we LOVE those bagels...can't wait to try them at home

  10. Panera's Asiago Cheese Bagels are my favorite bagels, ever. Cannot wait to try these!

    1. Thank you! They will make you jump up and down with happiness!

  11. These looked and sounded so good I was inspired to bake as a buddy this month. I understand now why they're so coveted by your co-workers. I sent an email with the link when I posted on the 21st....not sure you received it?

    1. Oh man! I've been on vacation and haven't checked my email! I'll send you the badge ASAP!

  12. These came out great! I shared them with a foodie friend who helped me find the barley malt syrup. She said that usually she would toast a bagel but these were so good on their own - high praise. Thanks!


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