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Jun 20, 2022

Asiago Cheese Bagels

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

Asiago Cheese Bagels piled on top of each other.

These bagels are totally amazing, and when they are baking your house will be enveloped with the aroma of baking cheese. 

How delicious does that sound?! 

And if a little bit of the cheese burns, even better. 

Asiago Cheese Bagels on a plate in front of a basket of more bagels.

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.

Asiago Cheese Bagels cooling on a rack.

The next week, I made these and brought them in for all of the "have nots." They didn't last very long! 

A few weeks later, we hosted a training at work, and we again had Panera Bread's bagels. And guess what? The asiago cheese bagels went first! I'm pretty sure we should have changed our order to include mostly asiago. Right?

Asiago Cheese Bagels with salmon and cream cheese in the background.

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.

Ingredients for These Asiago Cheese Bagels:

Asiago Cheese - Asiago is an Alpine Italian cheese made from cow's milk. 

Bread Flour

Instant Yeast



Diastatic Malt Powder - this is a specialized ingredient which is particularly helpful when using flours that have no malt added. However, in small amounts, it's a great ingredient for adding to bagel and pretzel doughs. You can substitute Barley Malt Syrup, which you will also need for boiling the bagels before baking. 

Baking soda - for boiling the bagels. Note: The baking soda will cause the boiling water to wildly rise, so make sure you have a large pan or you turn off the heat before adding it (I speak from experience). 

Asiago Cheese Bagels  in a basket.

How To Make Asiago Cheese Bagels:

First, mix the dough ingredients by combining the flour, water, salt, and yeast. Once the dough ingredients have been combined, mix in grated asiago cheese. 

Next, let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour. 

After that, shape the dough into eight bagels and refrigerate them overnight, and up to two days. The dough is very forgiving. They might look a bit beat up after emerging from the fridge, but once they're boiled and baked, they shape up very nicely. 

Asiago Cheese Bagel dough, shaped on a baking sheet.

You can use a half sheet pan or two quarter sheet pans, depending on the available space in your refrigerator. 

On baking day, remove the bagels from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature. 

At that point, boil them in a solution of water, barley malt syrup, salt, and baking soda, and then sprinkle them with the rest of the asiago cheese. I divided the remaining asiago cheese into eight piles so that I'd make sure each bagel had the same amount of cheese. 

Piles of asiago cheese that has been grated.

Once you've boiled the bagels and topped them with cheese, bake them for 20 minutes in a 450 degree F oven. 

Cool the bagels on a rack for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving. I love these with garlic and herb cream cheese and smoked salmon. 

Asiago Cheese Bagels close up.

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. Sourdough Blueberry Bagels: Easy with no bulk first rise. 
  4. Leftover bagels? Stir fry them with cabbage and bacon
  5. The bagel's forgotten cousin, the Bialy, an onion and poppyseed filled roll.

National Dairy Month Logo.

Welcome to a celebration of National Dairy Month, hosted by Jolene of Jolene's Recipe Journal. If we are celebrating dairy, for me, it's cheese. Love me some cheese, especially in bread. 

Monday #DairyMonth Recipes

  • Berry Cream Pops by Jolene's Recipe Journal
  • Broccoli Cheese Casserole by Art of Natural Living
  • Gochujang Paneer Bowl by Magical Ingredients
  • Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Shake by A Little Fish in the Kitchen
  • Macaroni Salad Caprese by Palatable Pastime
  • Milk Cookies by A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • No Churn Blueberry Ice Cream by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
  • One Pot Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta by Hostess At Heart
  • Pimento Cheese Mac and Cheese by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
  • Reese Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream by Blogghetti
  • Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chili Chicken by Cheese Curd In Paradise
  • Summer Fruit Tortillas by The Freshman Cook
  • Vanilla Bean-Nutmeg Milkshake with Blackberry Swirl by The Spiffy Cookie

  • Asiago Cheese Bagels on a plate.

    Asiago Cheese Bagels

    Asiago Cheese Bagels
    Yield: 8 Bagels
    Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
    Prep time: 40 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 10 HourTotal time: 11 Hour
    These Asiago Cheese Bagels are both stuffed and topped with melted cheese. Bread and melted cheese.... doesn't that sound magical?


    For the Dough
    • 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
    For the Topping
    • 1 1/2 ounces, about 3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
    For the Boiling Solution
    • 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.

    Nutrition Facts



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    bagels, cheese, asiago
    Did you make this recipe?
    Tag on instagram and hashtag it # karenskitchenstories

    This is an updated recipe, originally published October, 2016 and updated June, 2022. 

    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!

    13. One of our favorite bagels. Can't wait to make these myself and share with my family. No fighting allowed, lol.

      1. Oh, you know them!! Your family will love them!

    14. The Asiago and the Cinnamon Crunch are my top 2 there, but they are 30 minutes away and I don't go often. So excited to make them at home!

    15. Wish I had one of these for my breakfast sandwich this morning.

    16. This looks delicious. I’ve never made homemade bagels before but now I want to!

    17. I love making homemade bagels and this is a super flavor idea!

    18. My all time favorite flavor!

    19. These are the best looking bagels! I haven't made them before, but now I can't wait to try!

    20. This is a stunning bake! We love bagels and I would love to try this asap!

    21. Hello Karen! Wow, I haven't eaten at Panera bread in years, but now I feel like I'm missing out on these bagels 😁 Thanks for this recipe, I will certainly have to give baking them at home a go!!! They certainly look delicious!!

    22. These are one of my favorite bagels! I love to enjoy them with the chive cream cheese.

    23. Yet another amazing bread recipe. And Asiago bagels to boot. My fave bagel. I am definitely trying these.


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