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Aug 14, 2018

Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagels

These Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagels are so chewy and delicious, and the crust is super crispy and cheesy. These bagels are also filled with more cheese as well as chopped jalapeño chiles.

Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagels

When it comes to bagels, I love trying new methods for creating chewy boiled New York style bagels.

Granted, any self-respecting New Yorker would probably turn their nose up to any claims of authenticity once you add cheese and jalapeños, but I did love trying this method, and they are delicious on their own.

For a real deal bagel recipe that comes the closest to a New York style bagel, be sure to try New York Water bagels. It can't be beat in my opinion. And for another delicious cheesy bagel, try asiago cheese bagels

Jalapeño and Cheddar Water Bagels

The method for making these bagels is really interesting. First, when shaping the dough, you twist the dough rope before shaping it into a ring, which is supposed to help strengthen the gluten. I think I was a little too enthusiastic when twisting the dough, but I loved all of the extra surfaces the twists created.

Second, after boiling, the bagels are baked on a wire rack over a pan filled with boiling water, which helps the bagels quickly brown. You flip the bagels over half way through the baking process to brown the bottom of the rolls. It is a bit of a high wire act, but the results are delicious.

Third, the dough for these bagels is kneaded in a food processor, which takes no time at all.

New Your Style Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagels

I also had trouble getting perfectly asymmetrical circles with this "twisty" method, but the deliciousness of these Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagels overcomes any aesthetic imperfections. In fact, I think they are pretty gorgeous. That cheese!

This recipe makes 8 bagels. Normally I would take any leftovers to work to share. Not this time. If you'd like to keep these bagels all to yourself, individually wrap each bagel in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer bag in the freezer. Take one out each night for the next day's breakfast. I won't tell that you didn't share.

The method for making these bagels was adapted from Bread Illustrated by America's Test Kitchen. They used this method to make plain water bagels. I experimented by adding the jalapeños and cheddar. The results were delicious.

Note: You will need about 20 hours to make these bagels, 90 percent of it down time. The shaped bagels need an overnight rise in the refrigerator before baking to develop flavor.

P.S. If you are a fan of Panera Bread's Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagels, trust me, these are better. Or don't trust me and give these a try!

This month, the #BreadBakers, hosted by Felice of All That's Left are the Crumbs, are baking breakfast breads. After the recipe, be sure to check out the huge variety of breakfast breads.

bagels, cheddar, cheese, jalapeños, breakfast, bread
bread, bagels, breakfast
Yield: 8 bagels
Copycat Panera Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagels

Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagels


  • 9 ounces (1 cup plus two tablespoons) ice water
  • 2 tablespoons barley malt syrup 
  • 14 2/3 ounces (2 2/3 cups) King Arthur unbleached bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded, chopped, and microwaved for 30 to 60 seconds to soften
  • 4 1/2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Cornmeal or semolina for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda


  1. In a small to medium bowl, whisk together the water and malt syrup. 
  2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, vital wheat gluten, and yeast to combine. Turn the processor on and slowly add the ice water and malt syrup mixture and process until just combined, about 20 seconds. Let rest in the food processor for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the salt to the bowl of the food processor and process for another 45 to 90 seconds until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. 
  4. Transfer the dough to your work surface. Spread the dough out into a flat rectangle and top with the jalapeños and 3 ounces of the cheddar. Fold the dough over the cheese and jalapeños, and knead it into the dough to evenly distribute. 
  5. Divide the dough into 8 evenly sized pieces and cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. 
  6. Leaving the pieces of dough under the oiled plastic wrap, and working with one piece of dough at a time, form each piece of dough into a ball and place seam side down on the counter. Drag the dough ball over the counter to create surface tension on top. Let it rest seam side down, under oiled plastic wrap, for 15 minutes. 
  7. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal or semolina. 
  8. Working with one dough ball at a time. roll each out onto a floured surface into a 5 inch round. Roll the round up into a cylinder and stretch it out to an 8 or 9 inch rope. Twist the rope to form a spiral and wrap it around your 4 fingers and pinch the ends together. Press the seam together by rolling it under your hand on the work surface. Transfer to the baking sheet and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Repeat with the rest of the dough, spacing the bagels about 1 inch apart. 
  9. Let sit at room temperature, and then transfer to the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours. 
  10. One hour before baking, place a rack in the upper middle position of your oven, and place a baking stone on the rack. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil to pour onto the baking sheet. 
  11. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the sugar and the baking soda. In a second baking sheet, add a wire rack and spray the rack with spray oil. Boil the bagels, two to four at a time, and cook each 20 seconds per side (total of 40 seconds), and move them to the wire rack, cornmeal side down, using a slotted spoon or spider. Sprinkle the tops of the bagels with the rest of the cheddar cheese. 
  12. Place the baking sheet on the baking stone and pour the 1/2 cup of boiled water onto the baking sheet (protect your oven window with a towel while pouring the water, and then remove the towel), and close the oven door. Bake the bagels for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the bagels over with a spatula, and return the bagels to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. 
  13. Cool the bagels on another wire rack for at least 15 minutes. 
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Our theme this month is Breakfast Breads. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove at


New Your Style Jalapeño and Cheddar Water Bagels #bagels #cheddar #copycat

Would you like to comment?

  1. Hello Karen, The bagels look mesmerising. There seems to a bit of hard work I guess but the results are stunning. Love the flavours, the colours the shine....everything!

  2. I loved you kicked up these bagels with a bit of heat!

  3. Jalapeño and cheese bagels may not be traditional but in Texas they are a big seller. Yours look fabulous, Karen. And I love that you knead them in a food processor.

    1. I remembered you made them a few years back when we all did bagels after I made these. Great minds.

  4. give me all of them now...I love bagels and you have made them simply awesome... droolicious......

  5. I have that book, haven't baked from it yet... I am soooo behind!

    love all about this recipe, flavors, method, and that they were so good you decided not to "departamentalize" them (wink wink)

    1. You know exactly what I mean! I do think that the water in the baking try is probably overkill, lol!

  6. I must make these!! I haven't made bagels since culinary school, so I'm really overdue. And the flavors you have going here are some of my favorites with jalapeno and cheese. Kind of like jalapeno shooters in a bagel! And your photos are stunning!!!!!

  7. Another amazing bread, Karen! Tempting, wish I could get one of them.

  8. What is barley malt syrup, and where do you find it? TIA

    1. It's a sweetener made from sprouted barley. You can find it in the grocery store near the corn syrup, or any health food store. It's also on Amazon. You can sub brown rice syrup, brown sugar, dark corn syrup, or honey.

  9. These bagels with the jalapeño and cheese hit the right spot for a savoury bake lover like me ! The shape really doesnt matter as they must have tasted delicious... wow wow !

  10. Absolutely amazing! Bagels are on my baking bucket list, and I know that these are the ones that I am going to make. Your photos are wonderful, as always, and you have listed the steps in a way that does not make it seem overwhelming to achieve.

  11. These are the most amazing homemade bagels I've ever seen! I've only ever made blueberry bagels, and that was years ago. I think I need to make these! :)

  12. Mention bagels and I'm hungry any time of the day. I just go mad when I'm in Montreal as I want to have bagels for breakfast and lunch. Love your tips and not to mention the jalapeño and cheese added to it. Simply yummy.

  13. Such perfectly made bagels Karen. Love the flavor of jalapeno and cheddar - sounds so yummy!!

  14. hello! great recipe! i was wondering if we put the wire rack onto the baking sheet, and then put the boiling water into the baking sheet with the wire rack on top to put into the oven to bake? thanks!

    1. The bagels really need to be on a stone or, if you don't have one, a baking sheet.


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