Direct quote from the well-fed Fraser, Mat Fraser, “Those Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels are the best bagels you’ve ever made. Hands down.”. WHOA, bold statement! I have outdone myself apparently. Here I was, making BOILED & BAKED EVERYTHING BAGELS every time because I thought those were his favorite. Never knew he’d love this combo so much. What a WIN! The flavors are both bold and subtle. The tang of the jalapeño is just enough to warm your tongue without needing a glass of milk. The cheddar brings a nice saltiness to each bite and the two together, match made in heaven!
The grocery list.
A few pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients. If you make bagels ONCE you’ve got the stock to make them a few more times and there is NOTHING better than fresh made bagels so time to get stocked!
- Warm water — It sounds finicky but measure your water temperature to ensure it is 110°F. This temperature is ideal for activating the yeast. Any hotter and you could potentially “harm” the yeast.
- Granulated sugar
- Active dry yeast — Yeast is a live organism and is the ingredient responsible for giving breads their structure. Without yeast, your bagels won’t rise properly nor will they have the same look or flavor.
- Bread flour — Bread flour is ideal for bagels because of it’s higher protein content (about 13%) compared to all-purpose flour (about 10%). The higher the protein content, the more gluten produced. The more gluten produced, the lighter and chewier your bagels will be!
- Salt — Never leave home without your wallet and never make bagels without a dash of salt. It’s just a rule to live by if you want your dough to sing. Unsalted dough is flat in flavor, salt makes everything better.
- Jalapeños — I used 1 1/2 jalapeños in this recipe. 1 whole jalapeño sliced to top each bagel and about a 1/2 of a jalapeño minced into tiny bits to mix into the dough.
- Olive oil — The olive oil in the bowl ensures the dough does not stick to the bowl as it rises or when you try to remove the dough to form the bagels.
- Egg — brushing the bagels with whisked eggs just before baking gives the bagels a rich golden color.
- Cheddar– the favorite in our house is sharp cheddar but feel free to use the specific cheddar you prefer. I would not suggest using a different type of cheese in this recipe, the flavor pairing of jalapeño and cheddar is too good!
What’s the point of rising the dough?
Rising the dough allows the yeast to ferment. This helps develop the doughs taste and texture once baked. These bagels are yeasted bagels and need time to rise. You’ll notice in this recipe we use sugar and yeast. Believe it or not, yeast is a living thing and uses the sugar in the recipe as a food source to speed up fermentation.
The first rise.
The yeast feeds on the sugar during the first rise which helps develop the flavor and texture of the dough. There are multiple ways to accomplish the first rise. Once you’ve kneaded the dough and have a smooth dough texture, remove the dough from the bowl and drizzle with oil. The oil keeps the dough from sticking to the bowl. If the dough sticks it will deflate as you try to pry it from the bowl. Return the dough to the oiled bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Proofing the dough is all about controlling the temperature and humidity, the damp towel creates the perfect environment for the yeast to thrive.
Next, place the covered bowl in a warm area. For me, that’s either on top of my stove (on a warm day) or inside my oven with the oven light on (on a cool day). I do not have a proofing box nor does my oven temperature have the ability to be set low enough ideal for proofing. The oven light creates ambient warmth just enough to remove the chill on a cool day. To learn more about proofing temperature for the first rise, check out this great article: Yeast & Baking Lessons- Rising & Ripe Test (First Rise).
The second rise.
The second rise on bagels is a littler different than for yeasted breads. Once the dough has doubled in size in the first rise, punch the dough down. Cover with the damp kitchen towel and rise for an additional 10 minutes. The second rise for many breads (or cinnamon buns like these BLACK WALNUT CINNAMON ROLLS!) happen in the pan they’ll be cooked in. For the bagels, after the second rise, you’ll move the dough to a light floured surface and knead into a smooth ball for 2-3 minutes. Next, cut the dough into eight even portions and roll into bagel shapes.
Once the bagels are shaped, place the bagels on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover (again!) with the damp kitchen towel for a final rest. At this time, fill your pot of water for boiling. The bagels will Goerings through one last small rise before hitting the boiling water bath. It may feel like a million steps but each bite of perfectly chewy bagels is worth every minute of the work!
Boiled & baked.
Don’t skip on the “extra” step of boiling these bagels before baking. It makes a world of difference in the eating experience and isn’t that why we go through the 15 steps in any recipe?? To enjoy the eating experience! Your tastebuds and belly will thank-you for the time and care you put into these bagels.
Adding Jalapeño Cheddar character to your bagels.
These are not your average bagels, these are Jalapeño Cheddar bagels. Morning bagels with a little attitude. This flavor pairing is basically the savory equivalent of peanut butter and jelly. Who ever discovered this happy marriage of flavors deserves an award. Or at least a high five or something. Kudos!
Looking for more breakfast ideas?
Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make this Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels recipe, be sure to leave a comment! Above all, I love to hear from ya’ll and do my best to respond to every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of your dayyyummm good recreations is my favorite!
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- 1 and 1/4 cup (300ml) warm water, divided
- 4 and ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) Active dry yeast
- 3 cups + 2 tablespoons (500g) Bread flour **
- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons jalapeño, minced
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
- 1 whole jalapeño, sliced
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add 120ml of water water and the granulated sugar. Stir to combine and slightly dissolve the sugar. Add the active yeast, stir quickly and set aside for 5-10 minutes to bloom.
- Once the yeast and sugar mixture becomes foamy and bubbly, add the bread flour and salt to the bowl and mix using the dough hook attachment on low. Slowly begin to add the remaining water.
- Once the dough has begun to come together, add the minced jalapeño. Add 1-2 teaspoons of additional flour if needed as the jalapeños may release a little liquid. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for 10-12 minutes. The dough should be smooth (shaggy dough is too dry and sticky dough is too wet).
- Remove the dough from the bowl, drizzle the bowl with the olive oil and brush up the sides with a paper towel to coat the bowl. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel and store in a warm place for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- After two hours, punch the dough down, cover and rest an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl to a floured surface. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes to return the dough to a smooth ball.
- Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Pressing the dough between your palm and the floured counter, work in a circular motion to form a small ball. Punch your thumbs through the center and work in a circular motion to smooth the bagel shape.
- Place the formed bagels on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Working 1-2 bagels at a time (depending on the space in your pot), add the bagels to the boiling water. Boil on each side for 1 minute, flip and continue to boil for an additional minute on the other side. Remove the boiled bagel from the water and place on a separate piece of parchment paper on the counter to slightly cool. Once all the bagels have been boiled and slightly cooled, move to the dry parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Brush the bagels with whisked egg wash and generously sprinkle each bagel with the cheddar cheese and top with slices of jalapeño
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before slicing and devouring!
** Bread flour is the ideal flour for bagels because of the high protein content. The higher the protein content, the more gluten produced. The more gluten produced, the lighter and chewier your bagels will be! I have tested this recipe with All-Purpose Flour and although the texture is lighter, they are still AHHHmazing.
Nutrition Information: Serves 8 / 346 cals / 9g F / 51g C / 9g P