May 16, 2011

Homemade Cream Cheese Stuffed Bagels


I could really get used to waking up to these with a hot cup of coffee every morning!  The outside is crispy, the inside is warm and soft and the cream cheese inside just puts them over the top.  

Did you know that making your own bagels from scratch is incredibly easy?  Neither did I!  I have always wanted to try it but never really got around to doing it.  Yesterday morning, I had some extra time on my hands, so I did some research.  I came across a recipe on Allrecipes that seemed like a good place to start.  I made a few changes to the recipe based on three other recipes, reviewers' opinions and my own experience with dough.  While kneading the dough, I wanted to put my own little spin on the bagels, so I decided that I was going to stuff them with cream cheese.  Let me tell you, they turned out fantastic!  They also reheat in the toaster and toaster oven beautifully -- still crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.  These were a huge hit with my family and I will probably never purchase bagels at the store again.  

If you would rather not stuff your bagels with cream cheese, I have included directions for that also.  I made the bagels with and without the stuffing and both ways turned out amazing.  

These will be the best bagels you have ever had!




Ingredients:
Yields 12 bagels
  • 1 1/4 c warm milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast 
  • 1 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 4 c all-purpose flour 
  • Cream cheese
  • Optional:  Chopped vegetables such as peppers, onions, carrots, etc.
Optional toppings:
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pepper
  • Onion salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Poppy seeds 
Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together the warm milk, yeast and sugar and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in the oil and egg, until combined.  Gradually add the flour and salt until a dough consistency forms.  Knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes.  Cover and allow the dough to rise in a dark, warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch down the dough and shape it into 12 balls.

If you would like toppings, mix together equal amounts of your desired toppings in a shallow bowl.  Set aside.

Bagels without stuffing:  Place your thumb through the middle of each dough ball.  Stretch the bagel until you have a hole that is approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Boil one bagel at a time for 1 minute.  Carefully remove from them from the water with a slotted spoon and tongs.  Press one side of each bagel on desired toppings.  Place the bagels on a greased baking sheet, topping side up.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown (I used my convection oven and it took about 15 to 16 minutes).  Remove and allow to cool for 2 minutes before serving. 

Bagels stuffed:  Roll out each ball of dough into a 4 inch x 9 inch rectangle (I know, I know -- the picture below is hardly a rectangle but it was the very first bagel I did and the others were better).  Place cream cheese down the center of the dough lengthwise.  Use as much cream cheese as you normally would spread on two halves of a bagel.  If you would like to add chopped vegetables, place them on top of the cream cheese.  I omitted because I needed the veggies in my fridge for dinner that night.


Wet the edges of the dough with a little bit of water.  Fold the dough in half over the cream cheese.  Seal the edges together with the tines of a fork.  Fold the dough in half once more.


Shape the dough into a circle and seal the ends by pinching together with wet fingers (I know you're diggin' the blue nails!).  Spend some extra time on this step to make sure you seal the edges well so it doesn't come apart in the water while boiling.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Boil one bagel at a time for 1 minute.  Carefully remove them from the water using a slotted spoon and tongs.   Press one side of each bagel on desired toppings.  Place the bagels on a greased baking sheet, topping side up.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown (I used my convection oven and it took about 15 to 16 minutes).  Remove and allow to cool for 2 minutes before serving. 

Enjoy!


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