Everything bagels stuffed with lox and cream cheese. Inside the bagel!!
Last week I was writing about Pomegranate Tahini Bark from Newport Beach, and today I’m writing about Stuffed Bagels from Connecticut! Instead of ocean, my view is the changing foliage and I’m not mad about it. I’m back in my home state for some family Rosh Hashanah celebrations, some quality board game time with Bubbe, and cookbook tour stops in Boston and NYC!
Slightly ironic to talk to you about bagels in CT. Our favorite bagel place when I was growing up bragged about bringing in their water from New York. “It’s the water that makes the bagel!” they would say in think Brooklyn accents.
People have different theories on what makes the best bagels. That crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, perfect texture. Specifically, just why are NYC bagels so superior. (Some make the argument for Montreal bagels, but that’s another blog post entirely.) Is it the water, the lye, the overnight rise, the freshness out of the oven?
I put the water theory to the test with The Mountain Valley Water. True story: When I was a personal chef right after culinary school, I cooked for one family who exclusively drank The Mountain Valley Water. That’s it. So of course I bought a few bottles for myself, and was definitely impressed.
So I thought The Mountain Valley would be great for testing my water, being super tasty and all. You can even get it shipped right to your door! Which I gladly did. But I didn’t want to just make any old bagels. I stuffed everything bagels with lox cream cheese and then baked them. Cream cheese baked inside the bagel!! After stuffing, I let my dough rise overnight to let the bagel flavors intensify. I added chives too. Because why not?? Yasss. You can lick the spoon. About a tablespoon in the bagel. You can do a little more if you like extra schmear! I made them the night before, so in the morning all I had to do was boil and bake and bring them to our Girl’s Craft Brunch! Making it rain…everything bagel spice.
Hiiii. Ooh. Ahh. It’s hard to beat a warm bagel right out of the oven, oozing with cream cheese. Brunch is served!! The verdict? These bagels are crunchy on the inside, soft and cream cheesy on the inside. Is it the water? So. Good.
Check out that schmear action!
Oh yeah. Schmear me again.
- 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water, divided (110 degrees)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 ounces lox, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, minced
- The Mountain Valley Water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- ½ cup everything bagel spice
- First, make your dough. Combine 1 cup warm water with the yeast and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and let sit for 10 minutes until it bubbles up and foams.
- Then add in half the flour, brown sugar, salt, oil and remaining water to the mix. Mix on low with a dough hook for 5 minutes, adding flour until your dough forms. Then knead by hand for another 5 minutes until you have a smooth but dry-to-the-touch dough. If dough is a little sticky, add a little flour as necessary.
- Divide the dough into 10-12 pieces, form into balls and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Allow bagels to rest for 30 minutes and puff up.
- Meanwhile, mix together cream cheese, lox and chives in a medium bowl.
- Take each bagel and flatter slightly. Place about 1-tablespoon of filling in the middle of the bagel and form dough to cover cream cheese and make a ball. Place the dough balls seam side down, an inch or two apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for another 15 minutes. Test bagels for the "float test" but seeing if one floats in a bowl of room temperature water. If it floats, yay! Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to two days. If it doesn't float, let bagels rest in 10 minute increments until they do.
- Now time to boil and bake! Boiling your bagels gives it that crunchy outside and soft inside. Take the bagels out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare a cooling rack. Bring a large, wide pot of water to a boil, add baking soda, and boil bagels 3-4 at a time for 30 seconds on each side. Sprinkle with everything bagel spice and let bagels dry on cooling rack. Then bake on parchment-lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly and eat!