When I went for a vacation in Calgary, my friend and I had a day trip in Canmore. We did a road trip, stopping from time to time to take photos. We bought some souvenir, and we stopped by at some places to get something eat, and bought something to go. One of her friend suggested that we visit Rocky Mountain Bagel in downtown Canmore. The place is known for their Bagels, but they also sell other pastries and drinks.
They were almost out of bagel when we got there, and so I was only able to try few of them. I bought 6 pieces to go and chose marble bagel, plain bagel and jalapeno and cheese bagel. I have to agree that their Bagel is different and truly worth visiting. Their bagels are soft, rather than compact and dense and it is slightly chewy but not heavy. I love it! That was my inspiration for this jalapeno cheddar bagel. I used my Homemade Bagel as base and added jalapeno and cheddar cheese to create this variation so you are guaranteed that you will get the same soft bread texture.
Traditional Process of Making a Bagel
The normal process of making a Bagel is by using a baking soda solution to submerge the Bagel into. Basically, a pan if filled with water with baking soda in it. After the Bagel passed the first rest period and shaped into a Bagel shape, it is then submerged or cooked for 30 seconds in the boiling baking soda solution. This process will give the Bagel a darker crust just like when making pretzels. This process also makes the texture dense and gooey. You can go with this process if you want to, but I decided to not do this in my simplified soft Bagel version.
My Simplified Version
In my version, I made the method simpler, skip the baking soda solution and aim to still get the gooey texture of a regular Bagel. I personally like my Bagel not too dense and gooey, and this is what I had in mind when I made this simplified version. Instead what I did it I mix the Bagel dough for 10 minutes, to make the bread texture tougher.Remember, the more you mix and knead the dough, the more the gluten will form, and more gluten means tougher bread. I also used Bread flour which have a higher protein than all-purpose flour, which will result to a more gooey bread texture. Then instead of giving it long time to rise like normal bread, I only left it for 15 minutes in the first rest period. That makes its basically no rise required at all. This way, the bread will not develop air bubbles inside as it will not have time to rise, resulting to a compact texture like a bagel should be, then a second rise of 30 minutes just to make it fuller a little bit. This is how I like my Bagel, and so this my take on the simplified no baking soda water version.
Just the same, this is a simplified bagel recipe so you will not have to wait hours to enjoy them. In less than 1 hour, you got yourself a homemade bagel, warm and fresh from the oven. What could be better than that? Let’s get started!
- 1 3/4 cup bread flour
- 1 tsp active yeast
- 1 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter – slightly melted (microwaved 30 seconds)
- 3/4 cup water (110F)
- 1 cup (125g/4 ounces) Cheddar Cheese
- 2 large fresh jalapeno pepper – sliced thinly or diced
- 1 Egg (separate egg yolk from egg white)
- 1 tsp water or milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set it aside.
Dry Ingredients: In the bowl of your stand mixer with dough attachment, place the bread flour, yeast, granulated sugar and salt. Make sure that the salt is not side by side or in direct contact with the yeast. Use a handheld whisk to combine well.
Wet Ingredients: Gradually add the 3/4 cup water and slightly melted butter, and mix on low-speed with the paddle attachment then switch to dough hook once combined. Raise the mixer speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes. You may or may not need all the 3/4 cup water depending on the texture of the flour you are using. Sometimes I have 1-2 tbsp water left over. Stop as soon as dough is smooth and it starts to come together and you achieved a clean bowl (no four sticking to the bowl). The final dough will be soft and slightly sticky. You should get a clean bowl at this stage. A clean bowl means you are on the right track in terms of dough texture.
Shape: Take the dough out of the bowl, and form it into a ball. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces. Form into a ball, and using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough about 3.5 inches diameter. Use your thumb to create a hole in the center and work through the hole to make it larger. The final size should be around 4-inches. Make the hole as wider because it will become small once it starts to rise and bake. Let sit for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Egg wash: Make the egg wash by mixing egg yolk and water or milk. Brush top and sides with egg wash. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese then arrange sliced or diced jalapeno peppers on top of each bagel. Sprinkle more cheese on top (as desired)
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese turns brown and dry.
- Bread can be made without stand mixer. Use a large bowl to mix the ingredients and manually knead the dough in a floured surface until it comes together.
- As the bread bakes and puff-up, the hole in the center will close. When you remove the bread from the oven, use the end of a laddle to trace the hole and make it bigger.
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