Servings: 8 bagels
Storage Life of Ingredients: 1 year
We love cheese bagels! Especially when we turn them into bagel breakfast sandwiches.
Measure water with a candy thermometer to make sure it is between 105° and 115°. If your water is too cold, it will not activate the yeast. If it is too warm, it will kill the yeast. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl, stir, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
While the yeast is activating, whisk together 2 cups of flour with the salt.
Once the yeast foams, add it to the mixing bowl.
With the paddle attachment, mix together the yeast and 1 cup of the flour and salt mixture. Beat for two minutes. This will stretch the gluten. It allows the flour to hydrate evenly and gives the dough more elasticity.
Change to the dough hook and add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time. When you have added all of the flour and salt mixture, continue adding bread four until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 10 minutes. I live in a hot, dry desert. Usually I can add 3 cups of flour to this bagel recipe. Today is a very hot day and I was only able to add 2-1/4 cups of flour. The amount of flour you will add will change depending on the day and the amount of humidity in the air. Higher altitudes can also change the amount of flour you add. The important thing is to pay attention to how the dough pulls away from the mixing bowl. If it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and the bottom is clean like the picture below, your dough is perfect. If it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, and then while you are kneading it gets sticky at the bottom of the bowl, add a little bit more flour.
Place dough in a greased bowl and brush the top of the dough with oil.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425°. Punch down dough and divide into eight balls. I roll them between my hands first, then place them on the bread board and roll them with a cupped hand.
Push your thumb through the middle of each ball to make a hole.
Stretch the hole with your fingers.
Then rotate the bagel ring around your index finger to smooth out the hole.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place bagels top side down in the boiling water and boil for one minute on each side. Remove bagels from water with a slotted spatula and place on a greased cookie sheet.
If using freeze-dried cheese, reconstitute according to package directions. Make an egg wash by reconstituting a dehydrated egg white, following the package directions. Mix it with 1 tablespoon water.
Brush the egg white wash on each bagel.
Add grated cheddar cheese to the tops of the bagels.
Bake at 425° for 20 minutes, until bagels are a light golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!
Bread Flour: Bread flour can be stored in 5 gallon food-grade buckets with resealable lids. Layer the flour with bay leaves to keep the weevils away. Grains will keep for at least a year using this method.
Yeast: I always keep my yeast in the freezer. Label it with the date bought and the date it expires so you will know how long it will last on your shelf if the power goes out. It will last at least a year if kept in the freezer.
Sugar: I store my sugar in 5 gallon food-grade buckets with resealable lids. Sugar will last indefinitely if sealed properly.
Cheese: Freeze-dried cheese tastes like regular grated cheese. It melts in casseroles and is my cheese of choice for storage. Like crystallized eggs, freeze-dried cheese costs twice as much as the grated cheese you buy in the grocery store. Store half of the cheese needed for a year’s supply using freeze-dried, and the other half using packages of grated cheese, stored in the freezer. Freeze-dried cheese is good for five to ten years, so it only has to be replaced every five years. This is an estimated storage shelf life. You should always check the expiration date on the container or check with the manufacturer. Once the cheese is opened, place it in a freezer storage bag and keep it in the freezer. Label the bag with directions for reconstituting. One cup of cheddar cheese is equal to four ounces of frozen, shredded, cheddar cheese. There are ten cups in a #10 can of freeze-dried, shredded cheddar cheese.
Oil: Canola oil will last approximately a year on your pantry shelf in its original container. Make sure you check the best by date on the container as you will not know how long it has been sitting on the store shelves.