Quick, easy and delicious jalapeño cheddar bagels. Excellent toasted with cream cheese or try them for sandwiches, too. Ready in just about 2 hours!
Why I love these jalapeño bagels
- These jalapeño bagels are quick and easy to make and full of flavour. And while they aren’t as dense and chewy as the longer-rising 2-day bagels I sometimes make, I’m totally fine with that. These ones are ready in just a couple of hours and they are delicious.
- You can enjoy these delicious bagels toasted with butter, or with cream cheese to channel jalapeño poppers. As these are lighter bagels, they also works really well for bagel breakfast or regular sandwiches.
What you’ll need
And a few notes about the key ingredients …
Yeast – You can use either Active Dry Yeast or regular Instant Yeast (such as SAF) for these bagels.
Jalapeño – Fresh jalapeños that are seeded, cored and diced are recommended. I haven’t tried these with jarred jalapeños. I suspect it would work, though they may not handle the kneading in process as well.
Cheddar Cheese – Any cheddar cheese is fine here, but a old or sharp cheddar cheese will provide the best flavour and I think yellow cheddar makes the prettiest bagels. I generally shred fresh, but pre-shredded is fine here, too.
Cornmeal – I add a Tablespoon of cornmeal to the bagel dough, as well as using it to sprinkle the parchment paper to prevent sticking. I like the bit of flavour it adds to the bagels and it works well on the baking sheet. That said, if you don’t have cornmeal on hand, you can omit from the dough and for the baking sheet, grease the parchment instead.
- Mix together the dough, adding enough flour to create a slightly tacky dough that wraps the dough hook and cleans the bowl.
- Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead in the jalapeños and cheddar.
- Add the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- The dough after rising.
- Gently deflate the dough, then weigh the entire dough ball.
- Divide the total weight by 8 to get the weight each piece should be and then weigh them out (mine were 117g).
- Form the dough pieces into balls.
- Poke a hole in the middle of the ball and run your fingers around the hole to smooth and stretch the hole. Place onto the baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise 30 minutes.
- Bagels after the second rise.
- Boil the bagels for 1 minute per side, then return to the same baking sheet.
- Brush the bagels with an egg wash.
- Top the bagels with jalapeño slices and a bit of extra cheddar before baking.
- As with all yeast baking, only add as much flour as you need to get a moist dough that cleans the bowl. The exact amount will vary from kitchen to kitchen, so trust what you see. For this batch, I did not need to add quite all of the last cup of flour.
- Be sure to take your time kneading in the jalapeño and cheddar cheese. At first it will seem that a lot of it just falls out. Just scoop it back up, place it back in and keep kneading, until it all seems evenly distributed in the dough.
- I like to weigh the dough ball after the first rise and then divide by 8, to get the exact weight of each bagel, so they are all the same size. They will cook more evenly that way. If you don’t have a scale, simply divide the dough into 8 equal pieces as best you can.
- Before boiling the bagels, stretch out the holes a bit more, as the bagels will expand when boiled and you don’t want the hole to close in.
Storing and freezing
Store cooled jalapeno cheddar bagels in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
These bagels freeze beautifully well wrapped, up to 3 months. Thaw wrapped to avoid them drying out. Frozen bagels can go straight from the freezer to the toaster!
Get the Recipe: Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) lukewarm water, about 105F
- 4 teaspoon (14 g) active dry or instant yeast
- 1 Tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine table salt
- 1 Tablespoon cornmeal, optional, plus more for baking pan
- 4 cups (600 g) all purpose flour, approximately
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and cored and finely diced (about 2 avg jalapenos), plus more slices for topping
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) cheddar cheese, shredded, well packed, plus more for topping
For boiling bagels:
- 2 Tablespoons baking soda
Egg wash for brushing before topping:
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
For topping before baking:
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) cheddar cheese, shredded, well packed
- 24 jalapeño slices, thinly sliced (optional)
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook, combine the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the salt, cornmeal and 2 (250g) cups of the all purpose flour. Mix to combine. Add another cup of flour and mix in well. Begin adding the last cup of flour in small increments, mixing well between additions and adding flour only until the dough wraps around the kneading hook and cleans the bowl. *You may not need all of the last cup OR you may need a bit more that the last cup. Use as much flour as you need to get a moist, smooth dough that cleans the bowl.
- Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead in the jalapeno pepper and the 1/3 cup of cheddar cheese. *Take your time doing this. A lot will fall out as you knead. Just scoop it up and place on top and keep kneading. Knead until the cheese and jalapeno are evenly distributed in the dough.
- Place dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- Prepare a large baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the parchment with a bit of cornmeal. Set aside.
- Remove dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Divide dough into 8 equal-sized pieces. *I like to weigh the whole dough ball first, then divide by 8 to get the weight I need for each piece. In my case, that was about 119g per piece. I weigh each piece out so they are all the exact same size.
- Form the 8 dough pieces into balls, then using your fingers, poke a hole in the middle and stretch the hole gently, into a bagel shape. Place shaped bagels on the prepared baking sheet.
- Cover the bagels with a clean tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat oven to 400F (not convection bake).
- When bagels are ready, add baking soda to boiling water. Gently re-stretch the hole in the bagels, to make sure the bagel hole doesn't close in when boiled. Add 2 or 3 bagels to the boiling water and boil 1 minute per side (2 minutes total). Use a slotted spoon to remove the bagels from the water, allowing the excess water to drip off before placing them back onto the same parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels until all have been boiled. Brush top of bagels with eggs wash, then sprinkle with the additional shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake in preheated 400F (regular bake setting/not fan assisted) oven for about 22-23 minutes. Check at 20 minutes and cover top loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil for the last few minutes of baking, if they are at risk of over-browning. Bagels should be deep golden and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and transfer the bagels to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Bagels will keep well a couple of days at room temperature or a few days more if kept in the fridge. They also freeze beautifully.
More Bagel Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!