Quick, easy and delicious homemade jalapeño and cheddar cheese bagels. Excellent toasted with cream cheese or try them for sandwiches, too. Ready in just about 2 hours!
I love these jalapeño and cheddar cheese bagels! They 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.
Enjoy these delicious bagels toasted with butter, or plain with cream cheese to channel jalapeño poppers. As these are lighter bagels, they also works really well for bagel breakfast or regular sandwiches, as they aren’t as heavy as typical bagels.
Yeast – You can use either Active Dry Yeast or regular Instant Yeast (such as SAF) for these bagels. Quick-rising or rapid-rise yeast is not recommended.
All-purpose Flour – Use either bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour. Unbleached all purpose flour is recommended, if possible.
Jalapeño – Fresh jalapeños that are seeded, cored and diced are recommended. I haven’t tried these with jarred jalapenos. 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 medium-old 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.
You will also need – salt, sugar, 1 egg for egg wash and baking soda for the boiling water.
This is a visual summary of the process to make these bagels. Always refer to the complete instructions in the Recipe Card below when making this recipe, as the photos may not cover every step.
Mix the dough, adding only as much flour as is needed to get a moist, smooth dough that wraps around the kneading hook and cleans the bowl. Knead in the jalapeño and cheese,
Set to rise until doubled. Portion out into 8 pieces, form in a ball, then poke a hole in the middle for the bagel shape. Cover and let rise again, then boil in a large pot of water. Brush tops with egg wash, sprinkle with more cheese and bake.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- These bagels freeze beautifully, so they are always handy to enjoy anytime.
Get the Recipe: Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bagels
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, about 105F
- 4 tsp active dry or instant yeast, not fast or rapid-rising instant yeast
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1 Tbsp cornmeal, optional, plus more for baking pan
- 4 cups all purpose flour, approximately
- 1/3 cup fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and cored and finely diced (about 2 avg jalapenos)
- 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, well packed
For boiling bagels:
- 2 Tbsp baking soda
Egg wash for brushing before topping:
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp water
For topping before baking:
- 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, well packed
- 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 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 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), then remove to the same baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels until all have been boiled. Brush top of bagels with eggs wash, then sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake in preheated 400F 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. 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.