homemade asiago, parmesan or cheddar cheese bagels

So, yesterday I showed you some delicious bagels...  the classic, plain style.  Today, I am showing you my favorite bagels...  cheese bagels!!

Asiago cheese bagels to be exact, but I have never turned down a parmesan or cheddar bagel either.  

The cheese really fancies up this treat and makes it extra special...  not that homemade bagels aren't pretty-darn special in themselves!

Homemade Asiago, Parmesan or Cheddar Cheese Bagels Recipe
adapted from An Epic Change
makes 12 bagels

3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/3 cups warm water (about 105ºF), plus a bit more
1 tablespoon butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 cups shredded asiago, parmesan or cheddar cheese

In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve the yeast with the sugar and warm water and let sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy.

Dump in the butter, salt & flour and mix with the dough hook attachment until the dough is smooth, elastic & tough...  At least 10 minutes.  (If the dough is not wanting to come together, or looks too dry, add water a tablespoon or so at a time, until the dough has come together).

Drizzle a bit of oil or melted butter on top of the ball of dough, turning once to coat, and then cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft-free place.  (Unless it's the middle of summer, I usually wrap the bowl in a blanket and then place the whole bundle under the covers in my bed!  Works like a charm!).

Let the dough rise until double, 30-60 minutes, depending on how warm your house is.  Once the dough looks twice as big and you can gently press two fingers in the center of the dough and the indentation stays, it is ready.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead a few times.  Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and form each one into a ball.

Take the first ball and press a hole through the center with your thumb, turning in the edges and stretching it a bit to get a nice bagel-sized hole.  Repeat with all of the dough balls, placing them onto a floured board when they are done.

Cover the board loosely with plastic wrap and let the bagels rest for 30 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425ºF and bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Once the bagels have rested, drop 2 or 3 at a time into the boiling water.  Let them boil for 1 minute or so and then flip them over and boil the other side for another minute or so.

Remove them to a parchment-lined and lightly greased baking sheet, and repeat with all the dough.

As soon as the bagels come out of the water, sprinkle them generously with the shredded cheese.  You can even sprinkle some cheese underneath them if you want extra-cheesiness!

Once you have 6 bagels on a baking sheet (you will have 12 bagels, so you need 2 baking sheets!), place the tray into the oven to bake for 18 minutes or so, until the bagels are nicely golden brown.

Let the bagels cool completely and then store them in an airtight container.  If you are not going to eat them all in the first day or two, slice them in half and freeze them for freshness!

(Here's your bagel-freezing tip of the day again:  Whether they are from the store, or homemade, make sure you slice them before you freeze them.  That way you can grab one out, pop it in the toaster and voilá...  you have a fresh, perfect bagel!)

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