Chili-Spiced Bagels with Jalapeño Cream Cheese

Some recipes are not easy. This would be one of those.

But for a special brunch on the ranch or for just something different, this is a great savory combination.

Bagels are a weird bread for sure. They are boiled before they are baked and often you judge a bagel by the degree of chew. The pre-cooking in water both gelatinizes the starch which keeps the bread from getting crunchy and kills off some of the yeast making it rise less in the oven.

I like everything with chili so it made sense to create this combination of savory bagel. Although I prefer them with cream cheese, there is no reason that you could not also make a breakfast sandwich with eggs and sausage or bacon. The bagels can be made the day before and toasted when you are hungry.

1 1/4 cups water, lukewarm

3 cups white bread flour

3/4 cup whole wheat bread flour

2 tbs sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 egg

2 to 3 tbs chili spice rub, such as Dan’s House Spicy Rub

8 oz cream cheese, softened

10 or so pickled jalapeño slices, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Sift the flours, sugar and sea salt together and then combine with the lukewarm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the dough. Knead the dough for at least 8 minutes until it forms a smooth ball. Leave in a greased bowl and cover with a towel for at least 90 minutes.

Divide the dough into 10 pieces (they should weigh about 80 grams each). Roll them into even balls and place them on a greased parchment. Cover with a towel and allow them to sit at room temperature for 20 min.

Create a hole in each bagel with your thumb and forefinger measuring initially about 1 1/2″ and them place them on individual parchment squares on a clean baking tray. Allow them to rise in a 95 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add baking soda to 3 quarts of water and heat to boiling on the stove. Individually, place the bagels and their parchment in the boiling water and remove the paper flipping them over on their tops. Boil about 30 to 60 seconds and flip them over and boil for another 30 to 60 seconds. Remove with a spatula and place on a greased parchment on a clean baking pan.

When all the bagels are boiled, paint them with an egg wash made with 1 egg and 1 tbs of water. Then apply an even coating of the chili rub. Bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes until brown. Remove them too cool on a wire rack.

Place the cream cheese in a stand mixer and whip until softened and light. Add the jalapeños, salt, and pepper and mix until combined. Serve.

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Dan McCoy