These asiago cheese bagels are a hit in my family, and I have to make them at least once a week. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
My kids would eat bagels every morning for breakfast if I let them. Spoiler alert: I don’t let them.
Needless to say, every time I go to the store, they beg me to buy them. Spoiler alert: I only rarely buy them.
Why do I rarely buy them? It is so easy to make homemade bagels, and I’d rather we make them ourselves.
I make all kinds of bagels, starting with the “plain” bagels I’ve been making for years. We also regularly make chocolate chip bagels, blueberry bagels, and everything bagels.
But their all time favorite is the asiago cheese bagels we make.
These are chewy bagels that toast up beautifully. I can make a batch of these – which gives me 15 bagels – and within two days, my family has eaten each and every one.
They claim they’re better than the bagels we get from Einstein Brothers or Panera, and I think they’re right. Any time you make something from scratch, there’s just something about enjoying it fresh from the oven….
Do I have to use asiago cheese?
Well no, of course you don’t have to use asiago cheese. That’s half the fun of cooking – you get to decide.
There are times I’m out when I want to make my asiago cheese bagels. You can easily substitute romano or parmesean cheese in place of the asiago cheese.
Depending on the cheese you use, you’ll get a slightly different flavor to your bagel in the end, and that’s just fine. I’ve even grated cheddar cheese over bagels before, and they turned out well.
Can I use pregrated cheese?
I would avoid pregrated cheese if you can at all do so. The anti caking agents they add to the cheese to keep it from sticking in the bag tends to also keep it from melting nicely.
Instead, use a brick of cheese and grate it just before you apply it to your bagels. I actually usually use my cheese grater and grate the asiago directly onto my bagels.
While I use my zester most of the time to grate hard cheeses, you don’t want light and fluffy cheese for your asiago cheese bagels, so use a grater with a larger hole for this purpose.
How hot should my water be to make the dough?
You want your water to be warm to the touch but not so hot that it’s uncomfortable. Warmer water helps yeast activate more, and your dough will rise faster.
However, when water gets too hot, it kills yeast and your bagels won’t rise at all. Most people set their hot water heaters to a max temp of 120 degrees, so you don’t have to worry too much about this.
Want more yeast tips? Check out this article on everything you need to know about baking with yeast.
Shouldn’t I let my dough rise longer?
Not for bagels! Bagels require far less rise time than pretty much any other yeast bread out there.
The longer you let something rise, the lighter and airier the dough becomes. However, bagels are meant to be somewhat dense and chewy.
More importantly, if you try to boil a bagel that’s risen too much, it doesn’t work well at all. The bagel gets misshapen or falls flat, and no one wants that.
Why do I boil bagels?
When you boil bagels, that creates the texture of the bagel crust and the chewiness you expect from a bagel. Don’t skip this step.
The longer you boil the bagel, the chewier the crust gets. However, boiling does also start to kill off the yeast and will prevent bagels from rising more in the oven.
That being said, boil your bagels, but don’t boil them too long. If you feel like your bagels are flat and too dense, boil them for 30 seconds less.
How hot should my water be when I boil bagels?
The water should be simmering, not at a rolling boil. A rolling boil is too tough on bagels and will also cause them to become misshapen.
Get your water to the point that it steams and has small bubbles from the edge of the pan. That ensures the water is hot enough without damaging your bagels.
If you’re a visual learner, watch the video tutorial for more tips!
How to Make Asiago Cheese Bagels
Making the bagel dough
Add the hot water to your bowl, then pour the yeast atop the water and sprinkle in the sugar. Mix it well.
Add the vegetable oil, then 2 cups of flour and the salt. Mix until combined.
Slowly add more flour, a cup at a time then a half cup at a time, mixing between each addition. You want a stiff dough but not one that is dry.
Depending on how humid it is where you make this, you may need a cup or more – or less – flour than the recipe states. As with all bread making, be flexible in your flour measurements.
Once you have a dough, knead it for seven minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. If you knead by hand, give yourself a few extra minutes.
Cover the dough with a lightly dampened kitchen towel, and let it rise for 15 minutes. Yes, this is a short rise time.
Forming the bagels
After rising, remove the towel and shape your bagels. To ensure even cooking time, consider using a digital kitchen scale to weigh your dough pieces, but even if you don’t, do your best to keep them the same size.
You can make bagels anywhere from 1.5 ounces for relatively small bagels up to 3 ounces for larger bagels more like what you’ll find at Panera or Einstein Brothers. Note that the cooking time will change, and smaller bagels may only need 20-25 minutes to bake.
Three ounce bagels should make 15 bagels to bake, and this is what I choose to make each time.
For each hunk of dough, roll it into a smooth circle. Use your thumb to poke a hole in the center of the bagel dough, and then enlarge the hole and smooth out the bagel to it doesn’t have any bulges or lumps on one side or another.
Place the formed bagel onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough, noting that you will need two cookie sheets for all the asiago cheese bagels.
If you make a mistake in forming the bagel, just start over and redo it. Bread dough is awfully forgiving!
Cover the cookie sheets with a kitchen towel again, and let them rise for another 20 minutes.
Baking off the asiago cheese bagels
While the homemade bagels rise a second time, heat a pot of water. You want about two quarts of water in a heavy pot that has enough room for three to four bagels to float without touching.
Add sugar to the water, which will help with the browning without impacting the taste of the bagels. If you want them to have more of a pretzel type taste to your bagel, go ahead and add two tablespoons of baking soda to the water, as well.
After the 20 minute rise, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Once the water is simmering or just a little more than simmering, carefully pick up three bagels and gently place them into the water.
Let them boil for two minutes, then use a chopstick or a spider to flip them over. Boil them for another two minutes on the second side before you remove them to the cookie sheet with the parchment paper or silpat.
Repeat for each of the bagels. Ensure the water doesn’t get to a rolling boil, and keep the bagels from touching while in the water.
While each batch is boiling, go ahead and grate the asiago cheese atop the newly boiled bagels. The cheese adheres better to a slightly wet bagel, so don’t wait until you have them all boiled before you top them.
Bake the bagels for 30-35 minutes (down to 20-25 if you made 1.5 ounce bagels) until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, then store in a tightly sealed container up to two days on your counter.
If you won’t finish them within two days, slice them in half so they’re easier to toast, and freeze them. They last well in the freezer for up to two months.
Have you ever made asiago cheese bagels?
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
For the bagels:
For the Boiling:
Nutrition Information: Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1 bagel
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 331mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.