When it comes to the weekend, it’s all about the homemade biscuits or bagels! Before social distancing, the thought of homemade bread made me really nervous lol. The kneading, the rising, what if the yeast doesn’t activate and the list goes on. There are many variables that come into play when working with yeast, but I promise you. If you adhere to a few guidelines, you can get a fab bread even using expired yeast! (most of my yeast was expired this year as it was hard to find at the height of the pandemic.)
When it comes to bagels, results may vary wherever you go. If you’ve ever had an NYC bagel, you’ll understand the stark difference in quality and won’t settle for a pedestrian bagel. So once I had the time to sit down and give it a go, I was off to the races creating countless varieties. View all the other bagel recipes here. If you can’t find a good bagel and hate store bought, homemade is the way to go!
Since we’ve done so many varieties, I was brainstorming of the next flavor and thought I should do one that is just a crowd please all around.. and the staples vegan Cheese Bagels with Chive Cream Cheese were born!
Let’s talk vegan cheese! just like bagels the quality varies in terms of texture and flavor. I’ll be honest, most times they are underwhelming. However, when it comes to a cheese that melts, I find that the shredded works pretty well. Bonus, it’s dairy free and you’re not left with a big greasy mess, enabling the bagels to hold up longer in terms of freshness.
What’s fab about this bagel recipe? Everything! It’s fairly quick, requires only 5 mins of kneading, can be made overnight, you can switch up the flavors as you like and just use the base, they can easily be made in bulk, the cheese flavor is perfect for any season, it pairs seamlessly with the chive cream cheese and is great for brunch entertaining!
If you love homemade bread or all things cheese, you have to try these new vegan Cheddar Bagels with Chive Cream Cheese!
Make the dough: Whisk the warm water and yeast together in the bowl. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes to activate.
Add the flour, sugar, and salt and combine with your hands. The dough is very stiff and will look somewhat dry, but won’t be once you knead it.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 4-5 minutes. I don’t recommend a mixer as the dough is too heavy.
Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. If the dough doesn’t double, give it more time to rise. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Shape the bagels: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. If the dough seems too wet, add a lil flour 1/2 tbsp at a time on your hands. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, doesn’t have to be exact.
Shape each piece into a ball. Press a finger through the center of each ball to make a hole about 1.5 – 2 inches in diameter. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with kitchen towel and rest while you prepare the water bath. (15 mins) Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
Water bath: Fill a large, wide pot with 2 quarts of water. Whisk in the maple syrup. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. Drop bagels in, 1 or 2 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 1 minute on each side. Once removed, immediately garnish with shredded vegan cheddar cheese. Place 4 bagels onto each lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow bagels to cool on the baking sheets for 15-20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chive Cream Cheese: In a dish combine the cream cheese can chives. Keep bagels in a sealed container at room temperature to maintain freshness. * To freeze them for later use, do so immediately after baking.
Make Overnight: To make the dough overnight, on the first rise I cover and place in the fridge. In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let the dough rise for 45 minutes at room temperature. Then proceed with the remaining steps!