When it comes to the weekend I love a good pancake, biscuit or bagel recipe! Since we’ve created upwards of 10 different vegan bagels I was on the hunt for the next best concept and I just knew, we had to do a Za’atar bagel!
What is Za’atar?
If you’ve every experienced Za’atar, you instantly become infatuated with it and are dreaming of what can put it on next. Za’atar is so multifaceted and dynamic because it’s a blend of so many different flavors, textures, and fragrances. Even though it varies greatly depending on where you are in the Middle East (specific recipes are sometimes closely-guarded secrets!), za’atar is generally a combination of dried oregano, thyme, and/or marjoram (woodsy and floral), with sumac (tangy and acidic) and toasted sesame seeds (nutty and rich).
So once you understand the love for all things Za’atar, these new vegan Za’atar Bagels with Tzatzki Cream Cheese just make sense! Tzatzki is typically dairy based, features cucumbers and dill. You’ll find it on the menu with everything from greek to middle eastern and persian dining concepts. It just pairs seamlessly with Za’atar, so a Tzazki cream cheese just made sense!
What’s great about this recipe? Everything! It’s my staple bagel recipe base, it takes only 5 minutes of kneading, 60 mins to rise, 5 mins of kneading, so easy, Za’atar adds aesthetic appeal, tons of flavor, its perfect for any season, dense yet buttery soft, these can be made overnight, and they pair so good with the Tzatzki Cream Cheese and are great for brunch entertaining!
If you love all things Za’atar, or just an easy homemade bagel, you have to try these new vegan Za’atar Bagels with Tzatzki 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 sprinkle with Za’atar seasoning. 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.
Tzatzki Cream Cheese: Peel cucumber and grate onto a paper towel. Squeeze and remove excess liquid. Chop into more fine pieces. Set aside. In a dish combine all of the ingredients adjusting the ingredients as desired. Slice the bagels, toast, and top with Tzatzki Cream Cheese. 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!