Truly the doughnut hole of the bagel world – magical and bite-sized. # 156: Bagel Bombs
Few things are better in the commuter breakfast world than a toasted everything bagel with fluffy cream cheese. It’s the perfect savory grab-n-go item: you get salt, umami from the garlic and onion, and creamy goodness from the cheese. The bagel bomb is simply a cuter version! It still has the close-textured crumb from it’s boiling-honey-and-baking-soda bath, creating a protective shield from the outside world that prevents the bagel from fluffing up while baking. I went into more detail in my Everything Bagels post from 2018!
I’ve only seen them in a cafe once here in Oakland (Timeless on Piedmont Ave has all sorts of fun pastries!) but apparently they’re quite common on the East Coast. Logistically it seemed like a nightmare – how do you seal the dough while it’s boiling?? – but I filed it away as a Someday Bake. Then I was reading Crave by Martha Collison (thanks Katie!) and her version of the recipe seemed so attainable that I literally got up and started pulling out the ingredients on the spot.
Martha is not only one of my all-time favorite GBBO contestants, but she also writes her recipes in such an encouraging and approachable way. I normally don’t fully read my cookbooks, but I read Crave cover to cover. (Also a total sucker for cute illustrations and fun colors . . . are you surprised?)
I used the dough hook to bring it all together, but kneaded it by hand for the last 5 or so minutes since it was so thick. Do you have a go-to kneading technique? I seem to favor the heel of my hand and prefer to be standing so I can push down and away. I know I haven’t done enough bread posts but that’s gonna change this year! 2020 is my Year of Bread. Of course, with plenty of chocolate, whipped cream, short crust and fruit-based desserts mixed in – I haven’t completely lost my mind.
Post dough nap. Look at how floof it got! It’s got little stretch marks.
Just had an amazing idea. You could dye these yellow (maybe a saffron or turmeric dough?) and make them into little minions. It might end up in the ranks of the mangled matcha turtle buns I once attempted, but you never know til you try!
Attempt to round out the little blobs of dough by tucking the corners underneath. Like little cat loaves who’ve tucked away all their paws! Then roll em out slightly and add your pearl of frozen cream cheese.
Pinch and roll till you get something adorable like this.
For the impatient bakers out there, bring your water/honey/baking soda to a boil while you’re shaping the balls. Once boiled, a few might rebel and not stay sealed but you can give them a stern talking to and bake them anyway.
All egg washed and decorated.
Wait for that perfect dark golden brown and voila! Bagel bombs for everyone! Or just for yourself for breakfast every day this week. No judgement.
Groot approves. Happy munching!
Recipe from Crave by Martha Collison