In this episode of “Weird Qualities That Jessica Possesses” we learn that she doesn’t really like bread.

Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels I

And we learn that possesses has a heck of a lot of s’s.

It’s not that I don’t LIKE it. I do. It’s just not the first thing I think of when I’m all OMGIneedfoodnow. I’m simply not a bread person and can easily pass up the dinner basket unless I’m starvvvving. Which yeah… feels like all the time.

But still, I prefer to think of bread as a vehicle for something much more delicious. Like smashed avocado with sea salt and lime. Or a plate full of olive oil sprinkled with parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Or really creamy peanut butter with a layer of melted chocolate chips. Or melty brie topped with macerated strawberries. Or even… cut into little cubes and mixed with bacon and other delicious bites then doused with gravy on that thing we call Thanksgiving.

That’s what I think of bready stuff. And believe me, I thank my lucky stars that I don’t have the bread addiction like so many others, but I MORE than make up for it with a cheesecake, cookie, pizza and mac and cheese addiction. Pick your poison.

Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels I

Now the kicker: things like buttermilk biscuits, cornbread and banana bread don’t really fall under those specifications because, well… they are buttermilk biscuits, cornbread and banana bread.

And bagels too. I love bagels as much as the next guy (but really, who IS that even?), however they gotta meet these three conditions:

They must be fresh.

They must be PERFECTLY toasted. Like, perfectly.

They must be blanketed by a spread or sandwich-like things.

Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels I

If right about now you are thinking “wow, this chick is seriously high maintenance and I feel bad for those within a 16 mile radius of her”… then you are certainly right.

I am.

Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels I

[And if you know anyone else that posts pictures of their very dirty home appliances on the internet, you should probably send them my way. I clearly need friends.]

Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels I

Last week I stopped by my parents’ house and on the counter I spied a BAG full of asiago bagels. After I checked the fridge… of course. That’s always the very first thing I do. Obviously.

But wait… why do parents always have the best food? Why do things taste like five kajillion times better at their house?

Why do I want to consume food that I normally don’t even care about when I visit, like gumdrops and buttered rum muffins and two-week old cold pizza and stale-but-buttery Ritz crackers?



If I love bagels, I love asiago cheese bagels like sixty times more. If I found it feasible to waste a day’s worth of calories on bread alone, I would trek to Panera every single freaking day.

Oh but wait. I don’t have to. Because I MADE MY OWN. And they are easy. Promise. Super promise. It only took me four or five tries, which yeah, was a massive pain, but now? I have asiago cheese bagels for life.

Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels I

Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels

[adapted from both foodnetwork and king arthur flour]

makes 12-15 bagels

10-12 ounces freshly grated asiago cheese

2 cups warm water

2 packets active dry yeast

2 tablespoons honey

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar (for the water bath)

vegetable oil for brushing

In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine water, yeast and honey, stir to combine, then let sit until foamy, about 10-15 minutes. Once foamy, gradually add in salt, 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of bread flour with the mixer on low speed. After 5 minutes or so, if the dough is still sticky, add the remaining bread flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and mix until combined. Remove the dough from the bowl (it should be thick and stiffer than most yeast breads) and knead a few times with your hands, forming it into a ball. Add the remaining all purpose flour if the dough is still sticky.

Brush a large bowl with oil and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place (I turn on my oven and set it on top) until it’s double in size – about 1 hour.

Once doubled, punch down the dough and place it on your counter, using a little more flour if needed to prevent it from sticking. Divide the dough into 12 pieces (I actually got 15) that are 2.5-3 ounces each. Using your kitchen scale here is priceless! Rolls the dough into balls, then places on an oiled baking sheet, cover and let rise for 30 minutes. At this time, grate your cheese and place it in a large bowl.

After 30 minutes, fill a large pot with water and add brown sugar, letting it come to a boil. While the water is heating up, take each round of dough and poke a hole straight through the middle, twirling it gently on your finger to create the bagel “look.” Place back down on the baking sheet and let rest for 10-15 minutes, while the water comes to a rolling boil.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If needed/desired, grease another baking sheet. I did this as I found it was easier to place the bagels on.

Once boiling, add 3-4 bagels at a time. Let cook for 2 minutes on one side, then using the end of a wooden spoon, flip the bagel and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove bagels one at a time and place in the bowl of asiago cheese, turning to coat and lightly pressing to adhere. Transfer to the greased baking sheet for final baking and repeat. Once all the bagels (or as many that can fit on your sheet) are finished, place in the oven and bake for 28-35 minutes. I began checking mine after 20 minutes just to ensure that they cheese wasn’t burning. It never burnt, but it did get golden and delicious!

Let bagels cool completely before serving, then toast or eat as desired.

[Note: I did try making the “starter” as noted in the king arthur recipe three times, and all three times I did not like the result of my bagels. This basic recipe without a starter or sponge is what worked best for me.]

Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels I

Still trying to figure out if this is a wonderful or terrifying thing. Halllllp me.

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198 Responses to “Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels.”

  1. #
    Nicole H. — February 1, 2012 @ 8:00 am

    OMG! I think I just drooled all over my keyboard. This is my FAV kind of bagel (of all time, of all eternity… etc etc. you get the point)!

    This is a wonderful thing! and thanks for sharing this great recipe!! You totally just made my day! (also my birthday!)


    • Jessica — February 1st, 2012 @ 8:02 am

      Happy birthday – have a great day!


      • Nicole H. — February 1st, 2012 @ 8:04 am

        Thanks so much!!! You too!

  2. #
    jessica lynn — February 1, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    I can’t even handle how much I want one of those bagels right now. They look just like (if not better-looking) the bagels from my favorite bagel shop back home. I’m so excited for this recipe. *drool*


    • jessica lynn — February 1st, 2012 @ 8:04 am

      p.s. have you tried making them with any amount of wheat flour? I know that sometimes makes it too dense, so I’m wondering if you’ve already tried that and nixed it.


      • Jessica — February 1st, 2012 @ 8:05 am

        I haven’t yet! I really wanted to master the regular bagel first. I don’t know if I’d ever do a whole wheat asiago one, but I’m thinking I might do whole wheat cinnamon sugar/raisin next!

  3. #
    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — February 1, 2012 @ 8:05 am

    Bagels, quick breads, and biscuits certainly aren’t the same as straight up bread, I hear you on that! These look so good, makes me wish it were bagel Friday right now!


  4. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — February 1, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    I LOVE bagels. My mom used to make huge batches of honey wheat when we were growing up and she’d use some dough for pita breads too. Bread day was amazing; the whole house smelled unreal and fresh, hot bread? There’s not much better!


  5. #
    Kristin — February 1, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    Oh yum! You are my hero. :)


  6. #
    Jess @ Bittersweet baker — February 1, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    I absolutely love bagels, these seem so easy to make and look absolutely delicious!


  7. #
    Heather @girlichef — February 1, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    I’m pretty picky about my bagels, as well. Asiago is one of my favorites…and I feel a NEED to head into the kitchen and try a batch of these beauties very soon!


  8. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — February 1, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    I’m not a huge bread fan either, I can leave it or I can take it. The things that go on bread however are the sole purpose for eating the stuff. I LOVE this idea though Mmmmm!


  9. #
    Clare — February 1, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    oh what a beautiful slice of life. cheesy, gooey, wonderful life.


  10. #
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — February 1, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    Ooooh girl you are speakin’ my language! This is what I get when I go to Panera on occasion. To think I could make these at home could be a wonderful, dangerous thing!


  11. #
    Becki's Whole Life — February 1, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    Love the shot with the asiago cheese on the outside of the baked bagel – oh my…How fun to make your own bagels. It sounds like a bit of work, but still not too bad of a process. Stuff always tastes better at my parents house, too. I usually gorge myself while I am there!


  12. #
    Mara @ What's For Dinner? — February 1, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    You’ve made my Jewish New York grandma proud… she was the pickiest of the picky when it came to bagels, and in her last few years, discovered Panera’s asiago bagels. She would always say “these are good, but these are not bagels.”
    These, my friend, are bagels. And they’d be Bertha (yes that was grandmas name) Approved :)


  13. #
    Erika - The Teenage Taste — February 1, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    1 – I think you’re crazy for not liking bread. I’m a complete carbaholic!
    2 – These bagels look fabbbbulllllooouuuuusss! Asiago cheese is the bomb! :-D


  14. #
    Katrina — February 1, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    I love this idea!


  15. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — February 1, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    Making my own bagels was by far the best thing I ever did with y life – or the worst. I can’t decide either.

    And I do the same thing when I go to my parents house!


  16. #
    Marisa — February 1, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    So weird, a girlfriend of mine and I JUST made bagels this past weekend. AND of course we put cheese on them. But we used a pesto cheese. They were delicious…and gone.

    What in the world is a “starter?”


    • Jessica — February 1st, 2012 @ 9:41 am

      I am not a bread-baking expert by ANY means, but from what I know a starter is a small amount of dough made a head of time – for instance with these bagels I tried it with, I made the starter (flour, water, yeast) at night and let it sit over night, then you use it to make your dough in the morning. I guess maybe it helps quicken the yeast or something? I dunno. But sourdough bread is always made with a starter and often the starter is OLD… like passed on and on. Which sounds gross, but is a good thing.


  17. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — February 1, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    i think this is why we’re friends…we balance eachother out because OHMYGOSHILOVEBREAD. i don’t care if i’m exhausted beyond belief this weekend, i’m making these!


  18. #
    Megan — February 1, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    I think we’re soul mates…

    I don’t like bread and would rather save calories for cookies and cake.

    And banana bread and biscuits DO NOT count as bread!



  19. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — February 1, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    Funny story, when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter (13 years ago, GULP), I was so sick all the time and Panera’s bagels were one of the few things I could tolerate. I ate so many asiago cheese bagels in those months that I have never eaten one since.

    I think it’s time to change that. I think I’m ready. But first, could you send me some :)


  20. #
    Erica — February 1, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    oh, I LOVE bread. I’m mostly a savory vs. sweet person though. You throw some cheese on top of there? Now we’re REALLY talking. Goodness..these look like they were made in a professional bakery. Seriously, when are you opening one?


  21. #
    Bev Weidner — February 1, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    WHUUUUUUT. Asiago cheese bagels are my LIFE. They remind me of simpler times. But that’s for another comment.


  22. #
    Meg — February 1, 2012 @ 8:58 am

    Oh lord these look amazing! These would be perfect for a brunch! Must make!


  23. #
    Kathryn — February 1, 2012 @ 8:58 am

    I always raid my parents’ fridge as soon as I get there. You’re so right about their food tasting better. Mine never have stuff like this though so I’m going to have to do it all myself and make them aren’t I?


  24. #
    Maria — February 1, 2012 @ 9:03 am



  25. #
    Dana — February 1, 2012 @ 9:05 am

    WOW! I made some asiago bagels on New Years morning, but yours look even better! Now that i know how easy they are, i’m definitely going to give yours a try, too!


  26. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — February 1, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    I think your bagel criteria are perfectly reasonable. ;) Oh, and my appliances would make yours look like they’re sparking!


  27. #
    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — February 1, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    These are beautiful Jessica! They look so fluffy and perfect! :-D


  28. #
    Stephanie — February 1, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    O.M.G. Jessica. I want to make these so bad. But then I’d eat them all.

    I just need to keep telling myself weddingdressweddingdressweddingdressweddingdressweddingdress


  29. #
    Kim in MD — February 1, 2012 @ 9:20 am

    I have to admit that I am a bread lover, especially grilled bread! Grilled ciabatta bread, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and pepper and grilled to perfection, then rubbed with a raw garlic clove…heaven! Bagels? I can take them or leave them, but this recipe makes me want to make a batch a.s.a.p.! :-)


  30. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — February 1, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Bagel with cream cheese is one of my favorite things in the world… this definitely takes that meal to another level!


  31. #
    Barb Brown — February 1, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    Speaking of Ritz crackers…have you tried the Limited Edition fudge dipped Ritz crackers? OMG. If you haven’t, then disregard this message, and save yourself a few thousand calories. Don’t be like me.


    • Jessica — February 1st, 2012 @ 9:32 am

      Oye. I have not. I’m scared.


  32. #
    jill — February 1, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    Holy moly!! Asiago cheese is my choice of bagel at panera too!


  33. #
    krysten — February 1, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    Oh my! I want to live in the cheesy middle of that bagel! Ahhhhhhh!


    • Jessica — February 1st, 2012 @ 9:32 am

      That’s my favorite part too!!


  34. #
    Maria — February 1, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    These are calling my name!! I would love avocado on top of these babies!


  35. #
    Jen S — February 1, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    These look so amazing! It’s hard to get quality bagels where I live. This has inspired me to attempt my own!!


  36. #
    Jocelyn — February 1, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    I’m really not much of a bread person either…but I would be willing to change that fact for a few of these yummy looking bagels:-)

    (banana bread and muffins…totally not bread:-)


  37. #
    Alaina@mommysmenu — February 1, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Girl after my own heart…asiago bagels are my FAVORITE! Thank youuuu (for doing all the work!)


  38. #
    Melissa — February 1, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    I haven’t thought about a bagel since some time in college when I thought a salt bagel toasted with butter was a super healthy lunch and ate it nearly every day. And now I don’t think I can go another day without these. Damn you. And also, I love you.


  39. #
    Adrienne @ How to Ice a Cake — February 1, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    I am the exact same way about every time I go to someone’s house I always check their fridge. Obviously not the first time I visit (that might be a little weird…) but everyone else. It’s like a nervous tick or something. My toaster is also a disaster…no biggie. Super jealous of these bagels btw…want them now.


  40. #
    Tabitha (From Single to Married) — February 1, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    These are my most favorite kind of bagel – delish!


  41. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — February 1, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    I llooovvee bagels–which is a very bad thing. My university has their whole sweets counter and I always have to talk myself out of buying a bagel around 3 o’clock when I’m hungry and usually somewhat caffeine deprived. They don’t have asiago ones, but if they did I would probably be buying a lot more bagels. These look fantastic!!


  42. #
    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — February 1, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    totally agree about wanting food that you never even think about when you’re at your parents house. what is UP with that? I think you should try making panera’s cinnamon crunch bagel next-because it’s a bagel, but also like a dessert. Think about it…


  43. #
    Christina — February 1, 2012 @ 10:19 am

    Bagels look great, my daughter will be so excited to try these…..However, for me, the buttered rum muffins sound wonderful. Any chance you could snag that recipe??


  44. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — February 1, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    ohmygosh. i’m in love!! and you make it look so easy! i need to make these asap.


  45. #
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes — February 1, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    I LOVE bread! Can’t understand people who don’t :) This looks so easy that I just may have to try it!


  46. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — February 1, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    I don’t like you! You always show these wonderful bread recipes, and it is YOU who got me hooked to making bread and making bagels has been on the back of my mind and now you show me this!! Thanks alot, I now know what I’ll be making on Sunday! He he I can’t wait! You know I really love you and appreciate all of the wonderful recipes you post!!


  47. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — February 1, 2012 @ 10:41 am

    This is indeed a wonderful thing. I could live without a Panera the rest of my life if it weren’t for those Asiago bagels. Bagels and pretzels are two things I’ve want to try making at home forever but I’m always scared of the time intensiveness (and failing miserably). Thanks for taking one for the team here ;)


    • Jessica — February 1st, 2012 @ 10:42 am

      Oh my gosh – I promise – pretzels are SO easy and definitely worth it.


  48. #
    brandi — February 1, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    that crust! fresh bagels are the only way to go.


  49. #
    Michelle@AHealthyMrs — February 1, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    These look delicious! I’ve never tried to make my own bagels before, but I might have to give it a go :)


  50. #
    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — February 1, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    SO impressed with anyone who makes homemade bagels– I’ve never had the guts!!


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