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.

share:    Pin It    

198 Responses to “Homemade Asiago Cheese Bagels.”

  1. #
    Margarita — February 2, 2012 @ 1:05 am

    What a brave woman you are! This is a must try!


  2. #
    Margarita — February 2, 2012 @ 1:06 am

    What a brave woman you are!


  3. #
    CouponClippingCook — February 2, 2012 @ 2:58 am

    omg. seriously my mouth is watering right now.


  4. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — February 2, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    That is me going to Panera every single day for one of these babies until now. These are my absolute down fall. Love them.


  5. #
    Caroline — February 2, 2012 @ 7:36 am

    I can see your teethmarks in the bagel on that last photo…
    I seriously love your recipes, your wonderful photos, but most of all, the way you write. It makes me laugh (I must not be the only one) and that is important.


    • Jessica — February 2nd, 2012 @ 8:01 am

      Thank you so much Caroline!


  6. #
    Joy B in Southern Indiana — February 2, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    Jessica! These look amazingly great! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipe and tutorial!!! Will have to try these, SOON!


  7. #
    thelittleloaf — February 2, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    I can’t quite relate to this post 100% as I’m obsessed with bread and could happily eat it without any topping…but I’m 99% there because I LOVE bagels. And with all that melted cheese on top? Wow. Great post.


  8. #
    Jo — February 2, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    More deliciousness – from a definite bread addict, but not all bread only some, and a bagel lover for sure, these look yummy, thank you Jessica.


  9. #
    Katie @ ohshineon — February 2, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    I think you nailed my addition right on the head.


  10. #
    Dana@TheSundaySweet — February 2, 2012 @ 11:21 am

    Love these, Jessica. And it’s alright to be high maintenance; it just means you know what you want!! Trust me, I know :)


  11. #
    Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) — February 2, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    I must be high maintenance, too, because I agree with your bagel “musts”. My cup of tea is feeling pretty lonely right now without one of your bagels next to it. I love the asiago cheese on top!


  12. #
    Jackie Thompson — February 2, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

    You’ve really gone out on a limb with these but I think they’re SO worth it! I LOVE cheese bagels ~ and asiago is brilliant!


  13. #
    Candy — February 2, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    Jessica, you are one of the funniest people I know. Also I find that I adore you even more now that I’ve seen your knarly oven racks. You’re brave and pretty and smart and….and… you’ll never walk alone…


  14. #
    Candy — February 2, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

    P.S. That “you’ll never walk alone” should be read in a Jerry Lewis voice, singing like he does in that wavery voice at the end of the MD telethon. I went way too far for that joke. Please, just talk amongst yourselves.


  15. #
    Kimberly :) — February 2, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    um…buttered rum muffins? Excuse me? <> You say you love us but you haven’t wrangled this recipe away from your mother yet?


    • Alyssa — March 22nd, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

      I second this!! :o)


  16. #
    kristi — February 2, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    I so badly want yeast to like me. Almost as much as I want Chris Harrison to like me, but not quite. I’ve tried to make friends about a dozen thems but every time it’s like yeast always gives me this blank, unrecognizing look and says, “I’m sorry, who are you again?” Crushed.


  17. #
    Courtney — February 2, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    Get out of my head! I feel EXACTLY how you feel about bread. I could totally go the rest of my life without it. Except banana bread, good bagels (crappy bagels are the worst), and corn bread. I sent this to my bf just so I could prove that there are other people out there that feel the same and that I’m not crazy! :)


  18. #
    Brian L. Baker — February 2, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    You are brave. I’ve never tried making bagels but I have been considering it. One comment though on the way you form your bagels. When watching real bagels being made, I have never seen the sticking a finger through the ball of dough method. I’ve always seen a worker cut a 3oz, or so, piece from the mother blob of dough, roll it out to about a 10″ log, then circle it and pinch it together to form the bagel. Only then is the second rise done.


    • Jessica — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

      The food network recipe called for them that way, however the king arthur (both linked above) called for poking a hole. I tried both and liked the result of the hole-poking better. However that is just me!


      • Brian L. Baker — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

        Thank you for the prompt and reply. Now, I wonder, which is more “authentic,” and does it matter? Probably not. :)

        • Jessica — February 2nd, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

          I’m thinking the roll into a rope then connect is probably the most authentic… but I only say that because it was Emeril’s recipe, ha. :)

  19. #
    cecilia g — February 2, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    Wow just as well you don’t like bread as well! Gorgeous as always! c


  20. #
    Jen Marie — February 2, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    Well, I’ll just consider myself lucky that you made this, because I, infact AM a bread-lover.
    I also happen to be an Asiago cheese lover.

    So, I also am a Jessica lover….. It just works like that. ;)


  21. #
    Karen — February 2, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

    These bagels look soooo good! They look so flavourful that the extra time spent on a starter probably wouldn’t make much difference anyway. I’m glad you gave us the recipe without it! Thanks.


  22. #
    Patti — February 2, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    I don’t know if I’m ultra-happy to have found your blog, or if this is going to be a curse! Bagels…I have always wanted to make my own bagels. Buffalo Chicken Soup? Extraordinary, a girl who originated in Buffalo MUST try this recipe! You make me laugh, a girl after my own heart. A brave soul who puts her dirty toaster “out” there, for the world to see…ya gotta love a woman like you. I am looking forward to stalking, I mean, following your blog!


  23. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — February 2, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    These look amazing! And it seems like a very similar process to making homemade pretzels which is fun, so bagels need to be my next bread endeavor!


  24. #
    Zesty Cook — February 2, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

    I can’t believe you made your own bagels. You are a ROCKSTAR.


  25. #
    Jen Laceda — February 2, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    Me and yeast are enemies. I never seem to be able to make any yeast products properly…booo…this bagel is sooooo cool, though! Looks scrumptious!


  26. #
    Susan — February 2, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    Have you frozen these?


  27. #
    Jennie — February 3, 2012 @ 12:15 am

    OMG. Beautiful. My favorite bagels ever. This site is awesome!


  28. #
    Javelin Warrior — February 3, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    These bagels are stunning! The best part – they’re made from scratch! I have featured your post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks for the inspiration…


  29. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — February 3, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    These are my FAVORITE bagels ever :) The smell of asiago in the oven is just heaven.


  30. #
    idiosyncratic eye — February 4, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

    Oh, you’re so jammy living in a world of cheese flavoured bagels, I’m jealous! We have a maximum of five boring flavours and the only ones worth writing about are the cinnamon and raisin. But, cheese? Mmmm. :)


  31. #
    NerdyBaker — February 5, 2012 @ 12:40 am

    Wondering if I could use my sourdough starter in place of the “overnight starter” from King Arthur Flour’s recipe. My wheels are turning…


  32. #
    Kerstin — February 5, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    I’m so impressed, asiago bagels are my favorite! I attempted to make bagels at home once and they turned out just ok – I’ll have to try this recipe instead next time!


  33. #
    Amanda — February 5, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

    i love love love bagels! with cheese? and homemade? bring it on! i will be making this!


  34. #
    Sage — February 6, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    I’m looking forward to making these today; asiago bagels are my favorite! Just one question – what temp do you bake them at? Thanks for the recipe!


  35. #
    Teresa Improta — February 9, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    Made a version of these yesterday! Thank you, thank you for the amazing recipe. I used Spelt Flour and topped with minced onions and garlic salt. Next time, for sure trying the Asiago Cheese….YUM!


  36. #
    Karriann — February 11, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    Mmm… I love bagels!

    “Happy Cooking”


  37. #
    Tiffany — February 17, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    Eh, I’m not really a bread person either. I can easily pass up the freebies at restaurants and don’t really wish to take big chucks and dip it in things. I would just rather eat the dips, with a spoon, or my finger. Much more satisfying. BUT I do have a weakness for biscuits and cornbread. I just love them!


  38. #
    Simply Life — February 19, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    I’m in the process of making these as we speak! I’m trying to be patient as the dough rises but can’t wait to eat them! :) Just FYI, I think you forget to mention where in the recipe to add the salt – maybe I just missed it but wanted to let you know just incase. Thanks for all the great recipes!


    • Jessica — February 19th, 2012 @ 9:19 am

      Oops you are right – fixed it!


  39. #
    cindy — February 28, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    Here I go again. Still on my quest for asiago bagels that rival Panera, since we now live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest Panera is over an hour away. Just like everything else. lol (or not) And, I am crazy enough to think that if I can’t get to it or buy it, I will conquer it in my kitchen.


  40. #
    Sarah — March 5, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    These. Look. Incredible.


  41. #
    Noelle — March 17, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

    Just finished making these bagels. I was sceptical at first- hence im a virgin bagel maker but they turned out incredible. I wasnt sure if i had handled them too much trying to put the hole in the middle because they fell back…. Would have liked to see a photo of yours.
    Thank you thank you! I will never buy bagels again!


  42. #
    Samantha — May 30, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    these are totally in my oven right now and they are totally not going to cool down before they go into my mouth.

    this could be bad. and i might blame you.


  43. #
    Hailey — February 22, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    I made these today and they turned out great! Thanks so much for the recipe.


  44. #
    The Girl Who Cried Skinny — March 19, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

    Holy cow, you had me at Panera’s Asiago Cheese bagels! Never in my life did I think, “hey, I should take up bagel-making” … but now I want to. I would join you at the all-day Panera fest for a day of asiago cheese bagels. Guess I’ll just print out this recipe instead :)


  45. #
    yoko — March 23, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

    Love asiago cheese bagels! I just found out about them from work…they brought in bagels from Einstein bagels. I definitely want to try making my own!! Hope they turn out as I have issues using yeast and msking the dough rise…


  46. #
    Christie — April 22, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

    Just wondering–did you coat both sides with the asiago cheese?


  47. #
    Kathy M — June 7, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

    I enjoyed reading your directions. I love some humor sprinkled around. I am definitely going to try these. Have bread and rolls rising as I write but look forward to these delicious looking bagels. Thank you for sharing


  48. #
    Carolynn — June 13, 2013 @ 12:46 am

    Love this recipe! Do you think I could add in like 1/2 tsp of garlic powder when forming the dough? Or maybe brush some minced garlic in oil onto the bagels before adding the cheese and shoving them in the oven? Or both?!?? I plan on liberally covering these in chive & onion cream cheese so this may be too much flavor…but I would love to hear your take!


  49. #
    Dana — June 22, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

    I’ve loved asiago bagels from Au Bon Pain. These sound and look divine. I haven’t baked anything in some time, but these might lure me back to the oven. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  50. #
    SueBeDoo — July 25, 2013 @ 12:08 am

    I love the look of these!! I’ve now made homemade bagels three times now and want to attempt these – your recipe has you using a mixer with a dough hook – I just use my bare hands (as I don’t have that type of mixer) – I assume it’ll still come out ok?



Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *