Taste: Like a bagel-flavored explosion with every bite. Texture: The bagel itself is slightly crusty on the outside, chewy throughout, with that smooth and rich cream cheese filling. Ease: These definitely take some time and patience, but are so worth it! Feel free to let the dough rise in the fridge overnight before filling, shaping, etc. Pros: Such a fun twist on a classic beloved breakfast. Cons: This is definitely a hands-on recipe. Would I make this again? Oh yes! I’ve made these twice already and they practically vanish – that’s how good they are!
Traveling is the best source of inspiration.
Last month I visited NYC for business but had enough time to sneak in a day of eating and exploring with my BFF Ashley from Baker by Nature. I finally went to Milk Bar and sampled their cereal milk ice cream and compost cookies. YUM.
I also saw their Bagel Bombs behind the counter. I had been enlightened by my foodie friend Mallory about this stroke of breakfast genius, but never got to try one.
I already had an amazing bagel breakfast sandwich from Tompkins Square Bagels that was about as big as my face that morning. And we still had more eating (and a little drinking) to do. So I decided that I would make a batch of bagel bombs the second I had time when I got home!
I don’t know how mine compare to the Milk Bar version, but man these are good. Jared wanted to eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No joke. Needless to say, they didn’t last long. Be sure to check out my post on How to Make Bagels before making these.
Feel free to get creative with the filling AND the toppings! Add in bacon, green onions, or use a different kind of cheese altogether. You could even go sweet and mix the cream cheese with powdered sugar and/or jam, and coat the balls in cinnamon sugar before baking.
I made my bagel bombs ‘everything’ flavored, but again feel free to do whatever you want.
1 egg white, beaten
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons onion flakes
2 teaspoons garlic flakes or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt or coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
If baking with yeast intimidates you at all, you’ll really enjoy my free bread guide:
If you don’t have instant yeast, you can always substitute with the same amount of active dry yeast. Simply add the active dry yeast to the warm water and let it proof for 5 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
If you can’t barley malt syrup (which I find on Amazon or at Whole Foods), use brown sugar.
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 egg white
Make the dough:
Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes (or knead vigorously by hand for 12 to 15 minutes). The dough will be stiff and hold its shape without spreading. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until puffy but not necessarily doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball. Place on a lined baking pan or lightly greased baking pan and cover. Let them rest for 30 minutes. They may puff up slightly.
While the dough rests, form cream cheese into sixteen 1-tablespoon balls. Freeze.
Prepare the water bath:
Heat the water, malt powder, and sugar to a gentle boil in a large, wide pan. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
With your hands, stretch and flatten each piece of dough place a frozen cream cheese ball into the center. Enclose the cream cheese with the dough, pinching to seal and rolling into an even ball.
Boil the bombs for 30 seconds per side then remove to a baking pan.
Top and bake:
Brush with the egg wash, coating with desired toppings, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
To make ahead:
Individually wrap each bagel bomb in plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, let thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through.
Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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