For the dough:
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 4 cups (482 grams) bread flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
For the water bath:
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons barley malt syrup
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the filling & topping:
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 egg white
- Desired toppings
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.
Inspired by Milk Bar in NYC