Cream Cheese Stuffed Bagels

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everything bagelful

What’s Up, Hungry People

It’s no secret that I love bagels. When in NYC, we sought out the best bagels in the city! But now that I’ve mastered making bagels at home, I’ve discovered there’s more than one way to enjoy them. Specifically, the bagels in this recipe are designed without holes and are instead generously stuffed with cream cheese! How many more times can I say “bagel”? Bagel, bagel, bagel! (Yes, I’m slightly obsessed.)

Crafting these at home using my very own NYC bagel recipe, these cream cheese stuffed bagels emerge as the perfect grab-and-go breakfast option. And the beauty of it? They can be filled with more than just cream cheese.

sliced stuffed bagel filled with cream cheese

I experimented with a variety of toppings for my cream cheese stuffed bagels, including a classic egg wash, a sweet cinnamon sugar, and a savory “everything” mix, allowing for a delightful variety that caters to different tastes.

golden egg washed bagel bite

Here’s What You Need

  • Flour: Provides structure and chewiness to the bagel dough.
  • Water: Hydrates the flour, activating gluten formation for dough elasticity.
  • Vegetable Oil: Adds moisture and helps create a tender texture in the dough.
  • Sugar: Feeds the yeast and adds a slight sweetness to the bagel.
  • Sea Salt: Enhances flavor and regulates yeast activity for a balanced rise.
  • Quick Rise Yeast: Leavens the dough, causing it to rise and become airy.
  • Honey: Used in the boiling water to add a subtle sweetness and shine to the crust.
  • Egg: Used for the egg wash to give the bagels a glossy, golden crust.
  • Cream Cheese: The creamy, rich filling that contrasts with the chewy bagel dough.
  • Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Dried Onion Flakes, Minced Onion, Rolled Oats (optional): Combine to create the “everything” bagel topping for flavor and texture.
  • Butter: Used in the cinnamon topping for richness and to help sugar adhere.
  • Brown Sugar, Sugar: Sweeten the cinnamon bagel topping, creating a caramelized crust.
  • Cinnamon: Adds warmth and spice to the cinnamon bagel topping.
cinnamon sugar coated bagelful

Let’s Cook

In the traditional bagel-making process, you’d typically roll the dough into logs or snakes, then connect the ends to create that iconic bagel shape.

cutting bagel dough

However, this recipe takes a delicious turn. Instead of forming a hole, you embed a generous portion of cream cheese directly into the center of the dough. The key is to fold the dough around the cream cheese meticulously, ensuring the edges are perfectly sealed.

stuffing bagel dough with cream cheese

To facilitate this process, keep the cream cheese as cold as possible—though not quite frozen—to prevent it from melting excessively during cooking.

bagel bites brushed with egg wash

An egg wash is then applied to each bagel before sprinkling on your chosen toppings—or you might opt to leave them unadorned for a simple yet satisfying treat. The result? A shiny, golden exterior that I found incredibly impressive.

While the bagels bake, your house will straight up smell like a bakery – and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that.

baked bagelfuls with different toppings

Cream Cheese Stuffed Bagels: Tips and Tricks

  • Pre-dough check: Before letting your dough rise, ensure it’s the right consistency—neither too sticky nor too dry. Adjust with a bit of flour or water as necessary. This step is crucial for achieving the perfect bagel texture.
  • Cream cheese filling: Keep your cream cheese cold before stuffing to prevent it from melting too quickly in the oven. This helps maintain a creamy texture inside your finished bagels.
  • Boiling is key: Boiling bagels in honey water not only contributes to their unique taste but also sets their crust before baking. This step cannot be skipped if you’re after authentic bagel chewiness and shine.
  • Egg wash application: For a uniformly golden crust, apply the egg wash generously but evenly. This also helps the toppings stick better.
  • Baking sheets matter: If you’re making both “everything” and cinnamon sugar bagels, use separate baking sheets. The butter from the cinnamon sugar can spread and may burn, affecting the taste and appearance of your bagels.
  • Cooling is part of the process: Allow your bagels to cool on a wire rack to prevent the bottoms from becoming soggy. This step ensures the perfect bagel texture from crust to center.
  • Storage for freshness: Once cool, bagels should be stored in an airtight container to maintain freshness. If you’ve made a large batch, consider slicing and freezing some for easy toasting and serving later.
bagels with everthing cinnamon and eggwash topping

With these tips and the detailed recipe in hand, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of making cream cheese stuffed bagels right in your own kitchen. Remember, the beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility and the simple joy of creating something truly satisfying from scratch. Whether you choose to stick with the classic “everything” topping or venture into the sweet territory with the cinnamon sugar option, each bite promises a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.

So, gather your ingredients, and let’s bring the essence of NYC’s beloved bagels to your breakfast table. And hey, once you’ve nailed this recipe, feel free to experiment with different fillings and toppings.

After all, the best part about cooking at home is making each dish uniquely yours. Enjoy!

cream cheese stuffed bagels

Cream Cheese Stuffed Bagels

The Starving Chef
Enjoy homemade bagels stuffed with rich cream cheese, perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American, Breakfast
Servings 12 bagels

Ingredients
  

FOR BAGEL DOUGH:

EVERYTHING BAGEL TOPPING:

  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon rolled oats optional

CINNAMON BAGEL TOPPING:

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, sea salt, oil, and yeast. Attach a dough hook to the mixer head. Stir on medium-low speed while slowly pouring in the water.
  • Once the water is completely mixed in and a sticky dough has formed, turn the mixer up to medium and let it go for about 8-10 minutes. The dough will look like it is not coming together at first. If, after the initial 8-10 minutes, the dough is too dry, add more water as needed. If the dough is too wet, add in more flour as needed.
  • When a firm but slightly sticky dough has formed, turn off the mixer and roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Continue to knead the dough by hand for another 10-25 minutes, until the dough is smooth. To test if the dough is ready, pull off a quarter-sized piece. If it can be easily pulled until transparent to light, it is ready. If it rips, continue to knead until the transparency test works.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let the dough rise for two hours.
  • After two hours, punch the dough down and divide it into 12-13 evenly sized pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise about 25 more minutes.
  • Cut the cream cheese into 12 squares. Place a piece of cream cheese in the center of each piece of dough, then seal the dough around the cream cheese.
  • In a large pot, add about 4-5 inches of water, then pour in the honey. Bring to a boil. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, large enough to hold a bagel, stir together the ingredients for the "everything" bagel mix. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar bagel mix. In another bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash.
  • Add the bagel balls to the boiling water, about 2-4 per batch (however many your pot can hold without the bagels touching). Boil for 1-2 minutes per side, until the bagels are puffed up.
  • Remove the bagels from the water with a slotted spatula (or very gently with tongs or chopsticks) and place on a parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet. Let dry for about 5-10 minutes, until no longer visibly glistening with water.
  • Brush the egg wash onto each bagel then place the bagels into the "everything" topping or the cinnamon sugar, as desired. Bagels dipped in cinnamon sugar should be baked on their own baking sheet—the butter will melt and spread across the pan.
  • Arrange the bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone and bake for 15-25 minutes, until the bagels are golden brown and puffed up. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack until warm or room temperature. Keep chilled when not eating. Enjoy!
Keyword bagel, cream cheese
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