Friday, August 26, 2011

Cherry Almond Bagels

Last week, I was craving bagels. Some of you may know that I've made bagels in the past. Lots. I even had a recipe published! Cinnamon Bagels with Crunchy Topping. You can find that recipe here. And, you may be surprised to learn that they aren't too bad for you when you make them yourself. So, you can let yourself have a yummy bagel, right out of the oven. There are very few things I like more than having a warm-from-the-oven bagel with a hot cup of coffee.

And, they are easy to make! So everyone can do it!

So, back to last week. I picked up some dried cherries in the store, thinking they sounded good and I'd think of some way to use them. Then I said to myself, "self, you should make some cherry bagels! with almond! yeah, that would be good!" Am I the only one who has these conversations with myself?

That afternoon, I came up with this recipe. It is really good. Even better with a layer of cream cheese. I like the plain cream cheese, but I'm guessing they make an almond flavored or cherry flavored cream cheese that would be really tasty too.

Do you want the recipe? I'm imagining a chorus of "yes" shouted loudly at computer screens everywhere. Well, here it is! Enjoy!

Cherry Almond Bagels
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup and leveled (18 2/3 ounces)
2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees F.)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Mix the water, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, the extracts, and the salt together in a small bowl. Add to the flour/yeast mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the ground almonds and the cherries. Mix with a wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment of the stand mixer on low speed. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a moderately stiff dough forms. If using the stand mixer, switch to the dough hook when the dough thickens. Knead in the mixer or on a floured countertop until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Here is what it should look like after resting.

Cut the rested dough into 12 portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball. Poke a hole in the center of each ball with your finger and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape. They don't have to be perfect! Cover again with the slightly-damp towel and let rise for 20 minutes.

Aren't they pretty? This is right after they have risen.

While the bagels are rising in a warm, draft-free place, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put 1 gallon of water in a large pot and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Get a baking sheet ready by lining it with parchment paper or lightly greasing it. I use parchment paper because it's super easy, never sticks, and then I won't have to clean a sticky pan!

When the bagels are ready, gently place 4 or 5 at a time (don't overcrowd them) into the water and boil for 30 seconds to one minute on each side. Longer will give you a chewier texture. I usually just do 30 seconds on each side. Make sure you adjust the temperature to keep the water simmering. Lift out with a slotted spatula and place on the baking sheet.

They look a little sad and wrinkly after their little bath, don't they? Happens to the best of us! :)

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the bagels are nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack. Then enjoy the yummy goodness and revel in the fact that you just made your own bagels! Now, go and impress all of your friends and family with your mad skills!


  1. Sounds yummy, very interesting, they seem simple enough for me to try, no artistic skills or loads of patience needed, whew! : ) So you don't have to ----- the yeast (I forgot the term), just mix it right in, dry, with the flour, nice. I may have to buy some fresh yeast, just to make sure, since there's no way to check it before mixing in. Any I find in my cupboard is usually at least 4 yrs old it seems. Which kind of yeast do you prefer to use? Jar, packet, etc.? Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments, Pati! It's nice to see someone still reading this! :) You can definitely make bagels! If you are unsure about your yeast, just proof (that's the word you were looking for!) a little in a separate bowl. Simply put some in the bowl (a small amount will work) with a pinch of sugar (to feed it) and some lukewarm water (105-110 degrees F). Whisk it together then let it rest for 5 minutes or so. If it's good, it will get really foamy and you will be able to see it working. Then you will know the rest is good to use in the bagels.

    I usually get the active dry yeast in the jar because I use a lot making bread, bagels, etc. but if you don't use it often, you can just buy the packets. I believe that one packet is just about one tablespoon (slightly under maybe). It will stay fresher for longer in the freezer, so I freeze mine.