Melissa Elsmo

Homemade Bagels with Loaded Fresh Veggie Schmear and Smoked Salmon

Makes 1 pound of cream cheese and 8 fresh bagels

For the Loaded Fresh Veggie Cream Cheese:

  • 2 8-ounce packages plain cream cheese
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ Cup shredded carrot
  • ½ Cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/3 Cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • ¾-1 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk or cream

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or use an electric hand mixer.  Whip the cream cheese on high speed until softened-about 2 minutes.  Add the yellow pepper, scallions, carrot, parsley, dill, chives, pepper and salt to the cream cheese and mix on low speed until just combined.  With the machine running add the cream slowly to thin mixture to a spreadable consistency.  

Transfer the cream cheese to a container, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Cream cheese will keep for five days under proper refrigeration.

For the Bagels:

  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ Cup warm water
  • 3 Cups bread flour, plus extra as needed
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-½ Cup warm water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Place the yeast and sugar in a small bowl.  Pour ½ Cup of warm water over the yeast mixture and allow to sit without stirring for 10 minutes.  Mix the bread flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and turn to low speed.  Mix the yeast, sugar and water in the small bowl and add to the flour mixture.  Add an additional ¾ Cup warm water and continue mixing adding additional water as needed until dough forms.  

A proper bagel dough should clean the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  If the dough is too loose add more flour a bit at a time until the proper consistency is achieved. Continue mixing on low speed for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow the bagel dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size. Pull the dough from the bowl and place on a floured work surface. Punch down to burst any bubbles trapped in the dough.

Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll into equal sized balls.  Press your finger through the center of each ball to make a hole and twirl it around on your finger like a lasso to increase the size of the hole.  Set the bagel down on the work surface and repeat until all the bagels have holes. Cover with a cloth.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Fill a large high-sided skillet with water and bring to a boil.  When the oven is preheated uncover the bagels.  Place 4 bagels (bottom side down) into the water and allow to boil gently for 2 minutes, flip the bagels and allow to boil on the top side for an additional 2 minutes.  Flip and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining 4 bagels. Brush the bagels with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Place the sheet pan in the oven and allow to bake for 15 minutes.  Increase the temperature to 450 and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes until bagels are golden brown. Serve warm or cool to room temperature before storing.  

To serve: Spilt and toast the bagels. Schmear with veggie cream cheese and top with sliced ripe tomato and smoked salmon.

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