Garden Pepper and Cheddar Cheese Bagels

The summer is wending down, in fact, if I do get around to posting this today, it will already technically be Autumn, which means both the harvesting of the last of my vegetable garden and a return to regular bread baking, which had been set aside due to the warmer weather.  This recipe encapsulates both.  I’ve taken the odd peppers harvested from my garden, a few jalapeños, a couple banana peppers, a sweet bell pepper, some golden cayenne, and baked them into a batch of bagels, which I felt sorely out of practice in making.  I think the last time I attempted bagels was back in April some time.  These bagels have turned out to be a great transitionary bake, enveloping the fresh spicy flavors of late summer, and carrying us into those golden, crisp Autumn mornings that are just beginning to peek through.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cup warm Water
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 5 tsp Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder (I also did a combo of different chili powders – a 1/4 tsp chipotle powder and 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder)
  • 7 – 7 1/2 cups Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese diced into small cubes
  • 1 cup of small diced Peppers (I would recommend a combination of both spicy and sweet peppers, for this batch I used a couple of jalapeños, banana peppers, and a red bell pepper.  I also went for a range of colors.)
  • Egg Wash (1 Egg + 1 tbsp Water)

Directions:

  1. Beat together the water, olive oil, chili powder, yeast, salt, sugar, and 2 cups regular flour, for about two minutes.
  2. Stir in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add another cup of flour.  Mix for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away form the sides of the bowl.
  5. Stir in the cheese and peppers.
  6. Knead by hand for about 5 minutes or by machine until the dough is uniform and stretchy while still holding its form.  You really want to develop the gluten on this one, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  7. Place the dough in a greased and sealed container to rise for a hour, or until doubled.
  8. Place a large pot of water on to boil.
  9. Preheat the oven to 425 F (~218 C).
  10. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or grease.
  11. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. (I weighed my dough to about 100 grams a bagel)
  12. Roll each piece into a ball, and poke a hole through its middle with your finger.
  13. Carefully widen the hole until it is over an inch in diameter.  The dough will bounce back slightly so the bigger the hole the better.
  14. Gently boil each bagel for 2-3 minutes on each side.  You can probably fit 3-4 bagels in the pot at a time.  They should sink at first and then rise to the surface.
  15. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the bagels from the water to the baking sheets.
  16. Brush the bagels with the egg wash.
  17. Bake for 23-25 minutes.

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