On most mornings breakfast at our house is not a gourmet affair. As a birthday treat, I allowed Hiro to have his pick in the cereal aisle which (because we do most of our shopping at Costco) resulted in the most ginormous box of Frosted Flakes. Therefore, the last month or so breakfast has consisted of Frosted Flakes for the kids and black coffee for me. The Professor usually has his Mason jar of tea—such a hipster—on the way out the door long before the kids get up. If I do eat it is usually a smoothie with yogurt, frozen fruit, and orange juice although recently I can’t get enough of this genius combination I learned from Kate.
Occasionally I’ll muster up enough energy after the kids go to bed to make something special for the next day’s breakfast, for purely selfish reasons I might add. I like there to be at least one day out of the week where I can feel proud of myself for serving my kids something other than a bowl full of sugar before sending them out the door. One of my favorite things to make is bagels. There’s something about the whole kneading, rolling, shaping process that helps me sleep better. It’s kind of like the adult version of rocking, pacing, and patting that gets a baby to drift off to sleep.
I wholeheartedly admit that I made this spicy version for myself. I did try to get my kids to eat them; gingerly slicing them in half and toasting to perfection before spreading with the blackened onion cream cheese, but they immediately aired serious grievances as to their missing bowl of processed sugar and corn. Their poor bagels sat untouched as they slung their backpacks on that morning but that was fine it just meant more pretzel-y goodness for me.
For the Bagels:
- 6 jalapeños
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (between 105°F-110°F)
- 1 (7 ounce) package or 2 1/4 teaspoons dried yeast
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons malt syrup or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- coarse salt, for sprinkling
For the Cream Cheese:
- 1 bunch scallions
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- Heat broiler to high. Place jalapeños and scallions in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil until charred on all sides, turning frequently, about 5 minutes, removing the scallions as they char. Transfer jalapeños to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool, place scallions on a cutting board to cool.
- Once jalapeños have cooled, cut off the stem, peel off the charred skin, make a slit down one side and scrape out the seeds. Chop jalapeños finely.
- Combine water and yeast in a large measuring cup and whisk to dissolve.
- Combine flour, syrup (or brown sugar), salt, sugar, and chopped jalapeños in a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add yeast mixture and mix on low until most of the flour has been mixed in. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for 8-9 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let rise 20 minutes (dough will not double in size).
- Heat oven to 425°F and arrange rack in the middle. Fill a large, deep frying pan with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover until bagels are ready to boil. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and place a baking rack inside a third baking sheet, set both near the stovetop until ready to boil the bagels.
- Cut bagel dough into 12 pieces, and cover them with a clean towel to prevent them from drying out. Take one piece at a time and form into a 9-inch long rope. Overlap the ends by 1 inch and pinch to seal. Stretch the hole in the middle to make it about the size of a quarter. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces then cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- Once bagels are ready to boil mix 1/4 cup of baking soda into the water (careful, it will bubble up). Stretch 3 or 4 bagels to retain the quarter-sized hole and place into the water. Simmer the bagels for 1 minute, then flip and simmer on the other side for 1 minute. Remove them to the baking sheet with a rack and sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat with remaining bagels.
- Transfer bagels to the parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes, rotate and bake 10 minutes more. Let cool 30 minutes before eating.
For the Cream Cheese:
- Chop charred scallions and mix into cream cheese. Spread onto bagels and serve.