Jalapeno cheddar bagels are such a fantastic bagel flavor, yet they aren’t sold in many bagel shops! The kick from a jalapenos pairs so well with salty cheddar cheese.
Since I can’t find them at my neighborhood bagel shops, I decided to make some on my own! This recipe is based off of my homemade bagel recipe, which is a wonderful base recipe!
Giving These Jalapeno Cheddar Bagels Their Flavor
To give these bagels lots of flavor, we use 1/2 cup of diced jalapenos that have been deseeded, as well as 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
To me this is the perfect amount of heat, but if you like things really spicy you can definitely add in more diced jalapenos.
I don’t recommend adding more cheese though. Between the cheese in the dough and all the cheese we add on top of each bagel, they’re plenty cheesy!!
Making These Bagels By Hand vs.Stand Mixer
My first batches of jalapeno cheddar bagels were made by hand. I didn’t have a stand mixer, and they turned out great.
I’ve gotten a bit lazy over the years and now prefer using my dough hook, but this recipe will bake up great either way.
The dough is definitely easier to make using a stand mixer, but a little elbow grease never hurt anyone.
Whichever method you use to make the dough, just be sure to knead or mix the dough until it gets an elastic texture, and pulls away from the bowl or counter.
Once you get to this point, stop and let the dough rest.
If you continue to work the dough, the gluten strands can become too tight. Just like adding in too much flour, this can also lead to dense bagels.
It’s pretty easy to sense when the dough is ready if you’re kneading by hand.
However, if you’re using a stand mixer, keep a close eye on your dough to ensure you don’t accidentally overwork it.
Substitutions and Swaps
While I love this homemade bagel recipe just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!
Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe:
- Bread Flour – If you don’t have bread flour, all-purpose flour can be used in its place. I haven’t tested this recipe out with gluten free flour, but it should work as long as you use a good blend like King Arthur’s GF flour. Just be sure to knead the dough a bit longer, to help give it structure.
- Instant / Rapid Rise Yeast – You can use active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast in this recipe, just allow the dough to rest / rise for an extra 15 minutes (active yeast takes longer to rise than instant).
- Malt syrup – This is not a common ingredient, and you might have trouble finding it at your grocery store! Malt syrup adds a lot of flavor to the bagels, so I recommend trying to use it if possible. Otherwise you can use molasses, brown rice syrup or dark brown sugar in its place.
- Cheddar Cheese – You could also use shredded asiago, sharp cheddar, or really any shredded cheese! However, I think a good quality cheddar pairs best with the jalapenos in this recipe.
Making These Jalapeno Cheddar Bagels in Advance and Freezing Instructions
I totally get that not everyone wants to wake up early on the weekends. But don’t worry, you can sleep in and still enjoy fresh bagels! You just have to plan ahead a bit.
Making These Bagels in Advance (overnight)
Make the dough through step 6, and allow the dough ball to rise overnight in the fridge. Letting the dough rise overnight helps it develop more flavor, and actually makes the bagels taste even better!!
Remove the dough from the refrigerator the following morning and let it rise for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then continue on through the rest of the recipe (picking back up at step 7). While you might want to shape the bagels the night before too, I don’t recommend it! They can end up rising too much and losing their shape.
Baked bagels freeze incredibly well, and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to eat them, thaw them overnight in the fridge or at room temperature, then warm in either the microwave or oven.
Bagel dough can also be frozen. Once the dough is made through step 5, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil.
The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough overnight in the fridge, then pick the recipe back up at step 6.
Halving or Doubling This Recipe
You can halve this jalapeno cheddar bagel recipe by simply halving all of the dough ingredients (do not halve the water or baking soda to boil though).
You can also double this recipe by doubling the ingredients, but I recommend baking each tray of 6 bagels separately.
Tips for Making the Best Jalapeno Cheddar Bagels
- Use finely grated cheese to garnish the tops of your bagels, it melts more evenly!
- Wear gloves while cutting and deseeding your jalapenos to protect your hands.
- Be sure to knead your dough until it’s elastic in texture and you can easily handle it.
- Be sure to use instant yeast, or if you plan to use active yeast mix it with the warm water to activate it and give the dough time to rise as it rests.
- Rotate you pan halfway through baking your bagels, to help them bake evenly.
- I don’t recommend using an egg wash on these bagels, they already brown enough with the cheese.
Let Me Know What You Think
If you try this recipe for jalapeno cheddar bagels, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a rating and a comment with your thoughts.
You can also tag me on social media @chelsweets or use #chelsweets, so I can see you creations!!
Other Recipes You Might Like
Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour (420 grams)
- 2 1/4 tsp or 1 packet instant yeast (7 grams)
- 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
- 1 cup warm water (240 grams)
- 2 tsp malt syrup or honey (12 grams)
- 1/2 cup diced jalapeños, deseeded (45 grams)
- 2/3 cup cheddar cheese, finely grated (66 grams)
- 1 Tbsp baking soda - to be added to water later (15 grams)
- 1 small jalapeño, sliced (10 grams)
- 1 cup additional cheddar cheese, finely grated (100 grams)
Cheddar Jalapeño Bagels
- Start by adding 3 1/4 cups of bread flour, 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup warm water and 2 tsp of malt syrup or honey into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl.
- Knead either by hand or with a dough hook on a medium-low speed for 1 minute, then add in 1/2 cup diced jalapeños and 2/3 cup finely grated cheddar cheese.
- Continue mixing on a medium speed or kneading by hand until the dough is elastic but firm (about 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes with a dough hook).
- You may need to add in a bit of extra water or flour if the consistency of the dough is off, but do so slowly (1 Tbsp at a time).
- Spray the inside of separate large bowl with non-stick spray to prevent the dough from sticking and place the dough ball into this bowl to rest.
- Cover with a kitchen towel place in a warm place for about 15 minutes. This gives the dough a chance to rest, which relaxes the gluten and will make the dough easier to roll out and shape.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it's nice and smooth again, then cut it into 9 equal pieces. You can use a scale if you really want to be sure each bagel ends being the same size.
- Roll each piece of dough into a strip long enough to wrap around your fingers (about 7-8 inches long). Connect the two ends of the loop, and roll the ends together on your counter until they stick together. If your ends aren't sticking together, dab a tiny bit of water onto them to help them stay put.
- Place the rolled bagels on a baking tray lined with parchment paper to rest. Let them rest while you bring your water to a boil.
- Bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. When the water is gently boiling, add 1 Tbsp of baking soda.
- At this point, preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Place 2 bagels into the pot at a time, and let them cook for 45 seconds on each side. I don't recommend boiling more than 2 at a time or else they'll be overcrowded and difficult to flip.
- As the bagels are boiled, remove them and place them on paper towels (to absorb excess moisture). Repeat with the remaining bagels.
- When all the bagels are boiled, move them from the paper towels to a parchment lined baking sheet. They will feel a bit slimy, but that's how they're supposed to be!
- While the bagels are still moist, top with finely shredded cheese and 1 sliced jalapeno.
- Bake at 425ºF for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The cheese on top of the bagels bagels should be a relatively dark golden brown and their crust should be quite firm.
- Let them cool on the tray until they cool down enough to handle (about 15 minutes), then slice and enjoy.
- Leftover bagels can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Halving or Doubling This Recipe: You can halve this jalapeño cheddar bagel recipe by simply halving all of the dough ingredients (do not halve the water or baking soda to boil though). You can also double this recipe by doubling the ingredients, but I recommend baking each tray of 6 bagels separately.
Making These Bagels in Advance (overnight): Make the dough through step 6, and allow the dough ball to rise overnight in the fridge. Letting the dough rise overnight helps it develop more flavor, and actually makes the bagels taste even better!!
Remove the dough from the refrigerator the following morning and let it rise for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then continue on through the rest of the recipe (picking back up at step 7). While you might want to shape the bagels the night before too, I don't recommend it! They can end up rising too much and losing their shape.
Freezing Instruction: Baked bagels freeze incredibly well, and can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat them, thaw them overnight in the fridge or at room temperature, then warm in either the microwave or oven.
Bagel dough can also be frozen. Once the dough is made through step 5, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough overnight in the fridge, then pick the recipe back up at step 6.
Amount Per Serving Calories 287Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 23mgSodium 831mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 12g
If you want to take a trip down memory lane, below are photos of the first batch of these jalapeno cheddar bagels that I ever made. Not bad for a first attempt 😛