Last week I made a brownie pie from Christina Tosi’s terrific cookbook “Momofuku Milk Bar”. Besides all the innovative and creative sweets in the book there are some exciting savory recipes. And this is one of them. This rendition of a bagel bears little resemblance to my last effort, Montreal-style bagels. But this one comes with the bonus of a flavorful cream cheese “bomb” baked right into the bagel. The bagels are showered with an “everything” mix of seeds and seasonings for another layer of flavor and crunch. Once you have made each component of the recipe the assembly goes quickly, and a half hour later you will have these tasty little treats to enjoy.
1/2 recipe Mother Dough, proofed (see below)
1 recipe bacon, scallion cream cheese plugs, frozen (see below)
1/2 teaspoon water
1 recipe everything bagel mix (see below)
Preheat the oven to 350F (325F if using convection mode). Punch down and flatten the dough on a smooth, dry countertop. Use a dough cutter to divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Use your fingers to gently stretch each piece of dough out into a mini pizza between 2 and 3 inches wide. Put a cream cheese plug in the center of each dough circle. Bring up the edges of each round and pinch to seal so that the cream cheese plug is completely contained, then gently roll the ball between the palms of your hands to ensure the bomb has a nice, round, dinner roll-like shape. Arrange the bombs 4 inches apart on a parchment-or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Whisk the egg and water together and brush a generous coat of egg wash on the buns. Sprinkle a heavy even coating of the bagel mix all over the bagel bombs-every possible inch, except for the bottoms, should be coated. Bake the bagel bombs for 20 to 30 minutes. While in the oven, the bombs will become golden brown and a few may have cream cheese explosions. Not to worry-serve them as is or use your fingers to tuck the cream cheese back inside the bagel bomb. They are best served warm out of the oven. Once cooled, they can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven before serving.
(makes about 2 pounds)
3 1/2 cups flour (550 grams)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (12 grams)
1/2 packet or 1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast (3.5 grams)
1 3/4 cups water (370 grams), at room temperature
Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer, using the dough hook like a spoon. Continue stirring by hand as you add the water, mixing for 1 minute, until the mixture has come together into a shaggy mass. Engage the bowl and hook and have the machine mix the dough on the lowest speed for 3 minutes, or until the ball of dough is smoother and more cohesive. Then knead for 4 more minutes on the lowest speed. The dough should look like a wet ball and should bounce back softly when prodded. Brush a large bowl with oil and dump the dough into it. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the dough proof at room temperature for 45 minutes (mine took longer as my kitchen is quite cool). Use as directed for the Bagel Bombs. Store the other half of the dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 week. Allow it to come to room temperature before using.
Bacon, Scallion, Cream Cheese Plugs
(makes enough for 1 recipe of bagel bombs)
1 3/4 ounces (50 grams) smoky bacon
7 ounces (200 grams) cream cheese
2 tablespoons scallion greens, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon (5 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it’s auburn brown and crunchy. Remove it from the pan and chop it into small pieces; reserve it and, separately, the bacon fat in the pan. Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream it on medium speed. Pour in the reserved bacon fat and paddle to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chopped bacon, scallions, sugar, and salt and paddle briefly to incorporate. Scoop the cream cheese mixture onto a quarter sheet pan in 8 even lumps. Freeze until rock hard, 1 to 3 hours. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Everything Bagel Mix
(makes enough for 1 recipe of bagel bombs)
3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
1 tablespoon (6 grams) white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons (4 grams) black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons (4 grams) poppy seeds
1 tablespoon (4 grams) dried onions
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) onion powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) garlic powder
Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Best used within 6 months.
(all recipes from “Momofuku Milk Bar” by Christina Tosi)