For something a little different, i.e. savory, I tried making the Bagel Bombs. Think freshly baked bread stuffed with bacon and scallion cream cheese and topped with an "everything bagel" mix of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, and flaky salt. Yum, right?
Bagel Bombs (adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar)
makes 8 buns
For the cream cheese stuffing
2 strips bacon
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the buns
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
7/8 cups water, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the everything bagel topping
1/2 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (I couldn't find any so I just added more white sesame seeds)
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried onions
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Place the bacon strips on a cold pan and place on low heat. (Mine were really long so I had to halve them to fit in the pan.) Cook until nice and crispy, flipping over once the bottom is cooked.
Transfer the bacon to a cutting board and finely chop. Reserve the bacon fat left in the pan.
Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand up mixer with the paddle attachment and cream on medium speed until fluffy.
Pour in the reserved bacon fat and continue creaming on a lower speed. Add the chopped bacon, scallions, sugar, and salt and mix at low speed to combine.
Scoop the cream cheese mixture onto a parchment-lined sheet pan in 8 even lumps and freeze until rock hard, 1 to 3 hours.
To make the dough, stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer using the dough hook like a spoon. Continue stirring as you add the water, mixing for 1 minute, until the mixture has come together into a shaggy mess.
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. (If it just looks like a big wet mess, add some more flour until it begins to look more like a ball.) 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 transfer the dough ball into it (um, yeah, I might have accidentally poured a little too much oil into the bowl as evidenced in the pictures). Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof at room temperature for 45 minutes.
Make the everything bagel mix by mixing together the salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onions, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Punch down and flatten the dough on a smooth, dry counter top. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
Put a cream cheese plug in the center of each piece of dough.
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-y shape.
Arrange the bombs 4 inches apart on a parchment- or Silpat-lined cookie sheet.
Whisk the egg and 1/2 teaspoon 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 a deep golden brown and a few may have cream cheese explosions. Continue baking until you see this happen.
As you can see in the picture above, the bottom right bun burst, so I pulled the baking sheet out, but I probably could have left the buns in there a little longer to get a little brown.
I found that while the buns were really delicious, the dough didn't really remind me of a nice, chewy bagel. If anything, it kind of reminded me of my mom's hua juan buns. I went back to the Milk Bar recently and tried the Bagel Bomb there to compare it with the ones I made. The one I had had probably sat in their display counter for a few hours so it wasn't really a fair comparison, but I really think my homemade ones were better!
Previously: Rainbow Sandwich Cookies
Four years ago: Dutch Babies