Homemade Bantam bagel bites stuffed with cream cheese taste just like the Starbucks version. Bagel perfection.
You know what my latest Starbucks obsession is? Surprisingly, not the unicorn Frappuccino, despite my unicorn food obsession. Nope. The Bantam Bagel bites stuffed with cream cheese. Oh my word. They have a golden, crispy crust and a soft and chewy inside with just enough cream cheese filling. And of course, they are served warm alongside my cup of hot coffee. Good news. These fresh, hot, homemade Bantam bagel bites taste just the same served alongside your home-brewed coffee.
As anyone who has ever hunted for good bagels knows, it’s not an easy search. Supermarket bagels are pretty much just bread circles. Even living in a major city, I’ve had to try my share of local bagel shops to find some that pass my bagel test. Although, now that I have this recipe, I may skip all my bagel scavenger hunts and just make my own.
This recipe can also be used for regular-shaped bagels rather than the balls stuffed with cream cheese. After baking, you may freeze the bagels, so you have fresh, hot bagels every morning for weeks. I should also note that these are a bit bigger than the Starbucks version, but you may make them smaller if you like.
Traditionally, barley malt syrup is used when making bagels, in the recipe itself and/or in the boiling water. Here, to make this recipe more user-friendly, I use brown sugar. I also use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. You may use all-purpose flour, but for bagels, the higher protein bread flour makes for a chewier bagel instead of the dryer, cakier texture (like those aforementioned bread circles you find in the supermarket), so I would opt for the bread flour. Also note the recipe requires you to freeze the cream cheese ahead of time, so be sure to plan for those hours.
And speaking of “boiling water,” don’t skip the bagel bath! Boiling the bagels in a water, brown sugar, and baking soda bath for just a few seconds before baking is the secret to the thin, crispy, golden crust.
The internet is chock full of advice on making the perfect bagel. This recipe is relatively easy and straight-forward, so if you’re new to bagel making, this is a great place to start. And you might never stop. Hmmm… next I’m going to try stuffing these bagels with Nutella!