Bagel Bombs. They are a thing. A delicious doughy thing stuffed with warm bacon cream cheese that explodes in the oven.
They originally hail from New York’s Milk Bar, where baking queen Christina Tosi does insane things with flour and butter. And they are so scrumptious, they are worth making at home. When I bake these, my family thinks I am a culinary wizard.
This recipe has several components, but don’t be intimidated by it – they’re easy to put together. The dough, cream cheese filling, and bagel mix can all be made ahead of time. If I can make these in the afternoon while tending to three young kids, you can probably do it too.
A few cooking tips…
- This recipe makes 16 3-inch bombs. But you can go really crazy, and make 8 huge ones.
- Bacon cream cheese could easily be transformed into smoked salmon cream cheese, lemon curd cream cheese, etc. The possibilities are endless! If you make a sweeter cream cheese filling, omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- You will have 1/2 the dough recipe. Use it to make homemade pizza or something else delicious later.
Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar
1/2 recipe of Mother Dough (recipe below)
1 recipe Bacon Cream Cheese, frozen
1 recipe of Everything Bagel Mix
1 egg (for egg wash)
1/2 teaspoon water
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Punch down and flatten the dough on a smooth, dry countertop. Use a dough cutter to divide the dough into 16 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 mound in the center of each dough circle. Bring up the edges of each round and pinch to seal so that the cream cheese mound 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 2 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 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature up to 375 degrees, and bake for 5-10 minutes more. 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! Not to worry– serve them as is or use your fingers to tuck the cream cheese back inside the bagel bomb. Bagel bombs are best served warm out of the oven-or flashed in the oven later to warm and serve. If you can’t finish them all right away, once they are cool, wrap them well in plastic and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Makes 16.
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 packet (or 1 1/8 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups water
Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer– do it by hand, 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 with plastic wrap and then let the dough proof at room temperature for 45 minutes.
The dough is ready to be used. If you do not plan to use your mother dough the day you make it, you can store it in an airtight container at least twice its size in the fridge for up to 3 days. Take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature 30 to 45 minutes before using.
Bacon Cream Cheese
1 3/4 oz bacon
8 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon 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 16 even lumps. Freeze until rock hard, for at least 1 hour. Once the plugs are frozen solid, they are ready to be used, or they can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Everything Bagel Mix
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried onions
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix everything together.