Most of the time when I cook, it’s for a reason. We need dinner or people are coming over or I’m trying to prep some sort of lunch situation for the week ahead. Every so often, however, I get the perfect storm of time + a tempting recipe and cook something just ’cause. And let’s be honest, when something is called Bagel Bombs, it’s happening.
Bagel Bombs, courtesy of the incredible Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar (and brought to my particular attention by the Amateur Gourmet), are exactly what they sound like – little round bagel-esque creatures that explode with cream cheese when you bite into them. I mean, come on.
The explosion is facilitated by forming and freezing balls of scallion cream cheese, which are then wrapped in homemade dough that is seasoned with everything bagel spice. So yes, this isn’t a quick recipe, but it is a totally-worth-it recipe.
Making any other kind of dough beyond pie dough has never been one of my strong points – it’s often too wet or too dry or it doesn’t rise as much as it should – but generally the stuff I’m making tends to turn out all right in the end, so I don’t worry about it too much. I am guilty of watched-pot-syndrome, however, where I am constantly checking the rising dough every five seconds. What? I’m excited.
The dough, once it’s been brought to a proper dough-like consistency, is cut into pieces and wrapped around the aforementioned cream cheese balls.
And then covered in egg wash and homemade everything bagel spice, the leftovers of which I have happily been sprinkling on my morning cottage cheese along with a drizzle of olive oil ever since.
These are everything. They are toasty and savory and they frickin’ explode with cream cheese (I have a deep and unabashed love of cream cheese). Plus, they are adorable and you can make them ahead and heat them up in the toaster oven, thereby justifying the rather long time they take to make (and making them an impressive people-coming-over brunch element). Yes, please.
Everything Bagel Bombs
From Amateur Gourmet; based on the recipe in Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook
These are very, very tasty. My only adjustment would be in the salt area, as both the Boy and I agreed these came out a touch salty (I might cut it out of the cream cheese mixture). I didn’t have some of the ingredients for the everything bagel spice mix (ex. black sesame seeds), so I just adjusted for what I had and it still came out well.
Yield: 8 Bombs
8 ounces cream cheese (plain, not low-fat)
Scallion greens from one bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 packet (or 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast
7/8 cups room temperature water (warm enough to activate; not so hot it kills the yeast)
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
Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream it on medium speed, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the scallions, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and paddle briefly to incorporate. Taste to adjust. Scoop the cream cheese on to a parchment-lined cookie sheet in 8 even lumps and freeze until rock hard, 1 to 3 hours.
To make the dough, stir together the flour, 1/2 tablespoon 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 dump the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof at room temperature for 45 minutes.
Make the everything bagel mix by mixing together 3/4 teaspoon salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onions, onion powder, and garlic powder. Whatever you don’t use you can save in the pantry, in an airtight container, for up to 6 months.
Preheat the oven to 325. 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-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! 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.