Cheddar Jalapeño Bagels

2 hours
1 hour
3 hours
10 bagels
As a bagel connoisseur myself, when I tell you these homemade bagels taste better than anything you can buy, I mean it! Packed with spicy jalapenos and gooey cheddar, these bagels are the ultimate savory treat. With a chewy texture and crispy crust, they're perfect for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch!
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Cheddar Jalapeño Bagels

As a bagel connoisseur myself, when I tell you these homemade bagels taste better than anything you can buy, I mean it! Packed with spicy jalapenos and gooey cheddar, these bagels are the ultimate savory treat. With a chewy texture and crispy crust, they’re perfect for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch!


First things first, let’s talk dough. The heart and soul of any good bagel. In a large mixing bowl, we’re combining honey, warm water, and yeast. This sweet concoction not only activates the yeast but also adds a subtle sweetness to our bagels. Once we’ve got our wet ingredients nicely mixed, it’s time to add the bread flour and salt. Now, here’s a pro tip: don’t be alarmed if your dough looks a bit dry and shaggy at first. This is totally normal! Just keep kneading until it transforms into a smooth, elastic ball of dough. And if you’ve got a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, feel free to let it do the hard work for you.

If it seems too dry, add a splash of water. If it seems too wet, add a sprinkle of flour!

NOTE: If you don’t have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour. It will still be so good but it will be just a bit better with bread flour! The bread flour has a higher protein content so that means more gluten for a chewy texture.

Once our dough is kneaded to perfection, we’ll tuck it into a lightly oiled bowl and let it rise in a cozy spot until it doubles in size. This is where the magic happens. The yeast works its wonders, creating those lovely air pockets that give our bagels their signature chewiness. If you live in a colder area, it may take a longer time for it to rise and vice versa if you live in a warmer area. Now if you notice your dough is not rising because it’s cold and you’re getting impatient, turn the oven on the lowest setting to warm it up a bit and then turn it off and keep the dough in there to rise.

TIP: Now, here’s a little secret: if you want to take your bagels to the next level, try giving them an extra-long rise in the fridge overnight. Trust me, the flavor payoff is worth the wait! I always do this because it saves me time the next day too. After making the dough, I let it rise on the counter first until proofed, and then punch it down and transfer it to the fridge. The next morning, take it out a few hours before shaping it to get it back to room temperature.


Fast forward to the shaping stage. We’re dividing our risen dough into 10 equal portions and rolling them into balls. Then comes the fun part – shaping them into bagels! Simply roll each dough ball into a long strip, wrap it around your fingers to form a ring, and pinch the ends together. That’s my favorite method to use that produces the best-shaped bagels but let’s outline some other options you have too.

  • Roll and Twist Method:
    • Roll a piece of dough into a long rope, about 8-10 inches in length.
    • Wrap the dough around your hand, overlapping the ends by about an inch.
    • Roll the overlapping ends together on the counter or between your palms to seal them.
    • Gently twist the loop of dough to create the classic bagel shape.
  • Poke and Stretch Method:
    • Roll a piece of dough into a ball and flatten it slightly with your palm.
    • Use your index finger to poke a hole in the center of the dough.
    • Insert both index fingers into the hole and gently stretch the dough outward, rotating it as you go, until you achieve the desired size.
  • Use a Bagel Cutter:
    • If you’re struggling to shape the bagels by hand, you can invest in a bagel cutter or mold. These tools typically consist of a ring-shaped cutter with a handle.
    • Simply place a ball of dough inside the cutter, press down firmly to create the hole, and then remove the excess dough from the center.

Feel free to also shape the bagels depending on your preference. I prefer a thicker bagel with a very tiny hole. I know some people like the ring part to be skinnier and the hole in the center to be bigger. Once all the bagels are shaped, cover them and let them rise in a warm place again, about 45 minutes to an hour. Don’t let them overproof though.

TIP: Cut parchment paper into squares, the size a bit larger than the bagels. Place one bagel on each square. This will make it easier to transfer the dough when it’s time to boil in the next step!


Speaking of which, let’s talk boiling or what I like to call the hot tub for bagels! This step is what gives our bagels that quintessential chewy texture and beautifully colored crust. In a large pot of simmering water, we’ll add malt syrup (or molasses if you can’t find it), salt, and baking soda to create the perfect bath for our bagels. Boil them for a minute on each side, then transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

NOTE: The bagels will still continue to rise in the oven after boiling so don’t worry if they look a little flat or small.

And now, for the best part: toppings! We’re whisking together an egg wash for that shiny golden finish, then generously sprinkling on shredded cheddar cheese and thinly sliced jalapeños. Or keep them plain! Pop those beauties into the oven and let them bake until golden brown and irresistibly crispy. Halfway through baking, rotate the baking sheet to ensure even browning. This helps prevent hot spots in the oven and ensures that all the bagels are baked uniformly.

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – indulging in our freshly baked Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels. Allow them to cool slightly before slathering on your favorite spreads or devouring them plain. Trust me, once you’ve tasted the magic of homemade bagels, there’s no going back. So go ahead, channel your inner baker, and whip up a batch of these flavor-packed delights. Your taste buds will thank you!


  • Everything Bagels: Coated with a blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, and coarse salt, these bagels offer a burst of flavor in every bite.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Bagels: Dusted with a sweet and aromatic mixture of cinnamon and sugar, these bagels are reminiscent of a warm, comforting cinnamon roll. Perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth any time of day.
  • Blueberry Bagels: Bursting with juicy blueberries, these bagels are a fruity twist on the classic. The sweet-tart flavor of the blueberries pairs beautifully with the chewy bagel dough.
  • Asiago Cheese Bagels: Loaded with shredded Asiago cheese, these savory bagels are rich, cheesy, and utterly delicious. They’re perfect for sandwiches or enjoyed on their own with a bit of butter.
  • Whole Wheat Bagels: For a healthier option, swap out some or all of the bread flour with whole wheat flour. These wholesome bagels have a nutty flavor and hearty texture, making them a nutritious choice for breakfast or lunch.
  • Sesame Seed Bagels: Encrusted with toasted sesame seeds, these bagels have a nutty, aromatic flavor that adds a delightful crunch to every bite. Enjoy them with your favorite spreads or as the base for a savory sandwich.
  • Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels: Spiced up with diced jalapeños and loaded with shredded cheddar cheese, these bagels pack a flavorful punch. They’re perfect for adding a bit of heat to your morning routine or as a tasty snack any time of day.


Use High-Protein Flour: Opt for bread flour or high-protein flour rather than all-purpose flour. The higher protein content creates a stronger gluten structure, resulting in a chewier bagel texture.

Activate the Yeast: Ensure your yeast is active before adding it to the dough. Dissolve the yeast in warm water (around 110°F or 43°C) along with a bit of sugar. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until foamy. If the mixture doesn’t foam, your yeast may be inactive, and it’s best to start over with fresh yeast.

Knead the Dough Thoroughly: Kneading is essential for developing gluten, which gives bagels their characteristic chewiness. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, which usually takes about 8-10 minutes by hand or 4-5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Check Dough Consistency: The dough should be slightly tacky but not overly sticky. If it feels too dry, add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time. Conversely, if it’s too sticky, sprinkle in a little more flour. Finding the right balance will result in a dough that’s easy to work with and yields perfect bagels.

Allow Sufficient Proofing Time: Give the dough enough time to rise and double in size. This usually takes about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. A warm environment helps expedite the rising process.

Cold Fermentation: For enhanced flavor and texture, consider letting the shaped bagels undergo a cold fermentation process in the refrigerator overnight. This slow rise develops complex flavors and improves the bagel’s texture.

Use High Heat for Baking: Preheat your oven to a high temperature (typically around 425-450°F or 220-230°C) to create a crispy crust and chewy interior. Bake the bagels on a preheated baking stone or baking sheet for best results.

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Cheddar Jalapeno Bagels

As a bagel connoisseur myself, when I tell you these homemade bagels taste better than anything you can buy, I mean it! Packed with spicy jalapenos and gooey cheddar, these bagels are the ultimate savory treat. With a chewy texture and crispy crust, they're perfect for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch!

As a bagel connoisseur myself, when I tell you these homemade bagels taste better than anything you can buy, I mean it! Packed with spicy jalapenos and gooey cheddar, these bagels are the ultimate savory treat. With a chewy texture and crispy crust, they're perfect for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch!

2 hours
1 hour
3 hours
10 bagels


  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cup warm water, add up to 2 cups as needed
  • 1 teaspoon oil, for brushing bowl
  • 8 to 10 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons malt syrup or molasses
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced


  1. To a large mixing bowl, add honey, water, and yeast. Whisk together well.
  2. Add bread flour and salt. Bring together with a rubber spatula until you have a shaggy, dry-looking dough.
  3. Transfer to a clean surface and start stretching and folding the dough to knead it until smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  5. Once doubled in size, divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Wrap each piece into a tight ball.
  6. Roll out each section into a long thick strip and wrap in a circle and bring the two ends together to form a bagel shape.
  7. Cover and let the shaped bagels proof again in a warm place.
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add malt syrup/molasses, salt, and baking soda.
  3. While the water simmers, add 2 to 3 bagels at a time. Boil for 1 minute, then flip over, and boil for 1 minute on the other side.
  4. Remove the boiled bagels and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  1. Beat together the egg and milk in a small bowl to make the egg wash.
  2. Brush each bagel with beaten egg wash and top with shredded cheddar cheese and thinly sliced jalapenos.
  3. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 18 to 22 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
5 based on 2 reviews


Rate + Review

Mmmmmm!! Did toasted sesame seeds on top! Next time I will incorporate the cheddar into the dough and use some on top too!!

They are amazing! I suck at baking and just got into it and this was so simple to follow and just came out amazing!

These are amazing! Worth the effort. I tried the overnight proofing in the fridge.

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