Perry Santanachote/Thrillist

Bagel Balls Recipe

Total Time:  Overnight (1 hour active)
Yield:  16


  • 1 ⅓ cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons barley malt syrup, divided
  • 1 teaspoon active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray oil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ½ teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 ½ teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten


  • Place the water in a large mixing bowl; add 1 tablespoon barley malt and yeast. Let sit a few minutes, until the yeast softens and blooms. Add flour and salt. If you’re using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on a low speed for 3 minutes. If you’re mixing by hand, use a large wooden spoon and stir for about 3 minutes so the dough is well blended. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Mix again on low speed for 3 minutes, or until it forms a stiff, yet supple ball that springs back when you poke it. If working by hand, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray and add the dough. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop cream cheese into 16 equal tablespoon-size balls and place on sheet. Freeze while the dough rises.
  • When dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a bench cutter or butter knife to cut it in half, then cut those pieces in half, and repeat until you have 16 pieces.
  • Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Use your fingers to work each piece of dough into a chubby disc. Place a piece of frozen cream cheese into the center of the dough and bring the dough edges together, twisting them closed at the top, like a hobo sack. Place it on the sheet, smooth side up, and repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Mist the bagels with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove the bagels from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to bake them.
  • Preheat the oven to 400℉. Fill a large pot with 3 quarts of water and bring it to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Stir in the baking soda and remaining 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, garlic, onion, and sea salt; set aside.
  • Gently lower bagels, one at a time, into the simmering water. Add as many as will fit in the pot without crowding. Boil for 1 minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bagels back to the oiled baking sheet, rounded side up.
  • Brush bagels with egg whites and sprinkle the seasoning on top. Bake until nicely browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before devouring.
Perry Santanachote/Thrillist
Perry Santanachote/Thrillist