Beet Bagels with Whipped Blue Cheese | Perfect for Valentine's Day! via Club Narwhal #bagels

Beet bagels. I know. Like rubies in bread form, am I right? These gorgeous, gorgeous beet bagels came to me, as the Samoa Cheesecake Cups of yore, in a dream. This dream started with a salad. One that I ate alone in a Paris bistro years ago. I was very young then, full of all the romantic notions that came with living in Paris with no money and scads of free time.

(You might remember when I waxed poetic about the Hash Brown Crust Quiche last year? The salad I speak of was circa the same time period.)

Beet Bagels with Whipped Blue Cheese | Club Narwhal #bagels

Though I had good friends in Paris, most of my fondest memories are of strolling alone and stumbling across something so lovely, so perfect, that it seemed like I was the first to discover the wonder of it. Like this salad. It looked like a plate of jewels–roasted beets sliced in thin circles nestled between bright orange sections and topped with a boisterous Roquefort that gave new meaning to blue cheese.


Beet Bagels with Whipped Blue Cheese | Club Narwhal #bagels


At the time I was nineteen-years-old and did not know how to cook. But I knew how to eat. I savored each bite of that salad like it held a secret for me alone. I have tried many beet salads since that day and, of course, none have ever matched up. How could they?

But these bagels?

Friends, cue the choir. These beet bagels hold the trace memory of that salad but in a new found format. Ruby red and spiked with garlic, thyme, and onion, these bagels have none of the earthiness that beet-haters detest. Rather, they taste like a suggestion of spring mornings where the air is crisp but you know that winter is just about to end.

Beet Bagels with Whipped Blue Cheese | Club Narwhal #bagels

Toasted and smeared with whipped blue cheese with a hint of orange, they make the most perfect breakfast. I promise.

P.S. I am newly obsessed with nigella seeds (they are what make naan bread even more awesome). They taste like a mix of onion and pepper and add the perfect amount of zing to the bagels.

P.P.S. These bagels would be perfect for Valentine’s brunch. I mean, just look at them!


Beet Bagels with Whipped Blue Cheese | Perfect for Valentine's Day! via Club Narwhal #bagels


Okay guys, I’ll admit that baking with yeast is scary in the beginning but then you suddenly have a dozen homemade bagels and it’s like I MADE BAGELS!!! IN MY HOUSE!!! and you will be converted. Because these truly look and taste like, drum roll please, bagels. You will seriously want to throw a parade in your honor. This is all to say: you got this.


Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
For the Beet Bagels
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup roasted beet puree (roast a large beet, or a few small ones, at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes then mash with a fork or pulse in a blender/food processor. I don’t even bother taking the skins off.)
  • 3 1/2-4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 egg (for the wash)
  • Nigella (or poppy) seeds for topping
If you have a stand mixer, it will make your life easier. If not, this recipe is still do-able, you’ll just have to channel your inner boxer to knead the dough. Put the water in a medium bowl and sprinkle with yeast and brown sugar. The sugar helps the yeast to do its thang. Let the yeast sit for a few minutes until it’s all frothy. Then add the beet puree, salt, and spices and mix until incorporated. This takes about a minute on the stand mixer, a touch longer by hand.
Add 2 cups of bread flour and mix. Your dough will be a shaggy mess but have no fear! Knead in the bowl until everything is red. Then add another cup and continue kneading. Keep adding flour by the 1/4 cup until you have added a total of 3 1/2 cups. The dough should be coming together and not feeling very sticky. This takes about 5 minutes in the mixer, and longer by hand. But think of it as your arm work out for the day. If the dough is still very sticky, add in 1/4 cup increments until you are at 4 cups.
Cover dough with a cloth and put somewhere warm to rise. We use our microwave. Let it rise for an hour, until it is double in size. Then punch it down. This is one of the more satisfying moments in bread making. Savor it. Mold the dough into a ball and divide into 12 equal balls. Use your fingers to poke a hole into the middle and form it into a bagel shape (you can also roll the dough into a snake and make it into a circle).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Meanwhile, let the bagels rise for another 20 minutes.  While you’re waiting, fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Boil the bagels (2-3 at a time) for 30-45 seconds on each side and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Boiling the bagels helps give the baked bagels that unique crust. It also helps them expand so they’re nice and fluffy.
Brush egg on each bagel and sprinkle with seeds. Bake for 20 minutes. The bagels will sound hollow if you tap them, this is how you know they are done. Toast and spread with whipped blue cheese. You did it! Now dream of a thousand different bagel variations and go to town.
For the Whipped Blue Cheese
  • 2 oz. blue cheese crumbles (half of a tub)
  • 6 oz. whipped cream cheese (or 6 oz. 1/3 fat cream cheese)
  • zest from one orange
Mix the cheeses and zest together with a fork and spread on a toasted bagel. Heaven.
Beet Bagels with Whipped Blue Cheese | Club Narwhal #bagels


Looking for more delicious bread-based recipes? Drool with me on my Pinterest board Bread Is Life and check out these winners below.

Focaccia with To Die For Gorgonzola Fondue

Focaccia with To Die For Gorgonzola Fondue via Club Narwhal

Eastern Market Panzanella

Eastern Market Panzanella | Easy and delicious summer salad via Club Narwhal

Apple Cider Donut Bread Pudding with Cider Sauce

Apple Cider Donut Bread Pudding with Cider Sauce via Club Narwhal

 Oh, and here’s that Hash Brown Crust Quiche I was talking about. It is remarkable.

The Perfect Brunch | Golden Hash Brown Crust Quiche with Goat Cheese via Club Narwhal

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