Rosemary & Olive Oil Bagels – Classic bagel dough is speckled with fresh rosemary leaves and a drizzle of olive oil and baked to make for an incredibly flavorful, chewy breakfast treat.
Every once in a while, a new food will pop into my life and change me forever. One of those foods for me from the last 5 years was a Rosemary & Olive Oil Bagel. A friend of mine got me one from a popular bagel chain and it blew me away. It was so fragrant and herby that it was almost intoxicating. I could stick my head in a bag full of those smells and be happy forever.
This bagel was so surprising to me because I generally am only mildly impressed by rosemary. We had a rosemary bush at my home growing up so we used rosemary a lot. As such, it wasn’t anything new to me. But I had never had it in bread before. We used it with chicken or in stuffing. But never homemade bread.
After having it in these bagels and in my favorite focaccia recipe, I am convinced that bread and rosemary were meant to be together. Rosemary elicits a warm, comforting smell that just works with the equally comforting bread. My husband calls that smell “Christmas”, and I can’t say I disagree with him.
Because of my love for these bagels, I just had to make them myself. I perfected my basic bagel recipe a couple years ago so I used that as my base for this recipe. I simply added in some fresh rosemary leaves and extra virgin olive oil to transform that recipe in to my version of Rosemary & Olive Oil Bagels.
Before we get into the recipe, here are some photos of these beauties!
The chewiest bagels you’ve ever had
I am very, very passionate about bread. I am still perfecting the craft of making incredible bread, but I sure do know what to look for in great bread, For bagels, specifically, they need to be chewy on the inside and shiny and crisp on the outside.
To achieve this specific texture, I talk all about the process for making bagels in my post for Homemade Bagels. In summary, here are the important steps for making great bagels
- Create dough from bread flour, water, yeast, and barley syrup.
- Let bagels rise slowly overnight in the fridge.
- Boil bagels in a bath of water, baking soda, and barley syrup.
- Bake bagels on a pizza stone until crisp and golden brown
For this rosemary and olive oil version, we simply add in those ingredients during the dough stage. Everything else remains exactly the same after that.
Rosemary & olive oil
To achieve a fragrant rosemary flavor in the bagels, the rosemary leaves are chopped to release their oils. The leaves are then added to the olive oil to load the oil with rosemary flavor. The longer you let the oil sit with the rosemary, the more powerful the flavor will become.
Tips & Tricks
- Breads need some sugar to feed the yeast. But for bagels, this sugar comes in the form of barley malt syrup. It adds the signature flavor and color to the bagels, so don’t skip this ingredient! I had a tough time finding it at my local grocery store, but Amazon pulled through for me.
- Bread flour is a MUST! To get that chewy texture that I require, the flour has to be loaded with the right amount of protein and gluten. Enter bread flour. This also makes the dough much more stiff than, say, cinnamon roll dough. So the kneading process will be a little tougher than you’re used to, probably – at least it was for me.
- For the reason stated in #1 above, this dough is tougher than other bread dough. Therefore, your mixer will be working hard to knead this dough so make sure you do not leave your mixer unattended because it’ll be moving around a bit. You don’t want it falling off the counter!
- It’s in your best interest to weigh the dough to achieve bagels of the same size. This will ensure that they all bake the same amount of time. Each of my bagels weighed about 4 ounces before baking.
- And finally, to help get the crust to the perfect crispiness that I love, I gave in and purchased a pizza stone to bake the bagels on. The stone retains heat at the perfect temperature, which helps the bagels cook evenly and build a gorgeous crust on the outside.
Rosemary & Olive Oil Bagels
For the bagels:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 ¼ cups plus 3 tablespoons warm water
- 22 ounces bread flour (I measured in grams for more precision – 623 grams)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons barley malt syrup
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal for dusting
- 5 grams fresh rosemary leaves removed from the stem
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the bagel bath:
- 3 quarts water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons barley malt syrup
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the bagel dough:
- Place warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle instant yeast over the water and let it sit to foam a little. It should take no more than 10 minutes. If it does not foam, the water was not the right temperature or the yeast is dead (expired). Prepare large baking sheet by dusting with cornmeal. Set aside.
- Prep olive oil by adding in chopped rosemary to olive oil and mixing together. Set aside.
- Combine flour, salt, and barley malt syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer using a dough hook. Add in yeast mixture and oil mixture and mix on low or until dough starts to come together, about 4 minutes. Now it's time to knead the dough. Increase speed to medium-low and beat for 7-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and stiff. It should not be sticky, whatsoever.
- Remove dough from bowl and onto clean work surface. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll into smooth bowls and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough sit, untouched, for 5 minutes.
- Once rested, remove one dough ball from baking sheet, Using your thumb, poke a hole all the way through the center of the ball. Using your thumb as a guide, expand the hole to make the bagel shape. The dough should form a 4-inch bagel. Repeat with the other dough balls. Place the dough balls back onto baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator to rise overnight (about 12-14 hours).
- When you’re ready to make the bagels, place pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Let it preheat for 30 mins-1 hour. Before we bake, we’ll dip the bagels in a bath. See below.
For the bagel bath:
- While the oven preheats, let’s dip the bagels in a bath to give them the shiny exterior. Fill large pot with 3 quarts of water and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and then add barley malt syrup, baking soda, and salt. Give it a stir to combine.
- Place 3-4 bagels into bath and let them poach for 45 seconds. Flip and poach for another 45 seconds on the other side. Remove from liquid with a slotted spoon. Place onto cornmeal baking sheet and cover with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or keep plain. Repeat with rest of the bagels.
- Once oven is preheated, add all bagels to pizza stone using a large spatula or pizza peel. If your pizza stone isn’t large enough to hold all the bagels, bake them in batches. Bake bagels for 12-15 minutes or until they reach a nice golden brown top. Rotate bagels if some are browning faster than others.
- Remove from oven and let the bagels cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Slice with a serrated knife and serve with your favorite spreads, like butter or cream cheese! Bagels are best on the day they’re baked. But you can freeze the leftovers for up to two months. To defrost, microwave for 30 seconds.