If you are anything like me, you have two main foods groups: carbs and cheese. And no matter how well you understand how terrible your diet is, you can’t. stay. away.
Admittedly, I’d rather enjoy what I’m eating, so I look to “cut corners” with calories in ways that don’t make me miserable.
One of my absolute favorite recipes I’ve discovered is Weight Watchers Bagels. I now always keep plain, 0% fat Greek yogurt on hand because I can’t go without my daily bagel.
Forever the recipe-tweaker, I’ll tell you about my take on this new staple.
First off, one batch is said to make “four” bagels. Uh, yeah, if you want them bite-size. I double the batch and it only makes five bagels. Yes, I realize that this doubles the points, but a 6-point bagel is still better than no bagel at all.
I’ve made the bagels with and without egg-washing them. Their worthy of eating either way, but they are definitely better with the egg-wash. The first time, I thought, eh, I don’t need to do that, but once I started doing it, I’d never go back. It takes an extra minute, but it’s easy enough to separate the egg-white and use a pastry brush to egg up the tops of your bagels. (I never do the bottom.)
The Fun is in the Flavor
The beauty of homemade bagels besides the freshness? The unlimited flavor choices. I have yet to branch out, but I know that I have a list of untried flavors in mind. Once I know I like something, I tend to stick to it. I add onion flakes and garlic powder right into the dough before I mix it. Towards the end of the bake, I sprinkle on some Asiago cheese. (Yeah, yeah, I’m aware this adds calories back on, but it’s sooooo good!) Also, once again, I have no measurements of the flavors for you- I just add until it “looks right” to me!
The first time that I made the bagels, I made them by hand. It worked out just fine, but as a busy mom I need to save time wherever I can. I throw all of the ingredients into my stand-mixer at once for about 30 seconds and they’re ready to roll (literally).
Ah, My Sticky Hands!
Dough sticking to your hands more than the author stated? Don’t fear. Usually our instinct would be to add more flour, but be careful because this can make them dry if you add to much. If the dough sticks to your hands it’s not a big deal; it’s not going to compromise the quality of the bagel as some might suggest. For me, the trick is to make sure I don’t try to form them too much with my hands. A 3-second roll and a quick shaping is all they need, which will help cut down on the stickiness.
Glob vs. Rolling Them Out
The first time I made these, I also attempted to roll them out and join the ends. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I roll each one into a quick ball, flatten it some with my palms, and separate the middle with my fingers to create a hole. Wa-la!
I have a convection oven so I know that for some people this changes their take on the bake. I put my oven on 400 and bake the bagels for 20 minutes, then take them out, put the cheese on, and bake them for 2-3 more minutes until the cheese melts. They come out perfect! Do yourself a favor, no matter what type of oven you have, line the pan with parchment paper!
Fresh is Best
Because I melt cheese on top, I put my bagels in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator to keep them. I have, however, also left them on the counter and they did fine because I ate them quickly enough. I would suggest not to make them in bulk to freeze them because they do tend to get a bit dry as time passes, so I imagine the freezer would have the same effect.
Those are my tips for delicious, low-guilt bagels. What flavors did you try? I’m looking for some adventurous suggestions!