Fresh Bagels from the North Woods

When you live 64 miles in on a dirt road, any fast food and takeout possibilities are thrown out the window. One of many hermit problems, or rather one of many hermit advantages. As a full time cook for my three guys in the middle of nowhere, I’ve had to learn a few recipes that satisfy our fast food cravings.

This summer, Evan and I fell in love with Dunkin Donut’s pepper jack bagels. Since the closest one is 170 miles round trip, we didn’t get many opportunities to enjoy them. When we found out they were discontinued in the fall, I started researching bagel recipes.

Having never made bagels, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were pretty easy. If you’ve worked with yeast dough before, you will be all set making bagels. Just a few extra tedious steps involved.


The best part about making bagels yourself? You can add as much of anything you want to. In this case, mountains of Cabot’s Hot Habanero cheese. I should warn you, this cheese is HOT. Please be careful when opening your oven during the cooking process so that the steam doesn’t get in your eyes. It hurts.


Also, use caution when eating these and drinking a hot beverage. Your lips and mouth will feel like they’re burning off. Sounds dangerous? A little. I prefer a cold glass of water with mine.


Like with anything homemade, fresh bagels are time consuming and take a lot more effort than store bought, but there is also no comparison.


These cheese crisps will form after cheese falls onto the baking sheet. DO NOT THROW THESE AWAY. They are delicious dipped in a little sour cream.

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I used a New York Style bagel recipe from Sophisticated Gourmet and was very pleased. Click here for the recipe. Just a note on a couple of things I did differently….I added a couple of teaspoons of salt to the boiling water, and did not use an egg wash before the cheese. I have a love hate relationship with egg washes. I understand their purpose…to help toppings stick, but hate the flavor and texture. I found that if I sliced my cheese instead of shredding it then it was able to place it without it falling off.

Make them, friends. Make them and add whatever you want on top!



Rianne Ackley

About Rianne Ackley

I grew up in Downeast Maine but have recently relocated to the North Woods. I live in Clayton Lake where I am a stay at home Mom to two beautifully wild little boys and wife to a Maine State Game Warden. I am a lover of the simple things in life...a good book, a song, a rainy day, a bowl of white popcorn, etc. I have a slight obsession with all things food. Love cooking it, eating it, looking at it, smelling it, reading about it, etc. I am a firm believer that life is what you make it.