"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philipians 3:13b,14

Friday, February 10, 2012

Make Your Own French Toast Bagels!

I love Panera.

I especially love the Cinnamon Crunch and French Toast bagels. Mmmmm.....

Sometimes, when I'm eating at Panera after a long run, I get partway through my bagel and start a rousing debate with myself over whether I am going to buy another bagel after I've finished the first.

I like food.

The only thing about Panera's bagels that I don't like is the price. They are expensive. So I decided to try and make some at home! I couldn't find a recipe for the Cinnamon Crunch version, but I found one for the French Toast flavor here. I halved the recipe and made 8 bagels.

I am going to give you the full recipe, which is supposed to make 15 bagels. Cut the recipe in half if you'd like- that is what I did. Oh, and I made these a second time and did 6 instead of 8 bagels, and liked the size better that way. But you choose. I apologize in advance for the horrid lighting in the photos, I baked these in the evening and the light wasn't great.

Here's what you need:
**updated 3/20/12

  • 2 1/4 cups warm water, plus more as needed
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided ** I changed this to 1/4 cup + 2 Tb and used 1/4 cup in the dough
  • 6 - 7 cups bread flour (I only had regular, so that's what I used)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp maple extract
  • (There's an egg in the photo because the original recipe called for an egg yolk wash before baking. But somehow that didn't sound good to me, so I omitted it.)

This stuff rocks!! I have made several recipe with maple extract- I LOVE the flavor of maple!

In the bowl of your kitchen aid, mix the warm water, 2 Tb of the sugar, and the yeast. Let the yeast foam up, like shown above. 

Add the extracts and oil to the liquid, then add the rest of the ingredients (except the reserved 2 Tb sugar). Start with the 6 cups flour, and add more if needed. Knead with the dough hook, or by hand, for 10 minutes or so.

The dough should clean the sides of the bowl, but still be moist and soft. 

After the dough is done kneading, place it into a greased bowl, turning to coat both sides with the oil. The dough smells AMAZING!! Let the dough rise for about an hour, or until almost doubled in size.

In the meantime, like a few baking sheets with parchment paper, or this non-stick foil (LOVE this stuff)- or if you don't have either of those, like the pans with regular foil and spray the heck out of them with Pam.

Divide the dough- if you've made the recipe I've given, you'll divide it into 15 pieces. ** I like the size better if I make 12 instead of 15. Shape each piece into a bagel shape:

Then place on the lined baking sheets. Cover with saran wrap, and let rise again for about 30-40 minutes.

When the second rise is almost complete, preheat the oven to 500, and put a large, deep skillet or a pot on the stove with about 4 inches of water added. Add the remaining 2 Tb sugar, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling rapidly, you're going to add the bagels, 2 or 3 at a time (Don't crowd them- bagels like their space!) (One time I went to this marathon expo, and it was SO crowded and everyone was shoving- it was terrible!! Don't do that to the poor bagels!)

Boil the bagels for one minute, then flip (I used the handle of a wooden spoon) then boil another minute. Then remove with the handle of the spoon and place back on the lined pan.

See?? No crowding.

As you can see, I did NOT make perfect bagels. In my defense, I was also cooking dinner, and fielding questions from my son about how gas masks are made. (Who knows how they're made??! I mean, honestly!) I can't do everything all at once....... So the bagel shaping suffered. But it was fine, they still tasted delish!!

Bake at 500 for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Your house will smell so wonderful. 

A word about topping these bagels- they aren't overly sweet bagels. So when I used plain cream cheese, I thought they needed a touch more sweetness. So I mixed a few tablespoons of maple syrup with a package of cream cheese. Perfect. Alternately, butter and a light sprinkle of brown sugar was also quite delightful. 

After cooling on a wire rack, store in a Ziploc bag. 



  1. Shari, your blog looks great! You continue to inspire me as a wife and mother.

    1. Thank you! That is very encouraging to me! :-)

  2. You do a great job of blogging a recipe. It looks so easy! I have never used the dough hook on my kitchenAid.

    1. You HAVE to try the dough hook! It is so great! The best part is how little work it takes and how u-messy it is!!! Let me know if you use it!! :-)

  3. I think they use some sort of carbon filter. Gas masks, that is.

    These bagels look amazing. I am going to make these!

    1. I was so thankful once my husband and 17 year old son came home. They quickly answered his questions. I made it clear that if anyone had any questions about baking or running, I would field them. I didn't get any takers. Sheesh.

  4. Hmm, looks good....however, I wonder about replacing the sugar w/ straight maple syrup to avoid the chemicals and corn production (corn allergic here).

    1. I think maple syrup or honey would work and taste great!!

  5. Great recipe. I made them for the first time on Christmas Eve and they turned out great. The syrup in the cream cheese is a must. Also, have you tried a brown sugar/butter crumb topping right before you bake the bagels? A spin towards Panera's cinnamon crunch bagel.