Avoid These Kinds Of Toppings When Making Homemade Bagels

There's something undeniably comforting about a fresh, chewy bagel. Whether you prefer them plain or coated in a delightful array of toppings, bagels are a beloved breakfast staple. However, not all seasonings are created equal, and when it comes to choosing bagel toppings, there are a few delicate options that can easily go awry in the oven — especially for novice home bakers. 

While many toppings can withstand the heat of the bagel-baking process, avoid delicate, dried herbs such as oregano or sage. These fragrant seasonings can easily burn in the high-temperature oven, turning your bagels from a golden delight to a crispy disappointment. Even popular toppings, such as garlic or onion flakes, can burn if you are not careful.

If you're set on using dried herbs to flavor your bagels, there are ways to mitigate their tendency to burn. Consider soaking them in a small amount of olive oil. This not only infuses the herbs with flavor but also helps protect them from direct heat. Another approach is to cover the delicate herb-topped bagels with a piece of aluminum foil during the final stages of baking. This acts as a shield, preventing the herbs from scorching. 

Better bagel toppings

While dry, delicate toppings can be a bit finicky, there are plenty of robust bagel toppings that can stand up to the heat and provide a burst of flavor without the risk of burning. A few alternative options include sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt, and the perennial favorite — everything seasoning. 

Sesame seeds are a timeless choice, providing a satisfying crunch and nutty flavor. They toast beautifully in the oven, adding depth to your bagel's exterior. Tiny poppy seeds deliver a subtle, nutty crunch that pairs perfectly with bagels. An everything seasoning blend of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic flakes, onion flakes, and salt is a crowd-pleaser. It brings a harmonious mix of flavors and textures that enhance your bagel experience. With a lower concentration of dried garlic or onion, they are less likely to burn since there are other ingredients in the mix. Even a sprinkle of flaky sea salt enhances the bagel's natural flavors and adds a satisfyingly salty contrast to the chewy texture. So when you're crafting your next batch of bagels, opt for seasonings that can withstand the heat, ensuring each bite is a mouthwatering delight from crust to core.