Want to guess Panera's most popular bagel flavor? It's none other than these tempting cinnamon crunch bagels. There's a good reason why these chewy, crispy, cinnamony treats are so popular; they're absolutely mouthwatering! If you're wanting to stretch your baking skills and save some money in the process, then making this treat at home will be perfect for you.
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These bagels use simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, especially if you're an avid baker. Let's go through each ingredient and its purpose.
Note: Panera adds vanilla chips and cinnamon chips (affiliate) to the dough, but I omitted them from my copycat recipe. Feel free to mix in ¼-1/2 cup of each into the dough after its first rise if you'd like to try them.
- Flour: please use bread flour, not all-purpose. You simply cannot obtain the same chewy texture with all-purpose flour, as it lacks a sufficient protein content. My favorite brand is King Arthur Flour. (affiliate)
- Yeast: the vital ingredient that causes the dough to rise and gives bagels their amazing flavor and aroma.
- Cinnamon Crunch Topping: simply combine brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon to create this delectable topping.
- Poaching Liquid: this is one of the crucial steps in the bagel making process. The poaching liquid consists of baking soda dissolved in a pot of boiling water.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients for the cinnamon crunch bagel dough.
Combine the flour, salt, and yeast, then mix in the cinnamon and honey.
Gradually trickle in enough water to create a slightly sticky dough.
Knead for 5 minutes, then let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Knead for another 2 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test. (See the recipe card to learn this technique.)
Let the dough rise overnight (8 to 24 hours) in the fridge. The next day, let it warm up for an hour in a warm place. Divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each one into a ball, poke a hole in the center, and stretch it into a bagel shape.
Cover the trays with a tea towel and let the bagels rise at room temperature until they are springy to the touch, about 20-30 minutes.
Poach the bagels in a mixture of boiling water and baking soda for 30 seconds per side, then sprinkle them liberally with a simple cinnamon sugar topping.
Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes per tray, or until the bagels are well browned and have an internal temperature of at least 190 F on a meat thermometer.
Let the bagels cool on a wire rack before slicing and enjoying!
How many calories are in a Panera cinnamon crunch bagel?
According to Panera's website, one cinnamon crunch bagel contains 420 calories, 7g fat, 380mg sodium, 83g carbs, and 32g sugars. By contrast, my homemade version contains 226 calories, .8g fat, 490mg sodium, 50g carbs, and 18g sugars. This recipe makes smaller bagels than Panera's, so if you increase their size, the nutrition facts will change.
Are Panera cinnamon crunch bagels vegan?
No, they aren't. However, if you're making your own, it's easy to make them vegan. The only ingredient in these bagels that isn't vegan is the honey that sweetens the dough, but that can easily be substituted with another sweetener, such as brown or white sugar or agave nectar.
Are cinnamon crunch bagels healthy?
While these bagels aren't super unhealthy, they're not the healthiest sweet treat out there! Feel free to enjoy them in moderation like any other dessert. Check out the full nutrition facts for this copycat recipe at the end of the recipe card.
How do you poach bagels?
Poaching bagels is one of the most important steps in the process, so don't skip it. Traditional New York bagels are poached in a mixture of boiling water and barley malt, which gives the bagels their distinctive chewy texture and thin, leathery crust. Since barley malt can be hard to find, I've substituted it with baking soda.
The actual poaching process is simple. Make sure the poaching liquid is at a full boil, not a simmer, then carefully lower the bagel into the water. Cook it for 30 seconds on each side, then remove it from the water with a skimmer and place it back on the baking tray. Repeat the process until all the bagels have been in the hot water.
What do you put on cinnamon crunch bagels?
You can spread almost anything you would like on these bagels. I find them delicious by themselves or simply with butter, but feel free to try honey, jam, or cream cheese that has been whipped with cinnamon and brown sugar.
- Only use bread flour, not all-purpose, for this recipe. All-purpose lacks the protein content necessary to create lots of gluten, which is the secret to a chewy bagel.
- Knead until the dough passes the windowpane test. (See the recipe instructions for a description of this technique.) Anything less will result in a poor rise and inferior texture.
- Make certain that the poaching liquid is at a full boil before adding the bagels.
- Be careful not to poach the bagels for too long, or the crust will be too thick, resulting in a tough, overly chewy bagel that won't rise much in the oven.
- Line the baking trays with parchment paper. The crunchy topping will get all over the trays and will be hard to clean off otherwise.
Other Panera Bread Recipes
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Panera Copycat Cinnamon Crunch Bagel
For the Dough
For the Poaching
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Topping
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pour the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides, stirring each one in with your finger. Keeping the salt from touching the yeast prevents it from killing the yeast.
- Add the honey and ground cinnamon and mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until blended.
- Gradually add enough warm water to form a slightly sticky dough. You may not need all the water, or you might need a little extra, depending upon the brand of flour and the humidity.
- Change attachments to the dough hook and knead on medium-low speed for 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes, then knead on medium-low again for another 2 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test. That means that a large lump of dough can stretch until it is translucent without tearing.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place it in the mixing bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it prove in the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours, but no more than 24 hours). The dough should double in size during this process.
- The next day, let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour. See the recipe notes for tips on creating a warm place.
- Place the bagels on two 11x17-inch cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment. Cover the trays with clean tea towels and leave to prove for 20-30 minutes, or until the dough is springy to the touch.
- Fill a six quart Dutch oven with three inches of water and bring it to a full boil. Lower the heat to a simmer until you’re ready to poach the bagels. Right before adding the first bagels, make sure the water is at a full boil and that the baking soda has been dissolved in the water.
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl until blended, then set aside.
- Gently peel a bagel off of the tray and carefully drop it into the boiling poaching liquid. Let it cook for 30 seconds on each side, which is long enough to set the shape and encourage the dough to puff up. Promptly remove it from the water with a skimmer, drain off the excess water, and place it back on the tray. You can poach up to four bagels at a time.
- Generously sprinkle the bagels with the topping. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, or until the bagels have risen, browned, and have a minimum internal temperature of 190°F on a meat thermometer.
- Let the bagels cool on wire racks for at least 20-30 minutes before eating.
- Need a warm place for the dough to rise? Place the bowl of dough on the top shelf of a cold oven and place a casserole dish filled with boiling water on the lower shelf. Shut the oven door to trap the steam inside.
- It’s best to poach one tray (six bagels) and bake them right away, then let the second tray continue to rise while the first one bakes. When the first tray is almost done in the oven, start poaching the second tray.