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low carb bagel sandwich

Bagels, Made of Mozzarella? Yes.

My SE Michigan residence is not presently air conditioned. Not a complaint… I did not grow up with AC, and we have a pool. And, around here, there are not too many days that are truly miserable without AC. The real problem of not having AC on super hot, humid days is that it makes using the oven a decidedly undesirable thing to do. So in the summer I don’t tend to bake nearly as much as I do in the Fall through  Spring. And that is a little bit sad! Fortunately we’re slated to replace an aging furnace with something that will provide at least partial AC, and I’m looking forward to baking year round again 😉

I have always loved to bake, and still do quite a bit of conventional baking for my family. But now I am slowly discovering more keto-friendly recipes that are both low-carb and tasty, as well as, at a minimum, reminiscent of traditional baked goods. I recently came across the Fathead Pizza Dough recipe, and am still living on cloud 9. This recipe, despite being made primarily of mozzarella cheese, makes a dough that can multitask in your low carb diet and really, really tastes great. And acts surprisingly like bread as well.

I first made this dough in the form of bagels. It was a shockingly successful debut… they puffed, they browned, they were riddled with small chewy air pockets, cut well, and toasted like a dream. I used them on their own, with cream cheese or butter, and in meat and cheese bagel sandwiches. My non-low-carb family keeps asking for them too! Definitely a keeper!

The one drawback, if you can call it that, is that these things are so nutrition dense that they are VERY filling. The recipe makes bagels that are smaller than store bought (see the sandwich pic for reference), but if you use them as a sandwich base, they will eliminate the need to eat for a long time. You’ve been warned.

Fathead Bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (not almond meal)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional but helpful)
  • 2 1/2 cup (10 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.

Melt mozzarella and cream cheese in a separate bowl in the microwave, stirring every minute or so until completely melted and well incorporated.

Combine dry ingredients and egg with the melted cheese and stir until very well mixed. It will look like a sticky dough. Using wet hands (and re-wetting them as necessary to keep dough from sticking to you), divide dough into 6ths and form them into bagel shapes. I had good luck making 8″ logs, then joining into a ring and plopping it onto the baking pan. Unlike wheat dough, you do not need to be very careful in joining the dough into a ring… in the oven it will meld it together and it will stay well attached. When all your bagels are formed, you can top them with poppy or sesame seeds or anything else you want. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes until firm and golden. Err on the side of overbaking since the moist fatty dough will not dry out quickly.

Serve hot or cold, toasted or not. Store in the fridge or freezer.

(Note: If you omit the xanthan gum, the bagels may bake up flatter and wider… this might be a good thing depending on what you plan to do with them.)

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