Pesto Parmesan Bagels

Pesto parmesan bagels are not a common flavor and I don’t know why. They have the salty cheesy umami flavor that is perfection. Slather some cream cheese on and you have like all the flavors and textures.

I am one of those people who prefers a local small business to a chain. There is NOTHING wrong with chains. I love Target, I love Chipotle, and a million others. But for example, I’ll always choose the local coffee shop over Starbucks (and that isn’t to say I dislike Starbucks.. I don’t!).

One of my favorite places on Whidbey Island was this local bagel place. We went there shortly after moving there and I discovered they had salt bagels! Salt bagels have been one of my favorite flavors since I was young and my uncle would mail us H&H bagels from NYC for christmas. If you’ve never had a salt bagel, you should try one. It’s kind of like a soft pretzel.

So after I had my fill of salt bagels from this place I saw they had pesto parmesan bagels and good lord it was amazing. I think I ordered one as my very last breakfast living on the island before we moved to California. Needless to say, now that I no longer have access to them, I had to create one for myself. Now, is this as good as the bagel place’s? No. I’m big enough to admit that. But is it super delicious? Yes. I think you will love it, especially if you’re a pesto lover.

If you’ve never made bagels, don’t be intimidated! It’s honestly a lot easier than it seems, and you can have your own bagel shop at home. These pesto parmesan bagels are such a good savory bagel that feels really fancy. They would be a perfect treat to make for breakfast to wow someone! Also don’t sleep on my Pretzel Bagels or Spicy Garlic & Onion Bagels.

Pesto Parmesan Bagels Key Ingredients

  • Bread Flour/High Gluten Flour – Personally, I almost always have King Arthur High Gluten Flour on hand because I love making bagels with it. But making them with bread flour will definitely work too if you don’t have or don’t want to order special flour. I would not recommend AP though, as bagels really need that chewiness that the higher protein level will lend.
  • Pesto – I used a jarred pesto sauce, and went with one that was more rustic and oily rather than one of the creamier looking versions. This is what I used when testing this recipe.
  • Parmesan – I would recommend using freshly grated, because it’s always going to melt better, but if you can’t find that, use what you have.
Pesto Parmesan Bagels

Pesto Parmesan Bagels

4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep: 3 hours 20 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 Bagels


  • 480 g High Gluten/Bread flour 4 cups
  • 7 g Instant yeast 2¼ tsp
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Non-Diastatic malt
  • 120 g Pesto ½ cup
  • 1 cup + 1½ tbsp Water warm


  • 2-4 tbsp Pesto
  • ½ cup Freshly grated parmesan

Water Bath

  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Non-Diastatic malt
  • 10 cups Water


  • Mix together all dough ingredients (flour, yeast, salt, non-diastatic malt, pesto, and water) in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Depending on the type of pesto you use, you may need additional water. If the dough is too dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time.
  • Mix dough on low for 7-20 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  • Remove dough, shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 90-120 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  • Prep cooking sheet with parchment or silicone mat. Set aside.
  • When dough is ready, pour water for water bath into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Punch down dough and remove from bowl. Divide dough into 8 equal portions.
  • Take each portion of dough, and shape into a ball by pinching all the sides together. Place seam side down on work space. Repeat with remaining portions.
  • Take one of dough balls and poke index finger through the center, all the way creating a hole. Stretch the dough, creating the large center hole and bagel. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Cover the bagels while waiting for water bath to boil.
  • When water begins boiling, add sugar and non-diastatic malt and stir in.
  • Depending on the size of your pot, place 2-4 bagels in the boiling water. Do not overcrowd. Let bagels boil for 45 seconds, then flip and let boil for another 45 seconds. Remove from water bath back to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels.
  • Place bagels in oven on center rack. Allow bagels to bake for about 20 minutes, and then remove.
  • Carefully add about 1 tsp of pesto to the top of each bagel, spreading over the top portion. Then sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top of the pesto.
  • Place bagels back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes. Bagels will be golden and cheese should be melted (at least mostly) when they are ready.
  • Remove bagels from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Wait for bagels to cool completely before eating, store in an air-tight container.
  1. Pingback:Egg Bagels › Bread Baking Babe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating