Photo from B-Holes Bakery Instagram
It’s a battle of the bagel holes here on the East Coast. These bite-sized bagel balls, stuffed with cream cheese and topped with quirky ingredients, are officially trending.
Everyone knows there’s not actually any dough byproduct when you make bagels, and that bagel balls are actually just bite-sized bagels. But this food trend, like most trends, isn’t about practicality–it’s about fun. Perhaps it’s a trend for carb-fearing foodies who avoid bagels but might just give in to a bite or two. Or maybe bagel holes are a quirky response to the trend of bagel cafes offering larger and more obscenely stuffed sandwiches than ever before.
How did all of this bagel shape-shifting begin? Most people will tell you that it began with Bantam Bagels. I, however, saw stuffed bagel holes much earlier at David Chang’s Momofuku Milk Bar. Cheng has been baking dinner-roll sized “bagel bombs” stuffed with hot dogs or smoky scallion cream cheese, among other flavors, since 2011.
Bantam Bagels, a West Village bagel shop, came on the scene in January of 2015, when they brought their bagel hole idea to ABC’s Shark Tank. Sales of bagel holes have been on the rise ever since. Now, East Coast Starbucks and Delta Airline flights out of Laguardia carry Bantam Bagels bagel holes. Their flavors are both sweet and savory–you’ll find everything bagel spice, or off-the-wall flavors like cookies and milk and hot pretzel.
Recently, more and more bakers have started making these doughy, cream-cheese filled spheres. In DC, B-Holes Bakery sells out regularly at markets across the city. We don’t know who else is tinkering away in the bakery, but one thing is certain: This trend is on the rise.
Want to try it out for yourself? Here are some recipes for cream-cheese stuffed bagel creations:
Everything Bagel Bombs, from Amateur Gourmet
Bagel Balls from Thrillest
Scallion Cream Cheese-Stuffed Bagel Sticks from Rachel Ray