I did not grow up in a bagel-friendly household. In fact, my dad has stated on several occasions that bagels are his least favorite bread product. Brian is the one who formally introduced me to good bagels. Up until then, I’d only ever tried the shitty ones you can buy at the grocery store. Once I tried a soft and chewy bagel for the first time I was totally hooked. We would gladly eat them every day at multiple meals if they didn’t make us fatter, and (more importantly) if there was a decent place to buy bagels in our small town.
Anyway, Brian’s all time favorite is hands down a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese. It’s simple, but it’s a classic for a reason. This pastry braid is my easy-to-make play on those flavors.
Frozen puff pastry is a lot easier to find around us than an acceptable bagel shop. Plus I always have a jar of my homemade everything bagel spice blend on hand for us to sprinkle on pretty much everything (pun intended). You can always overpay for a bottle of premixed everything bagel spice… but why would you? These can be filled with any number of sweet or savory fillings once you get the hang of braiding. It’s a pretty straightforward process: roll, cut, fill, fold.