Sesame Seed Bagels | Everything Everywhere All at Once

Want to put it all on a bagel? A spiced black bagel to be precise? My Everything Everywhere All at Once sesame seed bagels are soft in the middle and chewy on the outside, with an extra ingredient to spice things up. Ready to travel to an alternate Universe or two?

About the film:

When I was dreaming up this blog, I decided there would be no film snobbery involved. I have been called a film snob since I got my degree so I was used to it, but I didn’t want that to be reflected here. These recipes are for anyone and everyone, no matter what your taste in film is like. 

That’s why my creations are based on all manner of films and TV shows. I’m a self-proclaimed nerd so naturally there will be Fantasy and Sci-Fi bakes, but I’ll also be creating delicious treats that celebrate the art-house, the internationally produced and anything that isn’t considered to be “mainstream”. 

As well as the blockbusters that we know and love! It’s a place for all great cinema and TV. From my The Shawshank Redemption brandy snaps to my My Neighbor Totoro bread… there’s something for everyone.

So, to ease into the weird and wonderful, I created a bake that celebrates one of the most creative, quirky, hilarious films that I have ever seen. 

Everything Everywhere All at Once sesame bagels Pinterest Pin image

Everything Everywhere All at Once is a story about a Chinese immigrant, Evelyn Wang, who runs a laundromat in the U.S. with her husband and daughter.

When the Universe becomes under threat by an all-powerful, all-knowing being, Evelyn is exposed – through another version of her own husband – to the wonders and powers of the multiverse and realises that she is the key to saving the Universe from collapsing entirely.

Evelyn is rapidly thrust into a wacky adventure as she experiences the other lives she is living across the multiverse. This fantastic character is played by the powerhouse herself Michelle Yeoh. Ke Huy Quan (any The Goonies fans?) plays her endearing husband; with the excellent Stephanie Hsu as their daughter, Joy.

Joy’s girlfriend is played by Tallie Medel, also joined by none other than James Hong as Evelyn’s father and Jamie Lee Curtis as Deidre Beaubeidre, the tax lady with the *interesting* employee awards.

A whole host of other actors play crucial parts throughout, but this wonderful film is the brainchild of Dan Kwan with Daniel Scheinert. It goes beyond any assumptions one may have about it when sitting down to watch it and delves right into the wondrous and, as of yet, barely explored ideas of what the multiverse is or could be (a subject that I am fascinated by). 

I really can’t recommend this film enough. It’s funny, endearing, action-packed and imaginative. It’s bi-lingual as well which definitely adds more depth and dimension to the film. Overall, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a WILD ride and if you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a proper adventure.

No copyright infringement intended.

About the bake:

For the bake, I chose something directly referenced in the film.

“I put everything on a bagel” was the inspiration. I made the very bagel that contains everything in the Universe on it. Well, I made eleven of them. Eleven sesame seed bagels for eleven well-deserved Oscar nominations. These bagels are black like the bagel in the film and are topped with a candy eye each to represent the googly eyes that are another recurring theme in the story. 

I also topped the bagels with black sesame seeds for a rich flavour. To give these bagels a link to the Chinese elements in the story, I flavoured the dough with a combination of five spices predominantly used in Chinese cooking: star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, fennel seeds and cloves. I added these in the form of Chinese Five Spice; a blend of these spices that you can buy from any local supermarket.

Top Tips:

  • The bicarbonate of soda goes IN THE WATER. Not in the bagel dough. Just so that is abundantly clear.
  • Your hands will be covered in black food dye so wear catering gloves if desired. It will wash off eventually, though.
  • The actual baking process for the bagels is super easy. Follow the steps and you’ll smash it.
  • These bagels taste even better with cream cheese, if that floats your bagel boat.
  • The candy googly eyes will soften over time so make sure to either eat or remove them before eating the bagel. They sort of melt onto the bagel at room temperature, which is a bit weird. But also kind of appropriate.

Honestly, these sesame seed bagels are like cinnamon bagels times ten (or eleven?). SO TASTY. They are wonderfully chewy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Plus, they taste incredible toasted and topped with cream cheese.

I hope you enjoy making these sesame seed bagels – they’re super easy and incredibly tasty. If you haven’t seen Everything Everywhere All at Once then I hope you also enjoy the film! These bagels would make a great snack for a viewing party. Enjoy!

Happy baking, happy eating!

Ingredients:

Sesame seed bagels dough:

  • 500g [2 ½ cups] strong white bread flour
  • 7g fast action dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 300ml [10.5 oz] lukewarm water
  • 1 – 2 tsp black food colouring
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (for the boiling water)

Toppings:

  • 1 egg white for the glaze
  • Black sesame seeds for sprinkling
  • Candy or edible eyes (alternatively black and white fondant for shaping or even cheese and half a black olive)

Serves: 11

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Proving time: 1 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours

Baking time: 20 – 25 minutes

Method:

Sesame seed bagels dough:

  1. Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and salt to the opposite side. Do not let them touch yet.
  2. Add the sugar and Chinese Five Spice into the middle and mix everything with a spoon until equally distributed.
  3. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients. Add the water and black food colouring and mix until you get a rough ball of dough. Add more black food colouring if needed.
  4. Turn your dough out onto a clean and floured surface. Knead by hand for around 10 minutes. If using a standing/electric hand mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead for around 5 minutes. The dough will be shiny and elastic when ready.
  5. Place your ball of dough into a clean and lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film/beeswax paper/a damp tea towel.
  6. Allow to rise for 1 hour (preferably in a warm place like a warm kitchen or an airing cupboard).
  7. When your dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto a clean and floured surface. 
  8. Shape 11 balls from the dough – weighing will help to keep them even. First weigh all of your dough and then divide by 11. Mine weighed around 70g each.
  9. Place the balls of dough on two greased and lined baking trays: 5 on one and 6 on the other.
  10. Cover again and allow to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the warmth of the area you are keeping them in. They will be ready when they have roughly doubled in size and are puffy looking.

Baking:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C [325°F] or 160°C fan.
  2. Push your finger into some flour and then, using that same finger, make a hole in the centre of each ball of dough. Stretch it out a little using your finger but be careful not to knock all of the air out.
  3. Once all of your bagels have holes in, put some water into a deep pan and bring it to the boil.
  4. When the water is boiling, add the bicarbonate of soda. This is what gives the bagels their shine and chewiness. 
  5. Doing either one or more bagel(s) at a time (depending on the size of your pot), place them in the water with a slotted spoon. Try to keep them from touching.
  6. Keep the bagel(s) in the boiling water for 1 minute, turning over after 30 seconds to do both sides.
  7. Remove your bagel(s) from the water with the slotted spoon, making sure to drain well and place them back onto the baking trays.
  8. Repeat this process until you have done all of your bagels.
  9. Brush the bagels with the egg white and sprinkle on the black sesame seeds.
  10. Bake your bagels for around 25 minutes. They will look shiny and will sound hollow when tapped on underneath once baked through.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Once cool, top them with the candy eyes (or whatever alternative you are choosing for the eyes). I used a little butter on each one to help “glue” them on, but you can just as easily use edible glue or no glue at all, if you plan on just laying them down for presentation and removing the eyes for eating.

These tasty sesame seed bagels are best enjoyed fresh but will last around 2 days as they are and will be delicious to toast from day 1 to day 4. They can be frozen for up to 2 months if stored in cling film and tin foil, wrapped individually, though they may discolour in the freezer. Enjoy!

Recipe card:

Spiced Sesame Bagels | Everything Everywhere All at Once

Laura – Flavour of the Film
Bagels spiced with Chinese Five Spice, tinted black and topped with sesame seeds and candy googly eyes, celebrating Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Proving time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Breakfast
Servings 11

Ingredients
  

For the dough:

  • 500 g [2 ½ cups] strong white bread flour
  • 7 g fast action dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 300 ml [10.5 oz] lukewarm water
  • 1 – 2 tsp black food colouring
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda for the boiling water

For the toppings:

  • 1 egg white for the glaze
  • Black sesame seeds for sprinkling
  • Candy or edible eyes alternatively black and white fondant for shaping or even cheese and half a black olive

Instructions
 

  • Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and salt to the opposite side. Do not let them touch yet.
  • Add the sugar and Chinese Five Spice into the middle and mix everything with a spoon until equally distributed.
  • Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients. Add the water and black food colouring and mix until you get a rough ball of dough. Add more black food colouring if needed.
  • Turn your dough out onto a clean and floured surface. Knead by hand for around 10 minutes. If using a standing/electric hand mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead for around 5 minutes. The dough will be shiny and elastic when ready.
  • Place your ball of dough into a clean and lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film/beeswax paper/a damp tea towel.
  • Allow to rise for 1 hour (preferably in a warm place like a warm kitchen or an airing cupboard).
  • When your dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto a clean and floured surface.
  • Shape 11 balls from the dough – weighing will help to keep them even. First weigh all of your dough and then divide by 11. Mine weighed around 70g each.
  • Place the balls of dough on two greased and lined baking trays: 5 on one and 6 on the other.
  • Cover again and allow to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the warmth of the area you are keeping them in. They will be ready when they have roughly doubled in size and are puffy looking.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 [325F] or 160 fan.
  • Push your finger into some flour and then, using that same finger, make a hole in the centre of each ball of dough. Stretch it out a little using your finger but be careful not to knock all of the air out.
  • Once all of your bagels have holes in, put some water into a deep pan and bring it to the boil.
  • When the water is boiling, add the bicarbonate of soda. This is what gives the bagels their shine and chewiness.
  • Doing either one or more bagel(s) at a time (depending on the size of your pot), place them in the water with a slotted spoon. Try to keep them from touching.
  • Keep the bagel(s) in the boiling water for 1 minute, turning over after 30 seconds to do both sides.
  • Remove your bagel(s) from the water with the slotted spoon, making sure to drain well and place them back onto the baking trays.
  • Repeat this process until you have done all of your bagels.
  • Brush the bagels with the egg white and sprinkle on the black sesame seeds.
  • Bake your bagels for around 25 minutes. They will look shiny and will sound hollow when tapped on underneath once baked through.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool, top them with the candy eyes (or whatever alternative you are choosing for the eyes). I used a little butter on each one to help “glue” them on, but you can just as easily use edible glue or no glue at all, if you plan on just laying them down for presentation and removing the eyes for eating.

Notes

These tasty bagels are best enjoyed fresh but will last around 2 days as they are and will be delicious to toast from day 1 to day 4. They can be frozen for up to 2 months if stored in cling film and tin foil, wrapped individually, though they may discolour in the freezer. Enjoy!
Keyword bagels, chinese five spice, everything everywhere all at once, sesame seeds

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