This post comes courtesy of Jennifer Farley, blogger, recipe developer and food photographer at Savory Simple.
Bagels were a staple in my house growing up. They’ve always been a favorite for easy weekend breakfasts, as well as brunch with friends and family. Homemade bagels are surprisingly easy to make, and you can be creative with the flavors. Since pumpkin is the star ingredient of fall cuisine, it makes a perfect seasonal bagel that you won’t find in many shops.
Additionally, there are many wonderful ways to serve them. I love pumpkin bagels with a layer of cream cheese, browned slightly under the broiler. How about toasted with apple butter on top? They’d also make a wonderful BLT sandwich with applewood smoked bacon.
If you’ve ever made soft pretzels, the process for preparing homemade bagels is quite similar. To summarize: you combine the ingredients, knead the dough, let it rise, shape your bagels, let it rise again, and finally you boil and bake them.
As with most bread recipes there are many steps, but none of them are difficult. If you’re new to baking bread this is actually a great starter recipe. I’ve adapted some basic ingredient ratios from Emeril Lagasse’s homemade bagels recipe, and the results are spectacular. The outside has a wonderful crunch, and the inside is soft and chewy.
The spice levels hit all the right notes. Pumpkin powder is optional, but I love using it — it’s all-natural and enhances both flavor and color. I first discovered it when I made pumpkin challah bread, and it’s been a staple fall ingredient ever since.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
3 Tbs. pumpkin powder (optional, for color and flavor)
1 cup warm water
1/5 ounce active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
2 Tbs. sugar, divided
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Whisk or sift together flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin powder, if using.
In a stand mixer, whisk the water, yeast and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Allow it to proof for 3 to 5 minutes. Proofing is the process of activating the yeast. You want the water to be around 90 to 100 degrees; not too hot, but warm to the touch.
Add the pumpkin puree and mix using a dough hook, then begin to slowly add the flour mixture. Mix for 5 minutes or until smooth, alternating between slow and medium speeds as you add flour. You want to mix it until the dough is no longer sticky. After 5 minutes, if the dough is sticky, you can incorporate another 1-2 tablespoons of flour (or a combination of flour and pumpkin powder).
Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow the dough to double in size, around 1 hour.
Remove the dough and punch it down. Divide into equal pieces, 2 to 4 ounces each, depending on how big you like your bagels. A digital scale is very helpful, but if you don’t have one just eye out 7 to 9 even pieces of dough. Form each piece of dough into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4 to 5-inch log. Join the ends and roll them together. Repeat with the the rest of the dough. Place on a lightly greased surface and let rest until risen but not doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bring 12 cups of water to a boil with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In batches, boil the bagels for around 20 to 30 seconds per side.
Place the bagels on the prepared sheet tray. Bake for 5 minutes, flip, and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving. Makes 7 to 9 bagels.
About the author: Jennifer Farley is the owner, recipe developer and food photographer of Savory Simple. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD where she trained in classic French technique. Jennifer currently works as a recreational cooking instructor and social media marketer. She resides in the Washington DC metropolitan area and can often be found exploring the local culinary scene in search of new inspiration.