Pumpkin Spice Craisin Bagels

Good morning! Hope you all had a great weekend! We have been in New York City since Saturday and sadly are leaving to come home later this morning. It’s been the best time, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it later this week. Cliff notes version: we ate good food (a lot of it!), took in the sights, and ran around the city cheering Shane on as he rocked the NY marathon :)

We crammed in a ton considering we were only here a few days, but there’s so much more I want to do. Hopefully we’ll be back soon – I’m trying to talk Shane into a trip down during the holiday season!

Pumpkin Spice Craisin Bagels

When the weather starts to cool down, I start craving more hearty breakfasts. Bagels are one of my favorite weekend splurges, and I’ve made a ton of different variations over the years. From plain to whole wheat, cinnamon raisin, and blueberry, I’ve covered a lot of ground. Still on my to-list? A chocolate chip bagel after having a really good one at Panera a few weeks ago. Any excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast, right? :)

Pumpkin Spice Craisin Bagels

I’ve also been wanting to make a seasonal bagel for a while now, and it was an easy decision to go with pumpkin since it’s been my flavor obsession for at least a month. Bagels might seem intimidating or like they’d be a lot of work, but if you’ve worked with yeast, they’re not difficult at all. And for that matter, even if you’re new to working with yeast, they’re very doable! Homemade bagels freeze really well too so I like to keep my freezer stocked with them all winter long.

This pumpkin version includes not only pumpkin puree but tons of warm fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. I also threw in craisins because I really like mix-ins in my bagels, but you could skip them if you’re not a fan. Give yourself some time to make these – the recipe is spread out over two days. Rest assured, it’s worth it. That wonderful chewy texture in a bagel packed with fall flavor, it can’t be beat!

Pumpkin Spice Craisin Bagels

Pumpkin Spice Craisin Bagels
adapted from Taste of Home

Dough
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups bread flour
1 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (about 100 F), divided
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup craisins

To Finish
2 to 3 quarts water
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cornmeal

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, flour, and yeast. Mix on low just to combine. Add the water and the pumpkin puree, and mix until a rough dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and start kneading. If the dough is too dry, you can add water 1 tablespoon at a time (alternatively, if it too wet, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time). Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic, and just barely tacky (bagel dough is stiff, if your mixer is struggling to knead it, you can knead by hand instead). Add the craisins and knead for 1 more minute, or until they’re evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a bowl that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour (I like to let mine rise in the oven with the light on).

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment lightly with cooking spray or oil. After the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and divide it into about 100 gram pieces (I wound up with 9 bagels). Working with one piece at a time, shape it into a ball. Then, flatten the ball of dough slightly and poke a hole through the center. Stretch and rotate the dough until the hole is about 2 inches in diameter. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat to shape all 9 bagels and transfer each to the prepared baking sheet after shaping. Spray the tops of each lightly with cooking spray then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days.

On the day you plan to bake the bagels, remove them from the refrigerator about 60-90 minutes before baking. Perform the “float test” on one to check if the bagels are ready – place a bagel in a bowl of cold water, if it floats you are good to go! If the bagel sinks and doesn’t return to the surface, return it to the pan and wait 15-20 minutes then test again. Once a single bagel passes the test, they’re all ready.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake the bagels, preheat oven to 500 F, with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Fill a large pot (the wider the pot, the better) with the water and bring to a boil, then add the baking soda.

A few at a time (as many as can comfortably fit in your pot), drop the bagels into the boiling water. Boil for about 45 seconds per side, flipping them with a spider strainer. While the bagels are boiling, respray the parchment with cooking spray and dust with cornmeal. Remove the bagels to the baking sheets and repeat until they’ve all been boiled.

Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 450 F. Bake for 8 minutes, then check the underside of the bagels to make sure they aren’t getting too dark. If they are, place under baking sheet under the one already in your oven. Rotate the baking sheets (front to back and top to bottom) and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until the bagels have browned and register at least 180 F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the bagels cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 9 bagels