Ever since I made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, I’ve had pumpkin bagels on my mind. There are tons of recipes out there of course, but any other bagels I’ve made (or eaten, for that matter) just don’t hold a candle to Peter Reinhardt’s bagels (except for the bagels that one of my in-law’s neighbors brings back from his bagel shop in New York city – those come pretty darn close). When I made Reinhardt’s bagels last year for the first time, I fell in love with their chewy, crispy exterior and soft, flavorful interior, so I decided that I’d just have to adapt the original recipe for my pumpkin version. Since pumpkin has water content, there needs to be an adjustment of the moisture in the recipe, which I’ve shared below. The bagels turned out wonderfully! Not only did they taste of spices and fall, but they still had the same great texture that I love so much about them. I topped them with pumpkin seeds, but you can use whatever toppings you like. Make them today and enjoy delicious, authentic bagels!
Recipe adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 cups room temperature water
- 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 and 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 and 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp malt powder
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- Pumpkin seeds (optional)
First, make the sponge. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl, and then add the yeast. Mix until the mixture is smooth.
Cover it and let it rise for about 2 hours. The sponge will about double in size and will be very bubbly.
Next, make the dough. Mix the additional yeast into the sponge. Add 3 cups of the flour and the pumpkin, salt, spices, and malt powder. Stir until you have incorporated everything into the dough, and then add the last 3/4 cup of flour. The dough will stiffen. Now, move the dough to the counter and knead. It’ll take about 10 minutes for the dough to acquire a smooth yet firm quality. If the dough seems too dry, wet your fingertips and work the water into the dough. If too sticky, add a bit more flour. The dough should be smooth and pliable when you are done.
At this point, divide the dough. The recipe will yield 12 large or 24 mini bagels.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, line sheet pans with parchment paper, and spray them with cooking spray. Shape the bagels by poking a hole in the center of the dough and gently working it out with your thumb, so that the hole is about 2 inches in diameter. Place each bagel on the pans 2 inches apart, and spray them (lightly) with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let them sit for another 20 minutes.
Next, use the “float test” to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator. Fill a small bowl with cool water and drop one of the bagels in. If it floats within 10 seconds, return it to the pan (pat dry), cover, and place the bagels in the refrigerator overnight. If the bagel does not float, keep checking back every 10-20 minutes or so until it does.
When you are ready to make the bagels, get a large pot of water on the stove and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the baking soda and a little bit of the malt powder. Drop the bagels a few at a time into the boiling water, and let boil for 1 or 2 minutes per side (the longer they boil, the chewier they will be). Sprinkle the parchment paper with cornmeal, and place the bagels back on the paper using a slotted spoon. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds (or topping of your choice).
When all of the bagels are topped and ready to go, place the pans in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pans 180 degrees, switching racks. Bake 5-10 minutes longer before removing the pans, and place the bagels on a cooling rack.
Cool about 15 minutes. Enjoy with cream cheese!