Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pumpkin Bagels

 What do you do when you have some time on your hands, some canned pumpkin that you got for a good price (lots of it) and cold weather to make you want to bake to heat the house a little.... You make bagels of course, well, that is, if you are a baking bread fiend like me.

Ah, but that kinda crazy has its own rewards.  Fresh baked bread.  Do you smell it?  Pumpkin pie spice warming in your oven.  The intoxicating smell of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg...

In an effort to incorporate more and more grains I added a bit of wheat and of course the pumpkin has lots of fiber, so its a pretty decent bagel to eat health wise.  That is if you don't slather heaping mounds of cream cheese on top.  Oh, that wouldn't be any fun now would it?  Oh, but seriously my new bff is Greek Cream Cheese- made from yogurt, a bit less calories 60 to 70 per ounce rather than the usual 100.  And the flavor and texture is yummy.
 I am probably not the best shaper of bagels
But I did improve a little.

Pumpkin Bagels
Makes 19 fairly big bagels- the kind you see at the store. I froze some of them- an instant treat for later.
Printable here.

5 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons yeast or 2 packets
2 cups water (give or take depending on humidity)

1 tablespoon baking soda
2 quarts water

In a large bowl or a Kitchen Aid stand mixer combine a 1/2 cup water, the sugar and yeast.  Let sit about 10 minutes.  Add the flours, salt, spice, pumpkin and 1 1/2 cups water and begin to mix.  Add in water a little addition at a time.  You want the dough to be soft and supple.  Not hard or too sticky.  Err on the side of sticky.  Mix for about 3 minutes.  Turn out onto counter and begin to knead using flour as needed so it does not stick, but use sparingly.  You know it is done when the dough is soft and smooth, only slightly tacky.  Place in a bowl with a little oil.  Turn dough ball to coat.

Let rise until doubled - about an hour. When close to being done with the rising, place 2 quarts of water in a soup pot and bring to a boil (you want to time it so by the time you start making your bagels you can drop them in the water).  Add in the baking soda.  It will bubble a little.  It will stop quickly. Stir.

Preheat oven to 450F.

Remove dough and fold down.  Make 18- 20 dough balls.  Poke finger through the middle of the ball and widen the whole to form the classic bagel ring.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.  (Because of the wetness and the baking soda thing, they tend to stick, so, you really need the parchment.)

Place formed bagel rings on a dampened towel.  Add about four bagels to the boiling water, about one minute on each side. Remove from water, shaking excess water off the bagel and place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Remove and place on cooling rack.  If you freeze them, make sure they are completely cool before doing so.