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Autumn Pumpkin Bagels

Autumn Pumpkin Bagels

Pumpkin Bagels

Chewy, pumpkin-spiced bagels make the perfect autumn treat.
By Kelsey Hilts

Pumpkin Bagels

Though I loved growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was definitely ready to head south to the sunshine for college.  I happily studied by the pool and wore flip flops all year long while everyone back home was burrowing in for the fall
and winter.  But I have to admit that there was a little part of me that missed the change of seasons from summer to fall.  Fortunately, the bagel shop in Claremont Village made pumpkin bagels every autumn that helped satisfy my
fall cravings.

Fast forward through the years and bagels, specifically pumpkin bagels, have been on my baking list ever since.  All of this time I have been avoiding my bagel project mainly because I had it built up in my head as a time-consuming, complicated process.  This year I finally overcame my reservations in part because I was having some serious cravings for pumpkin bagels with the arrival of autumn and in part because my son is at a stage where he loves kneading and making things with dough.  The time had come to tackle bagels.  I succesfully hit two birds with one stone, satisfying my craving and creating a fun rainy day project in the kitchen.  And in the process, I realized that bagels are really not that hard to make.

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After some experimenting I came up with the following recipe which is adapted from a standard bagel recipe from King Arthur Flour.  It yields 8-12 chewy, pumpkin-spiced bagels which make a perfect autumn treat.  I discovered that my son loves to make bagels almost more than he likes to eat them {which is hard to believe considering how much he loves bagels!}  So now that we’ve realized how easy and straightforward they are to make I have a feeling that many more homemade bagels will be in our near future.

Pumpkin Bagels

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Pumpkin Bagels

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  • Author: Itsy Bitsy Foodies
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 1x


Chewy, pumpkin-spiced bagels make the perfect autumn treat.


  • 1 Tbsp (18g) instant yeast
  • 33 1/2 cups (298-348g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 2 tsp (10g) salt
  • 1 Tbsp (13g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (118mL) water, lukewarm
  • 1 cup (211g) pumpkin puree*
  • 1 tsp (2,5g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (0,6g) ginger powder

Water Bath

  • 2 quarts (1,9L) water
  • 2 Tbsp (25g) brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (12g) granulated sugar

Egg Glaze, Optional

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp (15mL) water
  • I used homemade pumpkin puree. If you use canned pumpkin you may need to add more water because canned pumpkin tends to contain less liquid.


  1. Stir the yeast, sugar and water in a mixer and let it rest for 5 minutes while you gather the remaining ingredients in order to proof the yeast.
  2. Once the mixture is bubbly, add the salt, pumpkin, spices and 2 cups (199g) of flour and stir until a dough forms.
  3. Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough forms a ball that is not too sticky and can be easily handled.
  4. Knead the dough vigorously with a dough hook or by hand for 10 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and let it rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until it has almost doubled in size.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and divide it into 8-12 pieces. {The original recipe makes 8 large bagels but I made 13 smaller bagels, breaking the dough into roughly 2-ounce pieces.}
  7. Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball.
  8. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes
  9. While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, brown sugar and sugar to a gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan.
  10. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  11. Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, twirling the dough on your finger to stretch the hole to roughly 2 inches (5cm) in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 3-4 inches (7-10cm) across).
  12. Place each bagel on a lightly greased baking sheet and repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough.
  13. Transfer the bagels, four at a time, to the simmering water.
  14. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary.
  15. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes on one side and then flip them over to cook for an additional minute.
  16. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet.
  17. Repeat the process with the remaining bagels.
  18. Brush all or some of the bagels with an egg glaze if desired.
  19. Bake the bagels for 20-25 minutes, or until they’re as deep brown as you like, turning them over 10-15 minutes into the baking time to help keep them tall and round. Remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
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