Homemade pumpkin bagels topped with a sweet whipped honey pecan cream cheese spread. Perfect for those chilly fall mornings!
Alright friends, today I’m coming at you with with LOTS of tips & tricks for making delicious homemade bagels. Since it’s officially fall, I thought I’d share one of my latest obsessions: pumpkin bagels. They’re crisp, chewy and full of fall spices. And if that alone doesn’t sound amazing enough, they’re topped with a heavenly whipped cream cheese honey pecan spread. Yesssss!
First off, if you’ve never made homemade bagels before, now is the time! They’re really not that intimidating, I promise. Plus I’m here to guide you through the process so it’ll be even easier.
You’ll want to grab bread flour for this recipe. Bagels need lots of gluten. The more the merrier. All-purpose flour is fine, but it won’t yield the same results. Second, you’ll need pumpkin pie spice (a staple in my pantry during the fall) which can be found near all of the other spices at the grocery store. And finally, you’ll need a pastry brush.
To start, you’ll make the dough in your stand mixer. While this can be done by hand, it requires 5 minutes of active kneading, or about 8 minutes by hand. I’m all about making life simple, so I used my mixer. After the dough comes together it should be relatively dry. You don’t want a sticky dough. Transfer it into a large, greased bowl (I used butter but oil works too), then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise until it doubles in size, this could take anywhere from 1-2 hours. Punch down the dough, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces. I used my bench scraper to cut the dough, then weighed each ball on my scale to ensure they were even. Mine were about 3 ⅜ ounces each.
Next you’ll want to shape the bagels. To do this, pull the corners of each ball to the bottom, then pinch to seal. This will create a tout ball. Using your finger, create a hole in the center of the bagel, then stretch it out just a bit. Place the bagels onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Now this next part is optional but recommended. Place the sheet in the refrigerator and let the dough rest for 8 hours, preferably overnight. This process lets the yeast ferment which helps develop both the taste and texture (inside and out) of the bagels. If you choose to do this step, remove the pan from the fridge and let the bagels rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, place a oven-safe dish filled with 3 cups of water onto the bottom rack of the oven. This will produce steam which will help give your bagels a nice crisp crust. Turn your oven on to 450 degrees. Then bring a large Dutch oven (or stock pot) filled two-thirds full with water and the baking soda (or malt extract) to a boil. Drop the bagels two at a time into boiling water, cook for 45 seconds, then flip and cook for an additional 45 seconds. Remove with a mesh spider or a slotted spoon and place on the lined sheet.
Grab your pastry brush and mix an egg white + 1 tablespoon of water together. Brush over the tops and sides of the bagels. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can brush butter and pat brown sugar onto the tops of the bagels. Totally optional though. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Don’t be afraid to let them get brown! They should have a nice crisp skin on them. Remove them from the oven and transfer the bagels to a wire rack to cool completely. You can whip up the cream cheese spread while they cool. I’m not going to lie, it kind of makes these bagels. Also, don’t be afraid to swap out the honey for maple syrup. Mmmm!
Enjoy these bagels as-is or slice them and toast them. Either way, they’re going to be delicious. Homemade bagels require a little bit of work, but they’re totally doable. This spiced pumpkin version is perfect for those chilly fall mornings!
Homemade Pumpkin Bagels Recipe
- 3/4 cup warm water - about 115 degrees
- 1 packet active dry yeast - 2 1/4 tsp
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup brown sugar - packed
- 3 cup bread flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/4 tsp coarse kosher sea salt
- 1 tbsp baking soda - or malt extract
For the Topping
- 1 egg white - +1 tbsp water whisked
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter - melted
- 6 tbsp brown sugar - optional
For the Cream Cheese
- 6 oz original cream cheese - softened
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch coarse kosher sea salt
- 2 tbsp chopped pecans - toasted
- Fill a glass measuring cup up with 3/4 c. warm water. Add yeast and a pinch of the brown sugar. Allow to proof until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the pumpkin puree and brown sugar. Pour in yeast mixture and mix until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Once a sticky dough forms, switch to the dough hook and mix on lowest speed for 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
- Punch the dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces (mine were about 3 3/8 oz each). Pull the sides underneath and pinch to seal the bottoms. Press your finger through the center of each ball to form a hole, then gently stretch it out.
- Place the bagels onto a parchment or baking mat lined sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours (this step can be skipped, however, it helps improve overall taste and texture).
- Place a oven-safe dish filled with 3 cups of water onto the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove the tray from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes (skip if bagels are not refrigerated). Meanwhile, bring a large Dutch oven filled two-thirds full with water and the baking soda (or malt extract) to a boil. Drop the bagels two at a time into boiling water, cook for 45 seconds, then flip and cook for an additional 45 seconds. Remove with a mesh spider or a slotted spoon, place on lined sheet.
- Brush egg white mixture over bagels. Add additional butter and brown sugar if desired. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer bagels to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the cream cheese spread, in a small mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, mix for an additional minute. Add the nuts and mix just until combined.