Oktoberfest in Germany begins Saturday, September 22, 2012, and ends Sunday, October 7, 2012...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin & Dried Cherry Bagels

Hi!  Well, our first go at homemade bagels was so fun and such a hit with the family, I wanted to try it again.  Since it is pumpkin season, it seemed like a spicy pumpkin bagel would fit the bill.  Try this recipe and let me know your thoughts ….

I would like to say again making bagels at home is not hard.   There are however, four distinct steps, so don’t do this on the fly.  Read the instructions and have all the tools at hand when you start.   Have at least one non-stick baking pan for baking the bagels on.   Have a 4-quart sauce pan, large slotted spoon or skimmer and a wire rack for draining the boiled bagels on.  My adaptation utilizes a food processor, so if you do not have one, use the same steps but mix everything in a large bowl with a very strong wooden spoon.  You may need to knead the dough for about 15 minutes to achieve a smooth and elastic consistency.  Now, if you do not have barley malt syrup, you could use honey or even brown sugar.  I have tried both, and I must say, if you don’t have malt syrup – get some.   If it is not available in your market, or specialty store, you can order it through Amazon (that is what I finally did).   Barley malt syrup is called for in most bagel and pretzel recipes for good reason.  Once you give bagel making a try, you will be hooked, so make the investment and buy this ingredient.   


1 cup dried cherries
1 cup pumpkin puree ( canned or roasted & pureed pumpkin )
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon fast acting dry yeast ( you can use bread machine yeast )
3 Tablespoons brown sugar ( one for the yeast sponge, and two for the food processor )
2 Tablespoons canola oil
3 cups bread flour ( 2 for the processor bowl, and more or less for kneading )
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon barley malt syrup ( for the boil )
1 Four-quart pan filled two-thirds full of water
1 Tablespoon rye or bread flour (you could even use corn meal) to sprinkle over wax paper for the bagels to raise on.

Mixing:    First, to a two cup measuring cup add one cup of warm water.   To the water add one Tablespoon of brown sugar and stir well to combine with the water.  When the temp is just luke warm, top the water mixture with the yeast and stir with a non-reactive spoon.    Set aside for about 15 minutes to proof.

Meanwhile, to the bowl of a food processor add 2 cups of bread flour.   Then top with the dried cherries.  Run on low for a few seconds and then using a spoon lift from the bottom to bring the pieces of cherries back up.  Repeat this process a few times so that the dried cherries are reduced to smaller pieces.  

Then, top the bread flour and dried cherries with the 2 cups of whole wheat flour, the other 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, the cinnamon and salt.   Run on low for a few seconds to combine.

Now, if the yeast has produced a foamy top, you know the yeast is alive and will give you a nice rise.   Top the flour mixture in the food processor with the yeast mixture, pureed pumpkin and the oil.  

Then, run on medium high until a dough ball forms.   If you do not get a formed ball, that’s okay.   

Turn the well-combined dough out onto a floured surface and knead in additional bread flour ¼ cup at a time as necessary.  Bagel dough should be stiff.  Work in as much extra flour as you can comfortably knead.   The dough will soften slightly as the gluten develops. 

Now, roll the dough into a ball, place in a large oiled bowl, and turn to coat.  Cover and let rise until nearly double in size – about 1 hour.   I usually put my dough bowl in the microwave to rise.  That way it is not affected by temperature fluctuations in the house. 

Shaping:  Okay, if your dough has nicely risen, it is time to punch it down, but first line one or two (depending on the size you have) baking pans with wax paper and sprinkle it with a little rye flour if you have it – if not, bread flour will be fine.   The rye is a little more grainy which aids in the non-stick we are after.  

Okay, now, punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface.  Knead briefly and then cut in half, likewise the halves and those in thirds so you have 12 equal sections of dough.

One by one, roll each section into a ball and then press your thumb through the middle.  Then, gently pull and shape to make the hole a little more than 1 inch wide. 

When you have the desired shape, place the bagel on the floured wax paper.  Evenly space the bagels in the pan/pans and then cover.  I find a pan cover to be best, but if you do not have one, lay wax paper or a damp tea-towel over the bagels and let them rest and puff up – about 25 minutes.

Boiling:    Bagels are boiled before they are baked.  While they are proofing, fill a 4-quart saucepan two-thirds full with cold water.  Add the Tablespoon of malt syrup and bring to a boil.  While the water is warming up to a boil, fill a shallow roasting pan two-thirds full of water and place it in the oven on a rack right above the heating element.   Place a second rack in the middle of the oven.   Turn the oven on for a 475 degrees F. pre-heat.

Okay, when the water/malt mixture has come to a boil, stir the foam down and then, two at a time gently lower the bagels into the boiling water.   Boil them for one minute on one side and then turn them.  Boil on the other side for one minute and then turn again.   Boil for another few seconds and then remove with a slotted spoon and place the boiled bagel onto a wire rack to drain.   (If the bagels sink to the bottom, this is okay, just let them boil until they float to the top)

Continue the process until you have just enough bagels boiled to place on a baking sheet and then bake.

 Baking:   Bagels are baked with steam.   When you see steam on the window of your pre-heated oven, you know it is ready to receive the baking sheet of bagels.  ***NOTE***  Stand off to the side when you open the oven door to avoid the escaping steam (this whoosh is very brief).  Then, quickly place the baking sheet into the oven.   Bake for 15 minutes (I know it’s hard, but don’t open the oven door to peek, because you do not want to lose the steam).   Stand to the side and open the oven, then quickly turn each bagel over so the other side will brown.   Shut the door and bake another 5 minutes.

Then, remove the bagels from the oven and place each bagel on a wire rack to cool.

Okay, as the first batch of bagels are baking, bring the pot of water back to a boil with more water if needed.   Repeat the process above and ready the second batch of bagels to enter the oven when the first batch is removed.   Remember, when the oven door is opened you will have a whoosh of hot steam. 

Enjoy !!!!

Bagels are best enjoyed the day they are baked.  Serve them when they have rested for about 10 minutes after baking – or later on toasted, or at room temperature.   They freeze quite well and are best when defrosted slowly.

You might like to slice them in half and enjoy with plain or flavored cream cheese spreads.   We enjoyed these spicy pumpkin bagels with a Spiced Peach Preserve Cream Cheese Spread.   Here is the recipe …..

Spiced Peach Cream Cheese Spread with Walnuts
To each 4 ounces of cream cheese add 1 heaping Tablespoon Peach Preserves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a heaping Tablespoon of chopped walnuts.  Using an electric mixer with just one beater, mix on low until well combined.  Keep chilled until used.

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