When you crave pumpkin-spice schmear and its bagel-form buddy from holidays long gone.
And then you remember pumpkin-spice [insert foodstuff here]
doesn’t exist in this country and besides, it’s actually Spring.
The solution: grab a pumpkin and start from scratch.
Bagel recipe from The Galley Gourmet. Cream cheese: improvised.
And a warning: don’t start unless you’ve got a lazy 3 hours up your sleeve.
A whole small butternut pumpkin (or a large chunk of a large one) — enough to make more than 3/4 cup mashed*
For the bagels
1/2 cup of the aforementioned mashed pumpkin
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 + 1/4 cup plain flour
1 tbsp dried yeast
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch of salt
1/2 cup pepitas
For the schmear
1 block Philadelphia cream cheese (I used light)
1/4+ cup of mashed pumpkin (depending how pumpkiny you want it)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
- Peel and chop the pumpkin, then steam it over a saucepan (or in the microwave) until it’s very soft (according to a fork or bamboo skewer).
- Transfer to a medium bowl and use a stick blender (or use a food processor, of course) to blend the pumpkin until it’s uniformly velvety and smooth. Transfer to the fridge so it’s not too hot for the yeast when the time comes.
- Add all the bagel ingredients (except the pepitas) to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment** and mix on low speed for about 3 minutes, or until the dough has started to form. It should be a bit sticky — if not, add just a touch more pumpkin.
- Mix for another 7 minutes or so. By now you should have a single lump of slightly saggy dough.
- Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave it somewhere warm for 1.5 hours. (If the warmest place is in the sun, cover the bowl with a tea towel to protect the yeast from the light.)
- When the dough has doubled and your 90 minutes is up, press the dough a bit to relax any big air pockets, then roll it into ball and set it on a lightly floured surface.
- Using a large, sharp knife, cut the dough ball into eight equal portions, and roll each of these into a ball before placing on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Dip your index finger in some flour, then poke a hole into the middle of each bagel, stretching out the hole to about the size of a 5-cent coin/penny.
- Leave the dough to rise again for 20 minutes — just out on the bench is fine — while you preheat the oven to 220° C.
- Just before the 20 minutes is up, bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
- Using a slotted spoon, gently drop the bagels into the water, three or four at a time. Boil for 1.5–2 minutes — flipping over halfway through — then use the slotted spoon to remove them and place them back onto the paper-lined tray. Repeat until they’re all done.
- Sprinkle/press the pepitas onto the top of the bagels while the surface is still sticky.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the bagels are golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature with…
…Spiced-pumpkin cream cheese***
- Put all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mash together with a fork until completely combined and smooth. Add more spices, pumpkin or sugar to taste. That’s it!
*I cooked about 750 grams. Enough for this and a handful of other seasonally inappropriate recipes!
**The going will get tough, so a KitchenAid or similarly sturdy machine is best.
***You can prepare this while the dough is rising (either time) and just keep it in the fridge until it’s ready to serve.