Pumpkin Spice Bagels

Pumpkin Spice BagelsI know, I know, it’s August 7th, and I’m sharing a pumpkin recipe. With only a month of summer left, the last thing anyone wants to think about is fall and pumpkin-flavored everything. However, once you try these bagels, I think you’ll make an exception. These pumpkin spice bagels are aromatic and spicy, and my family enjoys them year round. When my cousin from Arizona visited last month, I wasn’t allowed to bake anything else!

Bagels are a very intimidating bread to bake. They have a yeast dough and need to be boiled before they are baked. I never thought to attempt bagels because they seemed incredibly complicated. I finally gave it a try and was delighted with the results. Don’t let the number of steps scare you- this recipe is accessible even to the most amateur baker.

I use my KitchenAid mixer to make these bagels. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can still make these by hand. They’ll be just as delicious, but will require a little more prep time.

Pumpkin Spice Bagels

Pumpkin Spice Bagels


  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup orange juice, warmed slightly in the microwave
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar (I prefer dark brown, since it has a rich molasses flavor)
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger*
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice*
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*
  • *I like a lot of spice in my bagels, and usually add a heaping ½ teaspoon of each spice. If you prefer a more subtle taste, reduce the spices to a scant ½ teaspoon each


  1. Pour warmed orange juice into a large bowl (or your stand mixer bowl), sprinkle yeast on top and let stand for 10 minutes. The yeast should produce foam on the surface of your mixer. If you do not have any foam after 10 minutes, your yeast is no longer active and should be discarded.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well until dough forms a shaggy ball. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment and mix on low for 3-4 minutes.
  3.  Then increase speed to medium until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. (Friends who are mixing by hand, use a large wooden spoon to mix ingredients, and knead by hand until your dough is smooth.) 
  4. Shape your dough in a ball and place in large bowl and cover with a tea towel or similar cloth.
  5. Let dough rise in a warm, draft free place for 90 minutes.
  6. After 90 minutes, your dough will have roughly doubled in size. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and degas by lightly punching down on your dough. (This process releases trapped air, or gas inside your dough. It has nothing to do with the impressionist painter. Désolé, Edgar.)
  7. Reshape the dough into a ball and divide into 8 equal pieces. I find it is easiest to cut the dough with a sharp knife. To form your bagels, roll each piece into a ball and make a hole with your finger. Twirl the bagel between your index finger and thumb to widen the hole to ⅓ of the bagel’s diameter. Be sure your surface and hands are well-floured for this step to prevent your dough from sticking.
  8. Place your perfectly formed bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I have a baking mat that works well for this. If you do a lot of baking, I would highly suggest investing in a Silpat or similar product.
  9. Cover your bagels and let rise for 20 minutes.
  10. While your bagels are rising, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, fill a stockpot with water and bring to a boil. It is very important that your water is at a rolling boil; otherwise your bagels will become slimy and fall apart.
  11. Place 2 or 3 bagels in your boiling water, and cook for 90 seconds on each side. Remove using a slotted spoon or spatula and let cool on a wire rack. Repeat until all of your bagels are boiled.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Cool bagels on a wire rack, and enjoy with cream cheese or your favorite spread!
  14. Bagels are best stored in paper or cloth bags, and theoretically keep for up to 5 days (mine have always been eaten long before then!)
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Pumpkin Spice BagelsRecipe Adapted from the Galley Gourmet

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