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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pumpkin Bagels

Back in the days when I worked as a dental assistant, one of the offices I worked at happened to be right across the street from an Einstein Brothers Bagel Shop. My favorite time of the year was right around Halloween because they always had pumpkin bagels and gingerbread cream cheese at that time. Well, I have yet to attempt gingerbread cream cheese(someday I promise I will) but here is the recipe I created for pumpkin bagels in Shanghai. (I used fresh pumpkin-available at any Shanghai wet market. See my previous entry on baking pumpkin if you've never done it- it is so easy, healthier and way cheaper than the stuff in a can)

Pumpkin Bagels

3/4 cup pumpkin (mine was a pretty soft puree)
1 cup luke warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger (you could easily sub fresh grated ginger)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp yeast
5-6 cups flour

In a large bowl add pumpkin.
Dissolve sugar in lukewarm water and add to bowl.

Add sugar water mixture, salt, spices, and yeast.
Stir well.
Add 3-4 cups of flour and stir to combine ingredients. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough is too stiff to stir.
Knead in bowl or on counter for 8-10 minutes (I like to put on a show on the portable dvd player and get in my upper arm workout while I'm listening to something :) Keep adding a little flour at a time if dough is sticky.
Cover and let rise until doubled in size. 1 1/2 -2 hours.

Deflate by turning over in bowl a few times. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. This will make shaping easier.
Divide into 16-24 balls depending on size preference.
Let rise 1/2 hour (Don't let them rise too much- it will seriously affect the texture of the top of your bagel if you do)
Using your floured finger, make a hole in the center of each bagel.
Pick it up and give it a little spin around your finger.
Meanwhile in a saucepan or wok (I actually like my wok best) heat 2-3 inches of water. Dissolve 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp white sugar in the water. Heat until boiling.
Working in batches boil 6-8 bagels at time. Two minutes on the first side, then flip. Then one minute on the next side.
I use a bamboo chopstick to flip the bagels and to take them out of the water.
After the bagels have boiled transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet. Parchment paper is not essential, but it makes it so much easier to get them off the pan. Cooking spray just doesn't work that well. The bagels have a tendency to become glued to the pan. Parchment paper solves this problem.
Bake at 215°C or 450°F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Enjoy toasted with cream cheese!

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