Ah bagels, how many softball games I spent sitting on the bench eating my own weight in bagels. Cheese bagels, blueberry bagels, and my personal favorite, chocolate chip bagels.
But the best bagels of all don’t come off a bakery shelf–they come right out of your kitchen, a reward for all the kneading, boiling, and waiting.
And they taste so much better.
Especially when they’re spread with tangy and sweet pumpkin dip.
Chai-Spice Bagels with Pumpkin Dip
makes about 5 bagels
- 3/4 t. yeast
- 1/4 c. mashed bran cereal (or oat flour for gluten-free)
- 1/4 c. wheat or oat bran, ground until fine
- 2.5 T. coconut flour
- 1 T. chia seed or flax seed meal (essentially seeds ground fine in a coffee grinder)
- 1/4 c. + 2T. vital wheat gluten (for gluten-free, substitute this with more oat flour or something heavier like quinoa flour and add 3/4 t. of guar gum)
- 1/2 T. honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 c. warm water
- 1 T. homemade chai spice (recipe coming soon) or 1 packet chai tea
- baking soda (for boiling)
- For the dip: pumpkin puree + a pinch or two chat masala
→First of all, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature or a lukewarm–you don’t want to inhibit the yeast.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. If you’re using instant yeast, you can add it to the dry ingredients. Otherwise, stir the yeast into the water until it’s dissolved.
Add the water to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Add the honey/maple syrup and stir again.
At this point, turn it out onto a board, mat, etc that’s either non-stick (I used a silicone baking mat), dusted with flour or sprayed with cooking spray. Knead, adding water if needed (but you shouldn’t need any).
When the dough becomes elastic-y and starts to cling together, shape it into a ball, place it in a bowl, cover and let rise for about half an hour. It won’t rise very much, but that’s OK: bagels are dense, right?
Once it’s risen, take it out of the bowl and cut it into 5-6 pieces. For mini bagels cut it into 10. There are two schools of thought on how to shape the bagels.
You can either form each piece into a little dough ball, poke your thumb through the middle and stretch out the dough until it forms a bagel-y shape OR you can roll the dough ball with your hands until it looks like a fat log and join the two ends together. I’ve tried both methods but I prefer the former as it seems to hold up better in the boiling water. It does, however, make for a rougher bagel.
Once the bagels are formed, lay them out on a well greased cookie sheet, cover and let them rise for another 20 minutes or so. In the meantime, put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Add a few large pinches of baking soda and stir. If you want, you can add some maple syrup or brown sugar too.
GENTLY put the bagels in the water and watch them float to the top. Boil the bagels for about 1-2 minutes per side (the longer you boil, the thicker the skin will be). You don’t want the water to be at a rolling boil, but rather a brimmer (halfway between a simmer and a boil) otherwise you’ll end up with soggy bagels.
Take the bagels out of the water and place them on a baking rack or drying rack to drip.If you want to add toppings, brush the bagels with some olive oil and sprinkle the toppings on. I skipped the toppings to let the chai shine through.
Preheat the oven to 425*F. Bake the bagels for 20-25 minutes until the tops are lightly browned. Cool.
Split open, toast and spread with some pumpkin dip. If you don’t have any chat masala on hand, try adding a pinch or two of brown sugar to the pumpkin puree along with a squeeze or two of lemon juice. It should mimic the tangy-sweet flavor of the chat masala fairly well.
Questions to ponder:
- What’s your favorite bagel topping?