Weekend Brunch Round 38: Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Bagels

We had ourselves a little snow storm on Saturday; ok so maybe little is an understatement because it pretty much just sucked. I originally had all these grand plans of, you know, leaving the house, but that all fell apart when I got up in the morning looked out the window and could no longer see our neighbors house. I like to think of myself as a somewhat decent driver but no. Just no. I much prefer to avoid situations where the weather can cause large moving objects to collide with other large moving objects, so lazy PJ day it was!d6c_1824I gotta admit, I was pretty cranky about the whole thing. Although I’m not a total type A person, a little bit sneaks out when my ever so carefully thought out plans have been thrown up in the air. No matter how utterly redundant they are, I just don’t like it. “I can’t go to the grocery store to get that one ingredient I don’t really need?! Oh woe is me! My entire weekend is ruined. Ruined!”…yeah, adapting is not my strong suit. d6c_1827Ok, so I wasn’t that bad but I was a little annoyed that I didn’t get to do any of the errands I had planned. To make up for my forced hibernation I decided to fill the kitchen with the sweet smell of carbs. I haven’t baked my own bread since spring and it’s been even longer since I made bagels, like over a year kind of longer, which is a crazy ass long time for me. And lately I feel like some weird winter bread monster has taken over my body cause I’ve been craving carbs like cray cray! It’s like my mind has been set to MUST EAT ALL THE BREAD! But with no carbs in the house and way too much time on my hands, bagels needed to be made.

The smell when these came out of the oven! Oh god the smell! If the house always smelled like that I’d never want to leave again. It was like fresh baked bread mixed with cinnamon and pumpkin, mmmmm. When I finished boiling each one, I was kind of iffy since they seemed a little too big, and I starting thinking, oh gosh, I could never finish one of those (ha ha ha ha, silly girl). The second those suckers were freshly baked out of the oven all bets were off. I took one, slathered it in almond butter and basked in the chewy, cinnamony deliciousness.
d6c_1830Like everything made with yeastie beasties, making bagels isn’t difficult, it just takes some time and it’s pretty nice to have some homemade bagels hanging around for breakfast time. If you can’t make it through the whole batch they freeze great, or you could just eat them all in a cough week cough. The cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top is optional but it adds a nice little wallop of sweetness to each one, plus it turns your toaster into the greatest air freshener ever created! Obviously you can leave the cranberries out too but I highly suggest adding them, otherwise you won’t get little bits of tartness within every magical sweet bite. Bagels are good anytime but these would also make a pretty rad addition to a holiday brunch, sure it’s only November but as my neighbours like to remind me, Christmas is coming! 😉 d6c_1821

Do you like to play with yeast? Have you ever attempted homemade bagels?


Chewy delicious homemade pumpkin bagels, perfect for a holiday brunch. Filled with pumpkin, warm spices and tart cranberries, these bagels are great topped with some non-dairy cream cheese, butter or even almond butter!


  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups (18 ounces) unbleached bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups (17 ounces) unbleached bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, brown sugar or agave
  • 2 teaspoons malt powder
1 tablespoon malt syrup, agave or brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
  • Brown sugar & cinnamon for topping


  1. To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water and pumpkin, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.
  2. To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl, add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt, molasses, maple syrup and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine), adding the cranberries during the final 3 minutes. The dough should be very firm, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all the ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77° to 81°F. If the dough seems too dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.
  4. Divide the dough into 20 pieces. Form the pieces into rolls. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
  5. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and mist lightly with spray oil. Shape the bagels by poking a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2½ inches in diameter. The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible. I found this way to be the easiest. Alternatively, you can roll out the dough into an 7-inch-long rope. Wrap the dough around the palm and back of your hand, between the thumb and forefinger, overlapping the ends by several inches. Press the overlapping ends on the counter with the palm of your hand, rocking back and forth to seal.
  6. Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  7. You can now retard the bagels in the refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days to increase the flavor of the dough (highly suggested). Or continue on to finish baking the bagels.
  8. The following day (or when you are ready to bake the bagels), preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.
  9. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many that will comfortably fit. After 90 seconds flip them over and boil for another 90 seconds. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour.
  10. When all the bagels have been boiled, sprinkle the tops with some brown sugar and cinnamon, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are baking only 1 pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.
  11. Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.



10 thoughts on “Weekend Brunch Round 38: Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Bagels

  1. FoodFeud says:

    ohman oh man ohman! I’ve got to make these. I’m bigggg on bagels but haven’t found pumpkin bagels in these parts yet. I BET they smell amazing!
    I often get frustrated working with yeast but bagels are worth it. Hope you were able to run yr errands eventually, and the snow wasn’t too much of a hassle.

  2. Katie @ Produce on Parade says:

    Wow, Maggie, you are a professional bagel maker. Those are insane! They look absolutely perfect! I’ve never made bagels but I did help my full-blooded Italian chef uncle (by marriage, waaah) make some once. I feel like it is time….also, you need to take up nordic skiing to banish those winter blues, girl!

  3. Jackie at Vegan Yack Attack says:

    Lady! Bagels!!!

    Your story about the snow reminds me of the last time I was in Michigan during the winter, when it was below freezing and snowing. I thought, driving in this can’t be THAT bad. Then, on the way to the airport I saw 5 car accidents in 3 miles because of traffic. F*ck that! So, I don’t blame you for staying in during a snow storm. Plus, you gave us this amazing recipe. HOORAY for you and yeasties!

  4. flickingthevs says:

    Pumpkin bagels? Don’t mind if I do. Bagels are one baked good that have always seemed way too tricky for my minor baking skills, but I’d really love to give these a go. I’m not sure I can live without these in my life.

  5. joybee83 says:

    These look so good. I love cinnamon raisin bagels and these sound even better. I bake a lot mostly breads. The one and only time I tried to make bagels they deflated as soon as I took them out of the water. I’ll have to give it another go for these.

  6. Susmitha - Veganosaurus says:

    These look sooooooo goooooooood!!! I gotta have some right now!

    Thanks for the tip about keeping the unboiled/unbaked bagels in the fridge for a couple of days to increase the flavour. Definitely gonna do that when I try your recipe. 🙂

  7. Pingback: We Live Social | (via Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Bagels – The Vegan Cookbook…

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