Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of brunching with the gorgeous and always stylish Olivia, who answers to miss_om on the social world of the internet, and is also known for her delectable treats as the writer and baker behind, The Darling Baker.
Saturday was a carbohydrate dream come true, with some seasonal ambiguity I watched as Olivia worked her way through the steps of making pumpkin bagels in some almost summer Sydney weather. She of course made it look effortless to whip up a batch of fall flavoured bagels, where I'm sure I would have ended up with flour in parts un-imaginable, but her grace as a baker shows (and tastes divine!). Despite it being a very evident Spring day in Sydney these bagels where an absolute treat and kept me content for hours long after I had munched on mine.
Matched with maple syrup, spiced pumpkin butter, whipped pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin cinnamon spread and a sprinkle of salt for those who like it on the seasoned side, who wouldn't be delighted with the squash combo?
She spoke to me about her love for baking, and how she knows that she can buy a loaf of bread but she loves that simple ingredients can make the same bread which make it taste approximately 700% better.
She also loves the act of sharing her baked goods, and I mean if I was on the receiving end of all her treats I would happily be accepting with my hands out.
She says that she counts success in baking, if it comes out looking partially as it should. That's when you know you have given it all the love it deserves.
So here's to making the end product looking partially as it should and hey it's all about making it your own in the end, right?
Be sure to read and try out some of her baked goods and enjoy the recipe below, courtesy of the lovely Olivia.
Olivia's Pumpkin Bagels
Prep time: 1 hour 30 mins Cook time: 3 hours Serves: 8
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
For the spread
- 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...
- 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!
- If you can find it also serve with maple syrup, spiced pumpkin butter and salt for seasoning.