Homemade Bagels

It’s the spookiest day of the year, and what screams “Halloween” more than a basket of homemade bagels?

Just kidding. I didn’t really go with the Halloween theme today, but I have no regrets. It’s never a bad time for bagels, especially the homemade kind.

I used the same recipe as I did last time—from Sophisticated Gourmet—and once again it was delicious. I did make one change, however. After our last experience with these, I knew that this time I would have to make a double batch! The recipe makes 8, but I doubled it and also separated it into smaller bagels, so I got 24 in all.

Since the cinnamon raisin bagels were so popular last time, I didn’t make any plain ones today. 14 were cinnamon raisin and 6 were just cinnamon (to give to my friends—for some ridiculous reason they don’t like raisins! I don’t understand that). I also tried making 4 pumpkin-flavored, since I had a bunch of pumpkin leftover from last week’s muffins.

Adding the purée made the dough super moist, but they turned out okay. The pumpkin taste wasn’t really apparent, but we still liked them. Next time, though, I think it’s going to be all cinnamon-raisin!

I can never seem to get these bagels smooth and seamless, but I think the bumpy, twisted, imperfect surface actually gives them a really neat look.

The entire bagel-making process is surprisingly fun, but my favorite part will always be the boiling. It’s one of those things that’s hard to describe—you just have to try it for yourself! I took a video this time, but honestly not even that can capture the experience.

Maybe I’m being weird, but I really do love boiling those things. This is what gives them that “skin.” You have to boil them for at least a minute, but I like to go longer to make the outer layer thicker. If you’ve never had homemade bagels, this may not sound so appetizing, but I’m telling you, it’s something amazing that’s completely unmatched by any store-bought bagel.

After they’ve been boiled, the bagels need to go in the oven for about 20 minutes. The outsides get that slight crunch, and mmm…that’s what I call perfection.

These make an amazing brunch, as well as next-day sandwiches! If you ask me, toasting them for just a minute brings them to perfection.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Back at it again with brunch! Today I made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. I’ve made these once before—about this same time last year, actually—and they’ve been delicious both times.

I used my own fresh, homemade pumpkin purée for this. Since I haven’t cooked with the canned kind, so I can’t really compare the two, but I do think it’s fun to bake the actual pumpkin.

I’m not exactly sure where the original recipe for this came from, but I did make a few changes to it today. First, I replaced half of the oil with applesauce, and then instead of two cups of sugar I put in one, plus a half cup of Stevia. Still tasted great!

My brother said today: “I hope we’ll see more of these in the future!” and I can guarantee that we will.