The Adventure of Pumpkin Bagels, Killer Whales and Porpoises

Occasionally I find myself “going domestic.” Yesterday was one such day where I became fixated on making pumpkin bagels. Just what spurred this craving is beyond me. I was doing laps in the pool and it just popped into my mind – pumpkin bagels that sounds great. Now I have to put a caveat in here – I am in Alaska right now – so it’s not like I can saunter down to the corner bagel shop and pick them up. And I only ever found one location that made pumpkin bagels anyhow – a Noah’s bagel shop in Camarillo, CA near my graphics designer’s office. And another disclaimer, no I am not pregnant. My “baby” is heading off to college in the fall.

That small splash is a killer whale chasing a porpoise.

That small splash is a killer whale chasing a porpoise.

I scoured the internet and found some very interesting tips on making “NY” style bagels (which involves boiling potatoes and using the water). And I found a number of recipes for making pumpkin bagels using the bread machine (which I don’t have and had no way of getting on a Sunday in remote Alaska). But I did at least have a list of ingredients.

I made my way into town and after visiting the three grocery stores, managed to procure the necessary items. I was well into bagel making planning on the drive home when I saw a guy on the beach waving frantically. I sped past and about ten seconds later it dawned on me – this is out in the middle of no where – I better turn around to help him out. THANK GOD. I saw the most amazing wild life scene of my entire life. YES, my entire life. He was waving me in to share with me something so totally incredible that he needed to share it with another human being to make it even more real.

There was a large pod of killer whales – about 20 of them chasing a school of porpoises. All of them were jumping out of the water. It was a very large marine mammal water ballet show. It rivaled anything the Belllagio could ever put on. It was just he and I watching the most incredible aquatics show on the planet. We watched in awe for a half hour – when they calmed down, I went home to get my camera. Here is the picture – but they were not jumping anymore.

I was sharing this story later with my Dad and he said – and you saw all of this in Nevada? No Dad, I’m in Alaska. Given that I change locales more often than my teenagers change their hairstyle, Dad is forgiven for not keeping up with where I am. But at least now I know why he occasionally forwards those odd emails related to your mental state as you age. I have seen odd things in Nevada too that I’m sure I shared with him at some point it time.  It was a zebra like creature- come to think of it – it was on a Sunday and it was related to swimming as well (I was again on my way home from the pool).  Maybe I need to start reading those emails he is forwarding about losing your marbles.

It took me a couple hours to “process” all my ingredients and finish the pumpkin bagels. Here is the recipe. I like to make my bagels small. I was reading in this month’s Consumer Reports issue that the number one thing that thin people do to stay thin is to control the portion size of what they eat. I figured making the bagels smaller will help me do that too. So keep this in mind if you try out this recipe – you can make your own bagels whatever size you want to. The cooking time appears to be about the same because it matters more about the plumpness of the bagel than the width.

Ta Da - Mini-Pumpkin Bagels

Ta Da – Mini-Pumpkin Bagels

Pumpkin Bagel Recipe (NO BREAD MACHINE) Ingredients:

2 peeled potatoes cut into quarters.
About 2 quarts of water (enough to cover the potatoes)
one package of fast rising yeast.
4 tbs brown sugar, honey, or agave nectar.
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour (may need more).
1 cup pumpkin puree.
2 tbs pumpkin butter (if you don’t have this put at least 1 tbs of oil).
1 tbs of pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Glaze (don’t mix this in with the bagel ingredients)
1 egg white
1 tbs honey or agave nectar

Boil the potatoes in the water until they are soft and the water is cloudy. Remove the potatoes. Let the water cool to about 100 degrees (too hot and it will kill the yeast). Mix about 3/4 cup of the 100 degree water with the yeast and the 4 tbs of sugar. Save the remaining water. Wait until the yeast gets bubbly (this is called “proofing” the yeast). If after 5 minutes the mixture does not bubble, you have bad yeast. Get some new yeast and start again. Mix the remaining ingredients into the proofed yeast. If the mixture is sticky, keep adding flour until it is not sticky and somewhat elastic. If you are using a big mixer, you are essentially kneading the dough. If you are not, you knead the dough by hand continuing to add white flour until the dough is elastic and not sticky.

Let the dough rise until about double in size. To create a nice warm, moist environment for the dough to rise, I boil a small pan of water and put that and the dough (loosely covered) in an oven that is NOT turned on. With the fast rising yeast, it takes about an hour for the dough to double in size.

Pull the dough out, and shape it into bagels of whatever size you’d like. I made mine about three inches across. I made about 20 mini bagels with this amount of dough. Put the bagels on a cookie sheet covered in corn meal to prevent sticking. Let rise again for about a half hour.

Boil the potato water again – adding more water to get more water to fill the pot. Drop the bagels into the boiling water – only put as many bagels into the pot as can fit on the surface. Boil on each side for 30 seconds. Take out and put on cookie sheet – lightly brush each one on top with the egg white and honey glaze.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees (AFTER YOU REMOVE THE RISING BAGEL DOUGH). Cook the bagels for 15 minutes or until top is a bit hard.

For some delicious reading to go with your delicious pumpkin bagels, download the Cheetah Smart Start Guide for the PMP.

One Response to “The Adventure of Pumpkin Bagels, Killer Whales and Porpoises”

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