You know that saying “you are what you eat”? Well, I’m pretty sure for a short while there, I might have almost been a bagel. To say that I ate them a lot would be a gross understatement. More like I ate them pretty much daily for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. I wish I were lying. But, I’m not. What’s even worse is that I could probably still eat them three times a day, if I had to. I’m pretty much obsessed with bagels. And, I owe it all to that local bagel shop where I landed my first job. Oh, and then I worked there for the next six years. If you’ve ever worked in a bakery, you know it means your day is starting before the sun rises. So, 5 to 6 days a week, yours truly was pulling the 6:15 AM - 2:30 PM shift. It was too early to eat breakfast before leaving for work and too late to eat lunch after work. So, what gets a girl through on a busy day of bagel-slingin’? Simple. A carb loaded everything bagel topped with light veggie cream cheese, and banana peppers! Yumm. I’m drooling just thinking about it. It’s the small things in life…
And that sandwich kept me running, pretty much all year long. Until fall came around. I swear, after six years you could feel the season change in that place. The Bills’ broadcasts started playing on the radio and the seasonal shipment of pumpkin bagels arrived. I am pretty sure one of those cases of pumpkin bagels were purchased for me. As soon as October arrived, it was all about the pumpkin bagel. I loved that aroma of the fall spices as the bagel rolled through the toaster. I loved “schmearing” on some peanut butter or honey walnut cream cheese. (Also, pretty sure at least one tub of peanut butter per month was purchased for me.) It was the best bagel month out of the whole year.
Then, six years later, I graduated college and had to leave the bagel biz. All good things must come to an end, they say. Or do they? Who would have thought that you could make your own bagels, at home? By scratch. With pumpkin. And, they’ll taste just as good as any local bagel shop around! It’s not even as hard as I thought it would be, though I suggest making them on a day when you aren’t pressed for time. That’s only because the dough needs some time to rise. After that it’s just shaping, boiling and baking. Oh, and then serving with a little sweet, whipped pumpkin butter on the side. What I love the most about DIY bagels is that you can make them however big or small you like. Personally, I’m all about the big bagel. But, should you like to exert self-control at breakfast (I totally get it), you can just cut the dough into smaller pieces before shaping.
Let’s talk about this sweet, whipped pumpkin butter for a second. I totally wish they had this at my bagel shop while I was employed. Talk about a way to really show off to your friends. Not only did you bake homemade bagels, but you also have an extra-special topping to go along. It only takes five ingredients! Just whip together some butter, sweet honey, savory fall spices, and pumpkin puree. What’s better than pumpkin on top of pumpkin?!? I warned you that my pumpkin baking binge was just taking off.
This whole homemade bagel thing opens up a whole new door of possibilities. Everything bagels on almost-instant demand? Dreams do come true!