Sweet Potato Bagels

Sweet Potato Bagels - These sweet potato bagels are easy to make and perfect for Thanksgiving morning!

I love bagels. When I was little my mother would make me “special bagels” which meant she would top them with a very generous amount of cream cheese and then place them under the broiler. The cream cheese would soften and develop a caramelized layer on top, which she would cover with strawberry jam. Total decadence. I still crave special bagels for breakfast sometimes, especially when I’m feeling under the weather. They’re comfort food. 

Sweet Potato Bagels - These sweet potato bagels are easy to make and perfect for Thanksgiving morning!

What I don’t really love about standard bagels are their size. Am I alone here? They’re just too big for me. The great thing about making bagels from scratch is that you can control how big they are. When Red Star Yeast asked me to develop some recipes for them, I knew I wanted to start by making homemade sweet potato bagels and that I wanted to create smaller portions. Not mini-bagels (because seriously, those are tiny) but smaller bagels. Something that I could enjoy first thing in the morning without feeling weighed down.

These are easy to make, I promise. If you’re not used to working with yeasted doughs, Red Star Yeast has some very helpful guides on their website that you can check out. The only important note I would make about this recipe is that when you roll out the dough and shape it into a bagel, you really want to pinch the ends together firmly. Squeeze it around a bunch until there’s very little sign of a seal. If you don’t firmly seal the ends together the bagel might come undone while you’re boiling it. But aside from that, have fun! You will love these bagels. I can’t think of a better breakfast for Thanksgiving morning. I might even use my mother’s trick and make special bagels.

Sweet Potato Bagels
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 2-ounce bagels
  • 14½ ounces (3 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • ½ cup sweet potato puree (see note)
  1. Whisk/sift together flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the water, Red Star Yeast and 2½ tablespoons sugar. Allow it to proof for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potato puree and mix it into the liquid using a dough hook and then add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes and then turn the speed up to medium and allow it to mix for an additional minute.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow the dough to double in size, approximately 1 hour. Remove the dough and punch it down.
  5. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Using a kitchen scale, measure out 2 ounce balls (these will make small bagels compared to what you would buy in a store. For a more traditionally sized bagel, aim for 3.5 ounces). Roll each ball into a 5-inch log. Join the ends and firmly pinch them together. Once all of the bagels are rolled out, let them rest for an additional 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to a boil with ½ tablespoon of sugar. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  7. In batches, boil the bagels for around 30 seconds per side.
  8. Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon and place them on the prepared sheet tray. Bake for 12 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
You can purchased canned sweet potato puree but it's very easy to make fresh. Here's what I do: use a fork to poke numerous holes in the sweet potato, place it in a bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 3 minutes, flip the potato and then microwave for another 3 minutes. Allow to cool and then slice in half and scoop out the softened sweet potato with a spoon. Puree in a food processor.

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