Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Bagels with Cinnamon Cream Cheese

A rural Virginia bakery churns out seasonal treats—and shares the recipe for a fall favorite

Photo: Jillian Michelle Photography

The Pumpkin Spice Sourdough Bagel is topped with brown sugar, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Every other Saturday morning, bread lovers wind through the cattle-dotted Shenandoah Valley to Season’s Yield Farm for “Bread Day” at the farm, bakery, and home of Daniel and Fawn Shear in Raphine, Virginia. Since the couple launched the bread-centric community gathering event last January, it has started drawing crowds of up to four hundred. The grab-and-chat lineup includes croissants, apple galettes, wild-leavened sourdough bread, and a new sourdough pumpkin spice bagel.

photo: Jillian Michelle Photography
Daniel and Fawn Shear inside the Bread Barn. 

Daniel Shear became interested in baking when his wife, Fawn, sent him Chad Roberton’s Tartine Bread cookbook while he was deployed in Afghanistan in 2012. “I read this book as a coping mechanism and to separate myself from the situation,” he says. Upon his return, the couple pursued an agrarian lifestyle, starting out with a garden, pigs, milk goats, and chickens. 

“I was baking consistently while Fawn and I were farming and providing produce for over twenty families, and the bread is what really took off,” Daniel says. “I saw wood-fired baking, along with an aspect of togetherness during Bread Day, as something that was unique and needed in our community.” Now guests are welcome to linger over that pumpkin spice bagel, coffee in hand. “This place is beautiful, and we wanted to share it with everyone.”

photo: Jillian Michelle Photography
Daniel Shear preps boules for Bread Day orders.  

Bagels are a recent addition to Season’s Yield: After Fawn brought home bagels this fall, the natural baker in Daniel kicked into gear (“He’s offended when I buy bread,” Fawn says with a laugh.) The following week, Daniel prepared more than four hundred bagels. The pumpkin spice version gets a sprinkling of brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. In the oven, the toppings brown and caramelize for a sweet, nutty flavor. Daniel enjoys finishing off the bagel with hand-whipped cinnamon and maple cream cheese.

The Shears dreamed up the sourdough pumpkin spice bagel as a user-friendly recipe inspired by their popular spice croissants. Daniel highly recommends the exactness of a scale for the best bagel results, and he measures in grams. “A standard countertop mixer can handle a double batch of this recipe.” (Note: Even if you don’t make the bagels, add the simple spiced Cinnamon Cream Cheese mixture to your weekend breakfast lineup. Recipe below.)


  • Season’s Yield Farm Pumpkin Spice Sourdough Bagels (Yield: 8 servings)

    • 415 grams all-purpose flour

    • 300 grams sourdough starter

    • 128 grams canned pumpkin puree

    • 120 grams cold water

    • 28 grams dry milk powder

    • 16 grams brown sugar

    • 10 grams diastatic malt powder

    • 10 grams sea salt

    • 6 grams barley malt syrup

    • 6 grams cinnamon

    • 3 grams nutmeg

    • 3 grams ginger

    • 2 grams cloves

    • Spiced Topping (recipe follows)

    • Cinnamon Cream Cheese (recipe follows)

  • For the Spiced Topping

    • 200 grams brown sugar

    • 100 grams cane sugar

    • 12 grams cinnamon

    • 6 grams ginger

    • 6 grams nutmeg

    • 4 grams cloves

  • For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese

    • 8 oz. cream cheese

    • 15 grams maple syrup

    • 15 grams brown sugar

    • 6 grams cinnamon

    • 3 grams ginger

    • 3 grams nutmeg

    • 2 grams cloves


  1. Make the dough: In stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, weigh and combine the sourdough bagel ingredients. Mix for 8 minutes on low speed. If hand-mixing, mix to incorporate dry with wet by hand, turn onto lightly floured surface, and knead for 10 minutes. By the end of mixing/kneading time, the dough should be well developed, strong, and smooth. Remove from the mixing bowl, place on the counter, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  2. Shape the dough: Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and a dusting of cornmeal or brown rice flour to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into eight 135 gram pieces. Form the dough into a rectangle and then fold the top to the bottom and secure, forming a little tube. Roll the dough tube to a 10-inch long tube that is equal in diameter, wrapping the dough around your hand and overlapping the ends on your palm. Roll the overlapped ends back and forth on the counter to seal. Transfer to the baking sheet. 

  3. Proof the dough: Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for three hours. The dough should be slightly puffy in appearance. If the dough feels dense to the touch, proof for additional time. Finish proofing by putting in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The dough will last in the refrigerator for 72 hours.

  4. Boil and bake the dough: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Fill a large, wide pot ¾ full with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add two spoonfuls of baking soda. Boil the proofed bagel dough, straight from the refrigerator, for thirty seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove bagels from the water onto a rack to drain. Combine ingredients for Spice Topping and liberally sprinkle over the still-moist bagels. Bake for 18–20 minutes until deeply browned on top and bottom.

  5. For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese: Whip all ingredients together with a fork. Chill until ready to serve.