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I don’t remember ever not loving bagels. When I was in high school I would grab one for lunch at the nearest bagel shop. They made a great quick breakfast on my way out the door, or for a packed lunch in college. I moved to New York in my twenties and fell in love with them all over again. NYC has the best bagels hands down. Whenever I was in the city for the day, I would always stop at my favorite place and get one. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making bagels at home. Gluten-free bagels, I thought, had to be better than the ones I had bought at the grocery store. I have been craving a real bagel with chewy, golden, tough exterior and soft interior. And I think I’ve done it with this gluten-free bagel recipe.
Buckwheat is one of my favorite pseudo-grains to use in gluten-free cooking and baking. It adds back that texture and flavor that’s often missing in gluten-free baked goods. I absolutely didn’t want these bagels to be flavorless. Even if I was going to use them as a base for a sandwich or a fruity spread, they had to be good on their own too. Despite their homely looks, they are just right.
See?! Look at that inside! Soft and chewy. (You’ll have to take my word for it until you make them yourself.) Below the recipe, you’ll find how-to pictures and some helpful hints and tips for making great gluten-free bagels.
This recipe is also dairy-free, but in case you were wondering what the delicious looking pink spread was, it’s a simple goat cheese cherry jam spread. Just mix equal parts of each one together and keep in the fridge. It’s one of my favorites, and a good alternative to cream cheese even if you aren’t consuming cows milk.
- ⅔ cup buckwheat flour
- ⅔ cup millet flour
- ⅓ cup potato starch
- ⅓ cup tapioca starch
- ⅓ cup rice flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¾ cup warm water
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 Tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon sugar, divided
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda (for boiling water)
- Whisk together flours, starches, and xanthan gum. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine warm water (120-130°F), active dry yeast, and ¼ teaspoon sugar. Stir to dissolve yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat remaining 1 Tablespoon sugar, egg, olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the the proofed yeast.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Stop and scrape down sides and make sure all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Turn the mixer back on to medium speed and let mix for 3-5 minutes. The dough will start to form elastic strands as it mixes.
- 5. Lightly oil a mixing bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Let rise for about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle a little rice flour on a clean, flat surface. Turn the dough out and form into a disk. Cut into 6 evenly sized wedges. Form each one into a ball, using as little rice flour as possible to keep it from sticking to your hands. Flatten into a 4” round. Form a 1” hole in the center. Set on a baking sheet dusted with a little more rice flour and let rise for 25 minutes in a warm place.
- 6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Fill a 3-4 quart pot with water and add the baking soda. Bring to a rolling boil. When the bagels have risen, gently drop two or three into the boiling water. Let cook for 2 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bagels from the water. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.
HOW TO PHOTOS + TIPS
Tip 1: It’s important to combine the dry ingredients before mixing up the dough. Sifting through a sieve works great. I also find it handy to place everything into a blender or food processor and give it a few pulses. (Note: the sugar goes in with the liquid ingredients.)
Tip 2: Always use water that is the proper temperature when proofing yeast. It should be around 120-130°F is a good range. Any hotter than 140°F will kill the yeast, and if the water is too cold, the yeast won’t proof. Also be sure to add a pinch of sugar to give the yeast something to “eat.”
Tip 3: Don’t be tempted to add too much flour. The dough should be fairly sticky and wet which will allow for a higher rise. If the dough is too heavy and thick, it won’t rise very much at all.
Tip 4: Beating the dough for 3-5 minutes is akin to kneading it. It won’t develop the thick webs because it doesn’t have gluten, BUT it can develop small ones. That’s where the xanthan gum comes in.
Tip 5: Use a well-oiled bowl. The dough is sticky, and it’s better to use oil than GF flour.
Tip 6: The dough won’t rise up as much as traditional wheat bread dough, but it will rise. Rising also helps develop flavor.
Tip 7: Use as little flour as possible when forming the bagels – that goes for the surface and your hands. But you do need it at this point. Oil won’t work. If there’s too much flour, it will dry out the surface of the dough and it won’t rise as well.
Tip 8: Dividing the dough in wedges is a great way to get evenly sized pieces of dough. You can also weigh them if you want them to be exactly the same…or you can just eyeball it.
Tip 9: When it comes to forming the bagels, a gentle hand is necessary. The dough is tender. Use a light dusting of rice flour to keep it from sticking to your hands, but not more than that. I cut the dough into equal wedges, pat into round disks about 4 inches in diameter, then gently form a small hole in the center.
Tip 10: Let the bagels have a second rise. They won’t double in size, but they will grow a bit. This is important for a soft interior.
Tip 11: Bagels are boiled for a few minutes before being baked. This is what lends that irresistible chewy, tough exterior. It’s important to add baking soda to the water. It promotes browning and flavor. (Pretzels are made in a similar manner.) Sugar can also be added if you’re adverse to the flavor the baking soda gives the bagel. It’s an important step for golden brown bagels, so don’t skip it!
Tip 12: Drain the bagels after the dunk in the boiling water. It’s easy to do with a slotted spoon. Be extra gentle because the dough is tender and you don’t want them to fall apart. Don’t blot them with paper or cloth towels. Just allow the water to drip off. You don’t want the bottoms to be soggy.
Tip 13: Bake in a hot oven for a shorter amount of time. The surface will be a gorgeous deep golden brown. The gluten-free bagels may crack a little, but that’s okay. Just because they might be homely, doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious.
Tip 14: The bagels are at their very best when they are still warm, but are also great at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge to keep them from drying out.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time in creating this recipe. All opinions expressed are my own. I only choose to feature or recommend products I actually use and love in my own kitchen. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!