Gluten free vegan bagels

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Are you looking for a bagel recipe that is made with gluten free flour? Check out this recipe for gluten free and vegan bagels! These gluten free bagels are made with a simple dough that consists of 6 common ingredients – gluten free all purpose flour, tapioca flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. 

A mixture of vegan butter or margarine and maple syrup is used in place of an egg wash in this bagel recipe. That means that these bagels are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and vegan friendly. 

A pile of fully cooked bagels with everything bagel seasoning on a gray plate.

What is in gluten free bagels?

What is in gluten free bagel dough? Here are all the ingredients in gluten free bagel dough.

  • Gluten free all purpose flour. Gluten free all purpose flour is the main flour that is used in these gluten free bagels. You should use a blend of different gluten free flours rather than a single gluten free flour such as rice flour, almond flour, or sorghum flour. We generally use Bob’s Red Mill flour or King Arthur flour.
  • Tapioca flour. A little extra tapioca flour is added to the gluten free bagel dough. The extra tapioca flour helps to give the bagels a little bit of a chew, just like bagels that are made with gluten. We always use Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour.
  • Water. Water is the main liquid that is used in this gluten free bagel dough. No milk or cream is used to make these bagels, so the bagels are naturally dairy free and vegan.
  • Yeast. Yeast is the main leavening agent that is used in this gluten free bagel dough. 
  • Sugar. Some sugar is added to the gluten free bagel dough to ensure that the dough has enough flavor. The added sugar also helps to ensure that the bagels achieve a nice golden brown color.
  • Salt. Finally, a little salt is added to the gluten free bagel dough. Just like the sugar, the salt adds a little extra flavor to the bagel dough.

An uncooked gluten free bagels a sheet of parchment paper.

How to make gluten free bagels?

How do you make gluten free bagels? Here is how to make gluten free bagels.

  • Proof the yeast. The first step in making gluten free bagels is to make the gluten free bagel dough. The first step in making gluten free bagel dough is to activate the yeast and make sure it is still good. Mix the yeast with the sugar and 3/4 cups of warm water in a large mixing bowl then leave the mixture in a warm area. Wait for 5 – 10 minutes until air bubbles form on the surface of the water. If no air bubbles form, that is a sign that your yeast is bad and you should try using different yeast. 
  • Make the dough. After air bubbles have started to form on the surface of the water, it is time to make the bagel dough. Combine all of the ingredients for the dough in the mixing bowl. The dough will be wet and sticky, so it may be easier to use a spoon or spatula to mix the dough than your hands. If you have any concerns about the consistency of the dough, keep reading to learn how to tell if your dough is too wet. 
  • Let the dough rise. Cover the dough with a sheet of saran wrap or a damp kitchen dough and let the dough rise. You have two options here. The first is to let the dough rise in a warm area for around an hour until it doubles in size. The second is to let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight. The bagels will taste better if the dough is left to rise overnight, but you will need to have the foresight to make the dough the night before. We always make our dough the night before. 
  • Shape the bagels. After the dough has risen, it is time to shape the bagels. The bagel dough will be wet and sticky, so you should make sure to shape the bagels on a sheet of parchment paper and dust both your hands and the parchment paper with gluten free all purpose flour. 
  • Let the bagels rise. After you shape the bagels, it is time to let the bagels rise a second time. lay the bagels out on a new piece of parchment paper then cover them with a few sheets of saran wrap. Leave the bagels to rise for 1 hour or until they double in size. 
  • Boil the bagels. After the bagels have risen, it is time to boil the bagels. Boil a large pot of water over medium high to high heat then put the bagels in the water. The bagels should cook for about 1 before being flipped. The second side should be boiled for about 1 minute. 
  • Brush the bagels with vegan butter and maple syrup. A mixture of vegan butter and maple syrup is used in place of an egg wash so that these bagels are egg free and vegan friendly. The mixture helps to ensure that the bagels brown in the oven and also help to prevent the surface of the bagels from drying out too quickly and cracking. 
  • Bake the bagels. Finally, the bagels are baked in the oven until they are a light golden brown. The exact color the bagels will achieve depends on what is used to coat the bagels before they are put in the oven. If an egg wash is used, the color will be darker. If butter or vegan butter is used, the color will be a little lighter.
  • Add any toppings. When the bagels are done cooking, brush them with a little more maple syrup and vegan butter then sprinkle any toppings you choose on the bagels. We love to top our bagels with everything bagel seasoning. Even if you do not sprinkle anything on top of your bagels, we still recommend coating the bagels in a second coat of vegan butter and maple syrup to give them a nice shine. 

There bagels boiling in a large black pan.

Gluten free bagel dough consistency

What consistency should gluten free bagel dough have? Gluten free bagel dough should be wetter than regular bagel dough. Gluten free doughs generally need to be wetter than their gluten-filled counterparts in order for the finished products to have the same texture and consistency. The dough should be tacky and stick to your hand a little if your hands are not dusted with flour. 

Are you worried that your dough is too wet? Here is how to check whether the dough is too wet. Take a small ball of dough and put it on a piece of parchment paper. Leave the dough there for a minute then pull it off. If you are unable to remove the ball of dough from the piece of parchment paper in one piece and some of the dough remains on the parchment paper, then the dough is likely a little too wet. 

If your bagel dough is a little too wet, that just means that it needs more gluten free all purpose flour. Add more gluten free all purpose flour 1 – 2 tbsp at a time then mix the flour in and repeat this process. 

Four boiled but not yet baked gluten free bakes on a sheet of parchment paper.

Tips for shaping bagels

  • Dust your hands with flour. This gluten free bagel dough is wet and somewhat sticky if you touch it with bare hands. We recommend dusting your hands with gluten free all purpose flour before shaping your bagels so that the bagel dough does not stick to your hands. 
  • Work on parchment paper that is dusted with flour. In addition to dusting your hands, we recommend shaping your gluten free bagels on a sheet of parchment paper that has been dusted with a little bit of flour. 
  • Try to keep the entire piece of dough intact. When you grab different pieces of dough and combine them into one, it creates seams along which the dough is more likely to split open when it rises. Avoid grabbing different pieces of dough from different places and combining them if possible.  
  • Do not leave the bagels to rise on the same piece of parchment paper you shaped them on. We highly recommend transferring your bagels to a different sheet of parchment paper to rise after you shape the bagels. The original piece of parchment paper you used will likely have small pieces of bagel dough stuck to it. These small pieces of dough will grab onto the bagels and make it difficult to lift the bagels off of the parchment paper when they are done rising. 

Fully cooked bagels with everything bagel seasoning on a baking sheet. The baking sheet is lined with parchment paper.

Tops for boiling bagels

  • Use a spatula to flip to transfer and flip the bagels. We recommend using a spatula to drop the gluten free bagels into the boiling water. We also recommend using a spatula to flip the bagels and remove them from the boiling water. The bagels will still be soft and malleable, even after they are boiled. The best way to keep them pretty and in the proper shape is to keep them on a flat surface like a spatula. 
  • Slotted spatulas work best. If you have a slotted spatula that has holes to drain water, then you are best off using a slotted spatula to handle the bagels. This will result in less water getting splashed around because the excess water will drain through the holes of the spatula.  
  • The side that goes into the water first will be the top. When you boil the bagels for the first time, the side that is not in the water might crack a little. This happens with gluten free bagels. That means that the side that you put in the water first is generally going to serve as the top of your bagel. 
  • Boil the bagels in a dutch oven. We have experimented with boiling our bagels in a wide rimmed pan as well as a dutch oven and we find there is less splashing and hot water flying around when we use our dutch oven. This is the dutch oven we use and we recommend it to anyone who is on the market for a dutch oven. 

 

Gluten free vegan bagels

This homemade bagel recipe is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and vegan.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting time2 hrs 10 mins
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 8 large bagels

Ingredients

  • gluten free all purpose flour (as needed to dust hands)
  • everything bagel seasoning or sesame seeds (optional)

Gluten free bagel dough

  • 3 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Vegan egg wash

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Instructions

  • Combine the sugar, yeast, and 3/4 cup of the water in a large mixing bowl. Wait 5 - 10 minutes until the water becomes frothy.
    The water should be warm but not too hot. You should be able to put your finger in the water for 10 seconds without feeling any discomfort.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the bagel dough to a large bowl and mix the bagel dough with a large spoon or spatula.
    The dough should be wet and tacky, see the notes section for instructions on how to determine whether your bagel dough is too wet.
  • Cover the bagel dough with a piece of saran wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles in size. This should take around an hour if the dough is left in a warm place. If you want to make extra flavorful bagels, you can leave the dough to slowly rise in the refrigerator overnight.
    If you let the dough rise overnight, you should take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up on the countertop for 30 minutes before shaping the bagels.
  • Prepare your workspace for shaping the bagels. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and dust the parchment paper with gluten free all purpose flour. Cover your hands in a light coating of gluten free flour.
  • Separate the bagels into 8 equally sized pieces of dough then shape the bagels. Roll each chunk of dough into a ball then use a finger that has been dusted with flour to create a hole in the middle of the ball. Keep your finger in the hole and pinch the dough between your fingers to expand the hole.
    Transfer the bagels onto a clean sheet of parchment paper after you are done shaping them.
  • Cover the bagels with a few sheets of saran wrap and leave the bagels in a warm area to rise for 1 hour or until they double in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • Boil a large pot of water then boil the bagels for 1 minute. Flip the bagels over then boil them for another minute on the other side.
  • Melt the vegan butter or margarine for the vegan egg wash then mix it with the maple syrup. Brush the mixture of butter and the maple syrup over the tops of the bagels.
  • Cook the bagels for 20 - 22 minutes at 450 until they have a golden brown color.
  • Take the bagels out of the oven then brush them with more of the vegan butter and maple syrup mixture. If you want to add any seasonings like everything bagel seasoning or sesame seeds to the bagels, now is the time to do so.

Notes

Xanthan gum. If your gluten free all purpose flour blend does not contain xanthan gum or a similar replacement for gluten then you should add around 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum per cup of flour.
Bagel dough consistency. Different gluten free flour blends are made from different ingredients and therefore have different consistencies. Depending on the flour blend you use, you might need to add a little extra flour or water to your dough. I recommended reserving 1/4 cup of extra flour and 2 tbsp of extra water to add to your dough as needed. In general, gluten free bagel dough should be wet and tacky.
How to tell if bagel dough is too wet. In order to tell whether the dough is too wet, you should see whether it sticks to parchment paper. Roll a small ball of dough and put it on parchment paper for a few minutes, then remove the ball of dough. If you cannot remove the ball of dough in one piece and some dough remains stuck to the parchment paper, then your dough is too wet. Add more flour 1 - 2 tbsp at a time then repeat this process. 
Tips for measuring flour. We recommend measuring flour by spooning the flour into a measuring cup then leveling off the flour with a butter knife. This is the most consistent way to measure flour. If you dip your measuring cup into the bag of flour, it will compress the flour and you will end up with extra flour. 
Overnight rise. We highly recommend making the bagel dough the night before and letting the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight. We rarely spring for overnight rises when making other baked goods, but in the case of bagel dough, the added flavor you get with the overnight rise is really worth it. 

Substitutions for gluten free bagels

  • Vegan butter or margarine. If you do not maintain a dairy free diet, you can use regular butter in place of the vegan butter or margarine. 
  • Maple syrup. If you do not maintain a vegan diet, or if you are comfortable eating honey, then we recommend replacing the maple syrup with honey. The honey has a warmer flavor that compliments the flavor of the bagel dough. 
  • Tapioca flour. If you cannot find tapioca flour, then you can replace the tapioca flour with an equal amount of gluten free all purpose flour. The bagel might not have as much of a chew to it, but it should still taste great!

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