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BEST Gluten Free Bagels

It is hard to convey how much my family loves these gluten-free bagels! Let’s just put it this way, I make a double batch and keep some of them on hand in the freezer (they freeze really well!). They are amazing fresh, but are also delicious toasted.

We can’t get enough of them!

Most store-bought brands of gluten-free bagels are made with eggs. But these soft vegan gluten-free bagels are completely egg-free! They also taste much better (IMO) because they’re baked fresh, from scratch. And did I mention this recipe is naturally dairy-free, corn-free, nightshade-free, soy-free, and xanthan gum-free too?

Yes, really!

When was the last time you bit into a gluten-free bagel?! Now you can make your own soft and chewy gluten-free vegan bagels anytime at home!

FAQs for Baking Vegan Gluten-Free Bagels

I have answers for some of my most frequently asked bagel baking questions, but if I’ve missed something, kindly ask in the comments!

What is Instant Yeast? Can I Substitute Active Dry Yeast?

I use SAF Red Instant Yeast (not Gold label) for recipes like this one and my Artisan Gluten-Free Bread. SAF is known to be far superior and reliable in the bread-baking world, and it can be added to the recipe without proofing.

You can substitute active dry yeast (although, you might need a little more of it since SAF Instant Yeast is so powerful), but it cannot be added directly to the dry ingredients. It must be activated with the sugar and warm water for 5-10 minutes first. If the yeast isn’t foamy once the proofing time is up, either the yeast is bad or the water isn’t the right temperature. Throw it out and start again. If it’s foamy, add the warm water with the yeast and sugar after the oil as directed in step 4.

Can I Substitute a Gluten-Free Flour Blend?

I don’t recommend substituting a store-bought blend, because the flour and starch balance will be different and it might contain some additives and binders, like xanthan gum. This is a gum-free and lower-starch recipe for a reason!

If you do opt to swap a single gluten-free flour or starch, I can’t guarantee the results. But feel free to comment if you do have success with a substitution.

What is Psyllium Husk Powder? Is it required?

Psyllium husk powder is a fiber supplement made from a type of plant seeds. But it’s also my secret ingredient for making gluten-free dough elastic and easy to work with. It retains moisture better than gums and helps to provide a more traditional bagel-like texture.

I do not recommend trying to substitute this ingredient, but I do urge you to purchase a good brand. Some brands of psyllium husk powder can give the bagels a purplish hue, and others don’t bind well. I use Now Foods Psyllium Husk Powder, which always produces perfectly chewy gluten-free bagels.

Can I Substitute Ground Flaxseed for the Chia Seed Meal?

You can, but I don’t necessarily recommend it. I find that chia seed gels and retains moisture much better, and it doesn’t alter the taste of these vegan gluten-free bagels. Flaxseed has a more pronounced flavor, and it can lead to vegan gluten-free bagels that have a little less tender bite.

Can I Add Any Mix-Ins to the Gluten-Free Bagel Dough?

Toppings are sprinkled on just before baking in the recipe (hello gluten-free everything bagel!), but you can add certain types of mix-ins to the actual dough near the end of mixing. However, the mix-ins must be very small bits. I tried adding blueberries and they simply fell out of the dough.

Some ideas for mix-ins include dried fruit chopped very small, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, everything bagel mix, dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic, dried chives, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, mini chocolate chips, or cinnamon swirl.

Are the Bagels Sweet or Savory?

The small amount of sugar in the recipe is just to balance out the flavor. These are “plain” or neutral-tasting vegan gluten-free bagels that can be enjoyed sweet or savory, depending on your choice of mix-ins and/or toppings.

Gluten-Free Baking Tips

  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature, including flours, starches, seeds, etc. I let my cold ingredients sit out on the counter for 20-30 minutes before I start baking. 
  • Use the mixer’s paddle attachment (flat beater), not the whisk attachment or bread dough hook. 
  • To measure your gluten-free flours and starches, gently spoon the flour/starch into the measuring cup, and then level it off with the back of a butter knife. Using the measuring cup to scoop flour will cause it to become packed down, which will result in too much flour/starch in the recipe. 

How to Make Gluten-Free Bagels

(Keep scrolling down to view the full recipe)

  • Whisk all of the dry ingredients together, except for the yeast. 
  • Mix in the SAF Instant Yeast.
  • Add the olive oil and warm water. Mix for 3 minutes. 
  • Lightly oil your hands and a large, clean work surface. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and divide it into 10 equally sized balls of dough.
  • Shape a ball of dough into a disk. Punch a hole in the middle of the disk with your thumbs, and then continue to gently stretch the dough to form the bagel shape. Stop when the hole in the bagel is about the size of a quarter.
  • Cover the baking sheets with clean kitchen towels and rise for 1 hour. After rising, the bagels will appear relaxed, but may not be doubled in size.
  • Add the 12 cups of water to a 6-quart pan and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the maple syrup and then give the water another 1-2 minutes to come back up to temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F).
  • Using a large spoon, gently place 2 bagels in the water bath, one at a time, and boil for 30 seconds. Carefully flip the bagels to the other side, and boil another 30 seconds. Remove the bagels from the bath, and place back on the baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with toppings if desired. Repeat until all of the bagels have had a dip in the water bath.
  • Bake for 22-24 minutes, until the bagels are golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks before slicing and eating.

10 Tasty Topping Ideas for your Gluten-Free Bagels

You can enjoy these gluten-free bagels open-faced or sandwich-style, fresh or toasted. Either way, here are some topping or filling suggestions to inspire your next bagel breakfast or lunch. Vegan options can be substituted for the mayonnaise and meats, if needed.

  1. Nut ‘n Honey – nut or seed butter + honey or maple syrup + cinnamon
  2. Ancheta Simply Savory – ghee or dairy-free butter + peanut butter
  3. Fruit Pizza – dairy-free cream cheese (optional) + chia jam + sliced banana + chopped nuts or seeds
  4. Mediterranean – hummus + arugula + prosciutto (roasted red pepper for vegan) + black pepper
  5. BLTA – mayonnaise + bacon + lettuce + tomato + avocado
  6. Bagel & Lox – creamy goat cheese or dairy-free cream cheese + smoked salmon + red onions + capers or dill
  7. Tuna Saladtuna, tofu, or chickpea salad + baby spinach + tomato + black pepper
  8. Deli Style – mayonnaise + lunchmeat + avocado + tomato + sprouts + red onion
  9. Cheeseless Pizza – marinara sauce + pepperoni + sliced olives + oregano
  10. California – smashed avocado + sea salt + black pepper + chopped chicken + chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil or artichoke hearts + fresh basil or spinach

How to Store your Gluten-Free Bagels

Once the gluten-free bagels are cool, I slice them in half and leave however many we’ll eat in 2 days time out on the counter in an airtight container. Anything we won’t consume within 2 days time, I freeze for later. 

Freezer Gluten-Free Bagels

Cut the bagels in half, length-wise, and place each bagel in an individual resealable sandwich bag. Place the sealed sandwich bags in a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze. To thaw, split the bagel in half, and place each side in the toaster. Toast until just thawed, or until desired. Consume all frozen gluten-free bagels within a month.

I hope enjoy these gf bagels as much as my family does! 
xoxo,
Mēgan

Gluten-Free Bagels Recipe:

top down view of silpat lined baking sheet with baked gluten free everything bagels

Gluten Free Bagels

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 54 minutes

Soft and chewy gluten-free bagels that can be made anytime at home and are entirely dairy-free and vegan. You won't believe how delicious these are!

Ingredients

For the bagels:

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk powder
  • 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon SAF Instant Yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/4 cup warm water (between 100-110 degrees F)

For the water bath:

  • 12 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey for non-vegan)

Instructions

  1. Prepare 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  2. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, tapioca starch, psyllium husk powder, organic cane sugar, ground chia meal, sea salt, and baking powder.
  3. Mix in the SAF Instant Yeast.
  4. Add the olive oil. While the mixer is at low speed, slowly pour the warm water and mix for 10 seconds. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix for an additional 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  5. Lightly oil your hands and a large, clean work surface. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and divide it into 10 equally sized balls of dough. (I will often time use a kitchen scale to ensure all of my dough balls are equal in size.)
  6. Shape a ball of dough into a disk. Punch a hole in the middle of the disk with your thumbs, and then continue to gently stretch the dough to form the bagel shape. Stop when the hole in the bagel is about the size of a quarter. If your dough rips, gently pinch it back together. Place the bagel on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat this step for all of the bagels.
  7. Cover the baking sheets with clean kitchen towels and rise for 1 hour. After rising, the bagels will appear relaxed, but may not be doubled in size.
  8. Add the 12 cups of water to a 6-quart pan and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the maple syrup and then give the water another 1-2 minutes to come back up to temperature.
  9. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F).
  10. Using a large spoon, gently place 2 bagels in the water bath, one at a time, and boil for 30 seconds. Carefully flip the bagels to the other side, and boil another 30 seconds. Remove the bagels from the bath, and place back on the baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with toppings if desired. Repeat until all of the bagels have had a dip in the water bath.
  11. Bake for 22-24 minutes, until the bagels are golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks before slicing and eating.

Notes

The bagels will continue to cook as they cool. If you cut
into one while it is warm, it will be slightly gummy. Wait until they are
finished cooling to enjoy.

To Freeze: Cut the bagels in half, length-wise, and place each bagel in an individual resealable sandwich bag. Place the sealed sandwich bags in a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze. To thaw, split the bagel in half, and place each side in the toaster. Toast until just thawed, or until desired. Consume all frozen gluten-free bagels within a month.



*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave an honest review below! 

Don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @allergyfreeak and #allergyfreealaska 

pinterest collage with text of gluten free bagels

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Pamela Vasconcellos

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

The best!!! I can’t tell you how much we love this recipe. I don’t make the hole, because I get annoyed when my bagel toppings fall through, but they still cook perfectly. Chewy and delicious. I always have some in the freezer. Thank you so much!

Barbara

Friday 19th of February 2021

Can coconut sugar be substituted??

Mēgan

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Hi Barbara, that's a great question - I'm really not sure. I think it *might* do okay, but I'm not sure since I haven't tried it myself.

Barbra

Saturday 6th of February 2021

Mine did not rise! They turned out very flat. But I can see that the idea is there, and I look forward to trying again. Just wish I knew why they stayed so flat!

Mēgan

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Hi Barbra, I'm sorry to hear that. I would definitely check to see if your yeast is active. If it doesn't foam in a bit of warm water (around 105-110 degrees F) with a pinch of sugar, it's no longer active. Also, I really recommend using the SAF Instant Yeast in this recipe. I've found it far superior to other yeasts. It's very reliable!

Diane

Saturday 16th of January 2021

Simply put, these bagels are absolutely amazing!! I was skeptical as I had tried making wheat bagels years ago when I wasn't gluten-free and they didn't turn out at all. But I can't say enough about how easy and delicious this recipe is - in fact, all of your bread recipes are wonderful. I was always a big bread maker and going GF was a sad day. It has been over 10 years and I've tried every "healthy" bread recipe I could find (using something other than rice flour and starch) but never found any that resulted in a loaf that was satisfying. You have changed all that :) I now have a standing order from my adult celiac daughters for as many bagels as I can make. I think you are some sort of magician! THANK YOU!!!

Mēgan

Saturday 16th of January 2021

Diane, You are so welcome! Your comment made my morning! I'm thrilled you all enjoyed this recipe. It's a favorite in our house, too. ;)

Rodney

Thursday 14th of January 2021

Can Himalayan pink salt be substituted in for the sea salt?

Mēgan

Friday 15th of January 2021

Yes! Great question, Rodney.