Gluten-Free Everything Bagels and “the List”

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Hello again, everyone!  I have been meaning to/wanting to write this post for months now, but after my fourth and most successful bagel-making attempt yet I figured I really should share my recipes and tips on how to make an incredible gluten-free bagel. So after months of work, travel, stress, college-graduating, job-hunting, teacher certification courses, etc. it’s finally time to get back to my blog and writing about one of the things I love most in the world – baking.

This is a fitting post for my reentry to the blogging world because one of the other things I love the most is bagels. Everything bagels, to be more exact. Especially if they’re from Bruegger’s Bagels and especially if they are toasted with butter, or filled with cheese, sausage and egg… Anyway, until four months ago when I braved the challenges of gluten-free bread baking (also known as chem lab for celiacs) I hadn’t had a bagel of any kind in over 14 months. Yes, I counted. And I think we can all agree that Glutino and Udi’s bagels, while edible if toasted and generously doused with butter, are not the same thing as fresh, warm bagels.

Some of you may not be as excited by bagels as I am, but if you can’t eat gluten I am sure you understand the sentiment and that you, too, have your own mental list of gluten-filled foods you’re going to eat the day second a cure for celiac disease is announced. My personal list goes like this: Chocolate croissants, toasted everything bagels, my mother’s scones, Walker’s shortbread, a crusty French baguette, a hot dog, brick oven pizza, cheese toast on real bread, pan con tomate, soft pretzels, garlic knots, fried chicken and waffles, and so on an so forth. You get the idea. It has also (tragically) occurred to me that a cure may not be discovered in my lifetime, so in lieu of a cure, I will also eat the contents of this list under the following conditions: if there is a zombie apocalypse, I am over 80 years old, I am diagnosed with a terminal illness, or if I am accidentally locked inside a French bakery for any amount of time. Needless to say, I’ve thought this subject over very carefully and more than I would care to admit.

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Now thanks to one of my favorite gluten-free cookbooks, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: (Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More) by Nicole Hunn, I don’t have to wait until the end of days to grab a bagel – and that, for me, makes this book worth its weight in gold. (If you don’t have gold bars lying around, it’s also about $15 on amazon.com.) While the bagel recipe is time consuming, it is technically easy and very well explained by the author. The trickiest part is rounding up the strange ingredients needed to make a gluten-free bread flour, a list of which is also provided and thoroughly explained by the author. Everything you need can be found in a local health foods store or in amazon’s grocery section, and while it might seem like a hassle, chances are if you’ve baked even one thing without gluten you’re already prepared for this. And trust me when I say you won’t regret the extra effort. There is nothing quite like making your own bread and if you successfully navigate gluten-free yeast-based breads you’ll be smiling for a week.

Without further ado, here is the recipe you’ve all been waiting for!

Basic Bread Flour Recipe (makes 1 cup, so you will need to do some multiplication here)

  • 100 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour (the author includes her own recipe for this and says it is based on BetterBatter.org’s recipe, so feel free to use that as well)
  • 25 grams unflavored whey protein isolate (NOT the vanilla smoothie protein!)
  • 15 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch

BAGELS

Starter:

  • 1 1/4 c. gluten-free read flour
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast (rapid rise)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 c. warm water (95 – 100 degrees)

Dough:

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2/3 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Starter
  • Molasses bath for boiling bagels = 6 cups water, 1 Tbsp. molasses, 1 tsp. salt
  • Egg wash = 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
  • Everything topping = Mix poppy seeds, sesame seeds, kosher salt, and dried minced onion to desired proportions

Directions:

  1. Start with the starter! Combine all starter ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Cover (I use a kitchen towel) and let sit in dry, warm spot until doubled – roughly 40 minutes. It will be thick and formless, don’t worry!
  2. After the starter has finished rising, place flour and yeast (from dough list of ingredients) in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Ass salt and whisk again. Add the starter to the bowl and mix on low speed with dough hook attachment to combine all the ingredients.
  3. HERE is where I had my troubles and got a really dense, chewy dough the first two times. I went straight to medium speed like the author describes once all the ingredients were well-combined, but in my stand mixer this meant all the dough became a rock attached to the dough hook. So I would suggest two things. First, grease the dough hook! This is a very sticky dough that is hard to work with. Next, beat on medium-low speed for 6 or 7 minutes rather than zooming up to medium strength.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl or proofing bucket and do the same with a sheet of plastic wrap. Using a greased silicone spatula, scrape the dough into the prepared bowl and cover, greased side down, with the plastic wrap. Let sit at least 12 hours in the refrigerator or up to 5 days.
  5. Time to bake your bagels! Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil. Next, on a clean surface, roll out your dough and knead lightly. Separate into 6 parts and shape into a bagel. There are two ways to do this. The first is to make a snake and connect the ends. My preferred method is to make a ball on the counter and stick a floured thumb through the center to make a large hole.
  6. Cover the bagels on the prepared pan with plastic wrap and let stand another hour until doubled in size. I usually start the oven so the warmth helps the bagels rise. Your oven should be at 325 degrees.
  7. After the bagels have risen, boil the water, molasses and salt and drop one or two bagels in at a time, boiling for less than a minute on each side and then returning to the pan.
  8. Next lightly coat each bagel with the egg wash and topping of your choice. For me, it’s obviously going to be the everything blend! Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, let cool slightly, and enjoy!

*These bagels freeze well, so if you can’t eat 6 in 3 days like me, they’re great defrosted and toasted.

So that’s how you make a gluten-free bagel! Time intensive maybe, but oh so good. This should tide us all over until we’re cured forever, but in the meantime, you can find me drooling over my cookbooks, in front of bakery storefronts, watching Food Network, and oogling food photography on Instagram.IMG_0159 (2).

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