Gluten-free oat bagels: wHOLEsome and HEARTy

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Bagels.

I’ve always considered them a comfort food; but now I can’t, if they aren’t gluten-free. And it really doesn’t matter what you do with them, they’re so friendly in many different ways. They toast beautifully, top gracefully, travel with ease, and can even keep a teething baby occupied while at the grocery store. Sure beats having your kid bend over to gum the germ-infested shopping cart handle, now doesn’t it?

Speaking of grocery shopping, the average grocery store bakery offers about 15 varieties of bagels these days – which is actually comparable to bagel bakeries themselves!

The modern bagel comes in chocolate chip, blueberry, cranberry-orange, Asiago, jalapeño and sun-dried tomato, just to name a few. And you may or may not be able to mix and match with the equally eclectic cream cheese offerings on the market – anything from cucumber-dill to honey-walnut and pumpkin.

But decisions about how you top your bagel don’t matter if you end up with one that’s merely the likes of bread with a hole in the middle. That’s my biggest complaint about gluten-free bagels that I’ve tried in the past. They had no depth of flavor or texture, and you could hardly tell the difference between them and the slices of sandwich bread you toasted for breakfast.

A bagel isn’t just about shape. An artisan bread should have a specific crust and interior crumb, and so should our favorite Polish food!

Can you imagine if you bought a baguette with a soft-as-sandwich-bread crust and a tight, highly absorbent crumb? It would be more of a Wonder Bread sponge bat!

Who wants a bagel with no crunch or chew? Chew plays hard-to-get in the world of gluten-free baking, and it was a long process of trial and error before I had something remotely edible, let alone a decent texture. Once I found my formula, I added oats and flax to boost nutritional value and flavor.

Ever been brave enough to make a gluten-free bagel? I double dare you!

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Start with blending the following in your stand mixer’s bowl:

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Stir in 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. This ingredient is key to the texture of the bagels. If you are intolerant of dairy, you can try a soy based-cheese, but it may not bind the dough as well.

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Whenever measuring honey or molasses, I always spray my measuring tool with oil. As you can see in the sequence of photos below, the oil makes for a clean slide and an accurate measurement!

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Whisk 2 tablespoons honey or molasses with 1 egg, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 2 teaspoons vinegar.

I tried the recipe with both honey and molasses and preferred the outcome much more with the molasses. The flavor was rich; and the color darker.

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Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend to achieve a crumbly mixture.

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Add 1 cup lukewarm water.

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Once the water is added, beat the dough on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

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Scrape the dough into the center of the bowl.

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Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it’s significantly increased in volume. It won’t double in size.

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Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust it with coarse cornmeal.

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Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.

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With floury or tapioca starchy hands, roll each piece into a 7″ to 8″ log.

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Form a circle with each log and place them on the tray. This half-circle will be complete when I join the two ends.

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Brush or spray each bagel with a mixture of baking soda and water, using about 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to 1 cup water.

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If you’re so inclined, while the dough is wet turn the bagels over into a pile of seeds on your work surface. Press gently, so the seeds will stick to the dough.

Place the bagels back on the baking sheet, cover them, and allow them to rise for another hour.

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They’ll become somewhat puffy.

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Bake the bagels in a preheated 400° oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

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They’ll be golden brown. With seeds…

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…or without, you’ll be impressed with your creation!

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Now you’ll need to decide whether this is breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And surely you’ll want to have more than one.

Save one just to toast and slather with butter so you can enjoy the bare flavor alone; the rest is up to you. My style? Cream cheese with sliced green olives! And yours?

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Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Oat Bagels.

Print just the recipe.

Amy Trage
About

Amy Trage is a native of Vermont where she spent much of her childhood skiing and training for the equestrian event circuit. With a strong desire to pursue food writing, Amy took her English degree from Saint Anselm College to the New England Culinary Institute ...

comments

  1. Eileen

    I really appreciate the GF efforts, especially toward getting better texture & nutrition. :) Unfortunately this isn’t a bagel, either, since it hasn’t had a boil before baking. There are other GF bagel recipes with this step & it makes a big difference to crust & crumb. The dough recipe is interesting & may make a good start towards a bagel & I’ll see how that goes.

    We found that the baking soda spray that was used for this recipe works in a similar fashion to boiling the bagels. Due to the cheese in the dough, this step was not something we could manage to do. For a boiled bagel, I would take a look at the blog post by The Baking Beauties-Jon

    Reply
  2. Lemoy

    I just love trying your recipes … They all came out great… Making me look good with my grand-kids.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Nancy

    @Eileen: I’m new to gluten-free baking. Is there an online recipe for bagels that include the boil that you would recommend?
    Amy, Thanks for all your hard work developing gluten free recipes. KAF rocks!

    Reply
  4. sheryl

    i am a teacher, and am wondering about easy recipes for the classroom, we’ve made the basic bread, but want to try something else, thanks

    Hello Sheryl, are you looking for gluten free recipes or wheat based recipes? Also, it may help to give our Baker’s Hotline a call so we can offer some advice over the phone or online chat.-Jon 855 371 2253

    Reply
  5. Eileen

    @Nancy- welcome to GF baking! KAF is generally a great place for information & excellent supplies. Learning a new dish is exciting, but maybe a bit scary, too! To start, I always look at known great recipes for pointers. Sadly most of these are gluten breads. is a bit faster and links to the recipe, while over on the Fresh Loaf covers just technique.

    As for GF recipes & techniques, the Gluten Free Ratio Rally folks covered bagels back in April 2012. There’re a number of recipes at the host posting </b) I'm working my way through them but so far my faves
    are:
    · Kumquat Blog’s

    …and…
    · Gluten-Free Boulangerie’s

    You’ll see both include an overnight soaker/ starter and a boil with some kind of sugar (malt is traditional, but has gluten) plus soda. The traditional gluten bagel gets a good bit of its rich flavor and chewy texture from that overnight starter and/or a long, cool rise. Bread in general is like that: you almost always trade speed for some flavor. Then there’s the boil. Some recipes use baking soda, some sugar and some both. The soda & sugar make the crust shiny and a bit crispy and the wet, hot bath gelatinizes some of the starch to make the crust smooth & chewy.

    The other recipes’ ingredients & techniques vary quite a bit. You can try them all and decide which are better for the way you like your bagels. I hope these help you. Please come back share how your experiments turn out!

    Reply
  6. superreader

    Hmmm- it looks like a good bit of my previous comment got chopped off. I really wish this comment section had a preview option!! I’m reposting without activating the links to see if that keeps more of the content in. Sorry for the duplication!

    @Nancy- welcome to GF baking! KAF is generally a great place for information & excellent supplies. Learning a new dish is exciting, but maybe a bit scary, too! To start, I always look at known great recipes for pointers. Sadly most of these are gluten breads. KAF’s Easy Bagels Blog Post http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2008/01/14/how-to-put-the-hole-in-the-bagel-and-other-good-bagel-stuff/ is a bit faster and links to the recipe, while LindyD’s Hamelman Bread challenge: the quintessential bagel- http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17391/hamelman-bread-challenge-quintessential-bagel over on the Fresh Loaf covers just technique.

    As for GF recipes & techniques, the Gluten Free Ratio Rally folks covered bagels back in April 2012. There’re a number of recipes at the host posting Meals with Morri: Calling All Bagels!- http://mealswithmorri.blogspot.com/2012/05/calling-all-bagels.html . I’m working my way through them but so far my faves
    are:
    · Kumquat Blog’s Cinnamon-Raisin Teff Bagels- http://www.kumquatblog.com/2012/05/gluten-free-ratio-rally-cinnamon-raisin.html
    …and…
    · Gluten-Free Boulangerie’s Classic Poppyseed Bagels <a href="http://www.gfboulange.blogspot.com/2012/05/ratio-rally-bagels.html

    You'll see both include an overnight soaker/ starter and a boil with some kind of sugar (malt is traditional, but has gluten) plus soda. The traditional gluten bagel gets a good bit of its rich flavor and chewy texture from that overnight starter and/or a long, cool rise. Bread in general is like that: you almost always trade speed for some flavor. Then there's the boil. Some recipes use baking soda, some sugar and some both. The soda & sugar make the crust shiny and a bit crispy and the wet, hot bath gelatinizes some of the starch to make the crust smooth & chewy.

    The other recipes' ingredients & techniques vary quite a bit. You can try them all and decide which are better for the way you like your bagels. I hope these help you. Please come back share how your experiments turn out!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi D! I wouldn’t recommend removing the cheese altogether, as I’m afraid that may be an important binder in this recipe. However, you could certainly try substituting in a dairy-free cheese, which may not melt in as well for you as a dairy-based cheese, but would certainly be better than leaving it out completely. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The time to freeze the dough is immediately following the first rise or after shaping the bagels. Good luck! Elisabeth @ KAF

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