Gluten Free Bagels

We made it back from our vacation in Philadelphia and were saddened to leave such a beautiful city. Our trip started out pretty normally. We opted to take our car — to better accommodate our sightseeing agenda, and my inability to pack less than 8 bags for the fams for just 1 week. The countryside was beautiful, the drive was relaxed, and the weather was sunny, clear and perfect. Once we began to approach the city, thoughts of our upcoming adventure immediately started to flourish in my mind. I thought about all of the vegan friendly restaurants I had read about, the history of the city itself, the architecture from neighborhood to neighborhood, the abundance of parks and murals that weave throughout the urban landscape, and of course, my favorite peoples who lived in Philadelphia that we were headed to see.

Just as my husband and I saw our exit- putting us only a few blocks from where we were staying- we hear a “knock, knock, knock, knock” coming from our car. The gauges started to go haywire and we knew it was bad. Once we pulled the car to a nice safe spot in the middle of I- 676, we realized the damage. Our engine was dead. Our sweet little jeep drove us ten hours right into the middle of Philadelphia, and died. Poor car. I think it knew we were destined to stay in Philly an extra few days (and that I was never really thrilled about owning an SUV).

Luckily for us, the traffic on the freeway was really heavy, making the passing cars not much of a threat. In fact, people were slowly driving by offering help! Lots of people! Some random friendly man even jumped under our car, only to emerge with apologies and a prediction that our engine was doomed. Yeah, we knew… and thanked the man for his time and concern.  I was immediately impressed by the kind nature of the folks in Philadelphia, especially given the severity of the traffic jam they were so happily driving into. Our car was dead, and I was oddly enough thrilled that we were in the middle of the city. We made it, right? It seemed pretty remarkable that we were able to drive that far with our old car apparently being on the verge of death. Besides, I had Chinatown on the brain… no time for worrying.

Eventually we were rescued and brought back by my hero and best pal who was hosting us during our stay.  The rest of the trip was blissful. We fell head over heels in love with Philadelphia, and we are making plans to move there very soon. In fact, all of my free time has been dedicated to house searching and daydreaming about all the gluten-free food I can stuff my face with (that I don’t have to cook myself!). My son and husband will finally get their vegan Philly Cheesesteaks whenever they please. And burgers, and ice cream, and pizza. A luxury that we just don’t have in the middle of Ohio.

As much as I have grown accustomed to living in the Midwest… it’s time to mosey on.

I cannot wait to share with you guys my culinary discoveries as a new Philadelphia resident. Compared to Columbus, Ohio… Philly ♥’s vegans. We only ate at a few restaurants on our trip- but the one’s we ventured into were so vegan friendly, I felt confused and elated.  It still doesn’t even seem real to me (I know, I’m sheltered). And the variety of shops for foods and kitchen gadgets…. one word: Wheeeee! The city also has a lot of great revitalization and sustainability projects going on that made me rethink how I was going about reducing my own carbon footprint. We’ll be trading in our gas guzzling cars for bicycles; and luckily, the Jeep kinda took care of itself. :)

And we’ll be so close to NYC… and the Chinatown that’s there… and DC and the Chinatown that’s there. Oh man, I think I might explode from delight.

So the bagels…

While we were in Philly, soaking up all the awesome- I received an email (from the same wonderful gal who requested a gluten-free focaccia) asking whether or not I might be working on a bagel recipe.  How did she know I had been kicking around a bagel recipe for the last two weeks? I have been experimenting a lot with breads and the like, and I thought it high-time to step it up a notch with some bagel-age.

I happily responded… yes! Why yes I am!

And here it is… a gluten-free bagel recipe that is prepared pretty much the same way as a regular bagel, but there’s only one rise time- so it’s even a little faster to make.

Gluten Free Bagels

makes 6 medium sized bagels

flour mix:

  • 1 tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup sorghum
  • 1 1/4 cup light buckwheat flour (or regular buckwheat flour)
  • up to 1 additional cup of sorghum plus extra for dusting workspace

wet ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 3 tbsp vegan sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tsp EnerG egg replacer mixed with 4 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tsp sea salt

no-egg wash:

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup cold water


Mix together “flour mix” ingredients (except for 1 additional cup of sorghum flour) and set aside. The buckwheat flour I used was called “Acadian Light Buckwheat Flour”, and it seems to be a touch lighter in both taste and color- but does yield a slightly yellowish tinge to baked goods. I purchased a bag of it from Whole Foods, but if you cannot locate it,  I would assume regular buckwheat flour would work just as nicely.

In large mixing bowl combine yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let yeast proof about 5 minutes, or until foamy.  Once proofed, add olive oil, vinegar, prepared EnerG, and salt.

Gradually stir in flour mixture and mix until well combined. Your dough should be easy to handle.

Beat on medium speed about 1 minute, or until dough becomes very sticky.

On low speed, mix in 1/2 cup more sorghum flour. Remove beater, scrape down sides of bowl, and using your hands, mix in up to 1/2 cup additional sorghum flour until your dough is once again workable. The goal is to get a soft and workable dough… not too dry. If you want any mix-ins, like raisins, chocolate chips, onions, garlic, bacon bits… whatever… mix them in now.

Divide dough into 6 sections and shape into even balls. Dust your palms with sorghum flour if necessary to keep from sticking. Insert your finger into the middle of the ball to make a ring out of the dough.

Set aside in warm area and let rise about 30-45 minutes. Before the bagels begin to rise, you can use your finger dipped in water to smooth the dough on the tops of the bagels. This step isn’t necessary, it just makes a more uniform texture.

Prepare any toppings at this time. I opted for some thinly sliced sauteed onions on half of my bagels. Just slice them thinly and saute in a touch of margarine until translucent. Cook them until dark if you like yours crispy.

Bring a small pot of water (with a few teaspoons sugar added) to a boil and preheat your oven to 375 °F.

Once bagels have risen, drop one at a time into the boiling water and let boil about 1 minute, flipping halfway. Using a spatula or slotted spoon, remove bagel from water and let excess water drain off. Place onto lightly oiled and cornmeal sprinkled cookie sheet. Repeat with all bagels until every one has been boiled.

Prepare the cornstarch glaze by mixing the cornstarch and water and then microwaving (or boiling) until a thick gluey substance is made. Brush onto bagels and top with toppings. Poppy seeds are an easy topping that add a nice texture to your bagels… but cinnamon and sugar is yummy too. Get creative!

Bake bagels in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Let cool briefly on wire rack and enjoy!

Like most bagels, these are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, or toasted. And, of course, vegan cream cheese is always a nice touch.

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40 Responses to Gluten Free Bagels

  1. Kathy says:

    I have tried this recipe and have a few questions, as I would love to try it again. I am wondering, if my dough was too dry or didn’t rise enough? The outside is chewy, but inside doughy. Do you have any idea what causes this? I am hoping to try again next week. THe dough, when rising, seemed quick to dry out, I am wondering if your dough when rising, was soft? Maybe I should add more water next time, or less flour>
    THank you again, for all your efforts, and time and details in putting out the recipe. Greatly appreciate.

  2. Kacey says:

    Hi, can you recommend a flour substitute (gluten free) if buckwheat flour is not available? and would it be the same amount? I was thinking of trying your recipe with maybe rice flour? Thanks for your suggestions! I would love to try this recipe!

    • allyson says:

      Hi Kacey!
      I’d say rice four would work okay if you use the superfine kind (double milled)… the good thing about buckwheat is its similarity to glutenous flours in many recipes, and I find that true for superfine brown rice flour as well. You could use it 1:1 in this recipe and it should turn out okay. I think using a regular grind rice flour may be too grainy in texture for the bagels, unfortunately, but sf brown rice flour should do the trick!



  3. candace says:

    hey i am going to try this recipe-looks great! i have really been wanting a healthy + gluten free bagel recipe for a while now. do you think a flax seed glaze would work as well as the cornstarch glaze? i will perhaps try that on a few and report back.

  4. Phyllis says:

    Sounds great. Have you ever tried millet and flax in your bagels? I’m trying to recreate the awesome GF vegan millet flax bagels from Sami’s in Florida. I am located in Canada and they won’t ship here, so I’m trying to make something light and tasty that’s close to a Sami bagel.


    Note to Celiacs: Sami’s is not a totally GF facility, so don’t risk it, but if you are ONLY intolerant, and can risk it, they are the best bagels and they ship anywhere in the US!

    • allyson says:

      Hi Phyllis,
      I have not… well, aside from the fact that I generally use flax as the binder in my bagels. Millet has yet to make an appearance. I’ve also never had the pleasure of tasting the Sami’s bagels as I am super intolerant to gluten… but I have heard wonderful things! One of my good friends loves Sami’s bagels, so maybe I can ask her for the low down on the taste and texture and try and recreate one that way. Until then, I hope you find one (or a recipe) that comes close! Maybe adding a few whole toasted flaxseeds (like 1/4 cup) and millet grains (if whole millet is used) to these would make a similar result? Sorry I can’t be of more help in this department.

      <3 allyson

  5. Meredith says:

    Did I ever tell you you’re my heeeeeroooo? ! I made these, after trying two other recipes (fail), and they turned out so so so so great! Thank you for this!

  6. […] that they were a success, even though I think that there’s room for improvement. I used this great recipe from Manifest: Vegan, my new favorite blog for finding both vegan and gluten-free recipes. I think […]

  7. Abigail says:

    I just made them! They are absolutely fabulous! I need my bagel fix! I’ll be blogging about them soon, and I’ll be sure to link this recipe. I’ll post here again with the blog link!

  8. Ashley says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CREATING THIS RECIPE! I have a wheat intolerance and haven’t had a bagel in 2’ish years. Meanwhile, my fiance eats a bag of Thomas bagels a week. Hah!

    I have been wanting to make these ever since you posted the recipe, finally got down to it today! I made cinnamon raisin bagels, mixing cinnamon and raisin in, as well as some rolled oats. I topped them with oats, more cinnamon and a bit of sugar. Eating one right now, so yummy!! THANKS AGAIN!

    • allyson says:

      You’re so welcome Ashley! I feel you on the bagel envy… I’m really glad you enjoyed them. The cinnamon raisin sounds delicious!

  9. Geanna says:

    This looks AMAZING! I haven’t ever tried to make GF/Veg bagels, but now I’m going to – awesome!

  10. Andrea says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe, I just made it and they’re fantastic! I didn’t have light buckwheat flour so I used 1 cup reg buckwheat + 1/4 cup white rice flour, but everything else was exactly the same. Breakfast for next week!

  11. You are a GENIUS! I want bagels right now. Those pictures were way too intense and even though I just ate lunch I’m feeling hungry all over again. Seriously….a tub of tofutti and I’m all set…

  12. Alice says:

    Just stumbled across your blog, and oh my goodness how have I not been here before!? I’ve been a vegan for the past three years (and a vegetarian for the past 13), and I discovered last year that I can’t eat gluten. It is so hard to find products that are both vegan and gluten, it seems to be usually one or the other. Thank you, thank you for this blog! I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes… starting with these bagels!!

    • allyson says:

      Ah, yay Alice! I’m glad you found my blog too! Good to know another GF vegan out there! :) You’re work is AWESOME! <3

  13. *sniff* I. LOVE. YOU.

    Eternal thanks. I miss bagels so much! Damn wheat intolerance!!!

  14. Melissa says:

    Oh, heyyy, first time I’ve stumbled upon your blog and you’re writing about moving to Philly. Crazy! Those are my parts, although I live outside Philly now, in Phoenixville. But *I’m* trying to move to Pittsburgh, because the neighborhoods where I could afford to live in Philly are dangerous, and people are always getting mugged. It’s crazy! The muggings are out of control. But I do like Philly, and I LOVE their Ethiopian places, especially Abyssinia in West Philly (well, ok, they’re all in West Philly), which has a little hipster bar called Fiume on top of it. I’m guessing you either ate there or at Dahlak, which is also excellent, but the name reminds me of Dr. Who (ummm… see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u7UXKINeXI&feature=fvsr)! What neighborhood in Philly are you thinking of?

    • allyson says:

      cool! welcome! Wow, with all the thinking about the restaurants I am thoroughly confused to which places we actually ate at versus the one’s I read about! I’ll have a much better grasp once we move there… :D Dahlak sounds like the right place, though! We haven’t narrowed down any neighborhoods quite yet- we are also even checking out the outskirts (some places have such exquisite yards… all the trees!)… Manayunk, Germantown, and parts of West Philly are definitely in the air- but I would kill to find a great place in Bella Vista that hasn’t been claimed yet! And, of course, we have about 6 other places in mind too. Definitely feel you on the pricing and the neighborhoods.. we are hoping to find a nice happy medium. :)

  15. JennyMo says:

    These look great. I am not GF but am curious, are these bagels healthier than regular bagels? I have a weakness for bagels but they are so bad for me!

    • allyson says:

      Thank you! I’m not sure if they are healthier than certain whole grain or sprouted grain bagels, but with sorghum and buckwheat in the mix, they are definitely a notch (or two) above the typical white flour bagel. They are definitely much healthier for me and other celiacs, though, since gluten is pretty much poisonous! ;) I’d say you should feel a little less guilty eating these guys than say, a “lenders” bagel… :)

  16. Stylish1 says:

    Those look absolutely DIVINE!!!!! I can’t wait to make these! I really have to pick up some sorghum and xanthun gum and I’d be good to go! What a treat! Oh man with some nutbutter mmmmmmmm

  17. Mihl says:

    Wow, I am in awe! Those bagels look so wonderful!

    Sorry about your car though.

  18. Caitlin says:

    that’s great you are moving to philly- tons of vegan friendly restaurants to choose from! i’m assuming you went to horizons, and your husband went to govindas. where else did you go for food? did you go to new harmony in chinatown?

    • allyson says:

      Hi Caitlin-
      I want to say the name of the restaurant in Chinatown we visited was New Harmony– but I know we passed at least three that were vegan friendly- so I’m not positive on that one- wherever we went, it was amazing. ;) We never made it Horizons or Govindas- we figured we’d have plenty of time to get our fill once we move :D We went to a great little Ethiopian place (again, no clue which one)… and awesome vegan (and mostly gluten free!) buffet, and cooked a TON of food at my friends’ house. I am sure I am forgetting a few places we stopped into… I was simply overwhelmed with options at the time! I was mostly impressed by the variety of foods in the markets and grocery stores- completely unlike anything I’ve seen in Ohio- I can’t wait to get back there!

  19. Katrina says:

    These look great!

  20. Morgan says:

    I tried doing some homemade bagels a while back. There is a reason why I never posted them… :)
    They were OK, def. edible, but you seemed to have much better success with them!!! They look so good!!

  21. These look awesome!

  22. Mandee says:

    Woh! You are coming up with some fantastic vegan & gf recipes! Thanks for sharing them with us :D

  23. Vegyogini says:

    You are a GF vegan rock star chef! Thanks so much for this recipe; I’m excited to try it out and feed it to the GF people in my life.

    I’m so happy for you that you experienced the vegan love in Philadelphia. Have fun planning the move!