Gluten-free bagels suck. The texture is never right. They’re always too fluffy—likely total overcompensation in an attempt to recreate the “loft” that only gluten can produce, but it simply isn’t right for a bagel. And then there’s the eggs. Yet another attempt to give a bagel some height, but totally wrong to get the right mouthfeel. Unless you’re eating an egg bagel, your bagel should not contain eggs. Period. You can imagine my total elation when I first had bagels made from this recipe by Simone Miller of Zen Belly. What they lack in size, they make up for in density, chew, and unbridled joy. And, they’re dead simple to make. While the recipe is hers, I’ve made it my own over the years by dialing in my everything bagel spice to a point where you can put it on—living up to its name—everything and not need to have Listerine on hand to wash away the garlic and onion stink. You can dress it up however you want, but know that I will quietly be judging you if chive cream cheese and lox are absent.
Water, for boiling
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Coconut oil for greasing parchment paper, or a silicon mat
2 ½ tsp dry active yeast
2 Tbsp honey
1 c warm water
1 c almond flour
1 c cassava flour
¾ c potato starch
1 tsp sea salt
For bagel seasoning:
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 ½ tsp dried garlic
1 ½ tsp dried onion
2 tsp coarse sea salt
Bring your pot of water to boil. Add in the apple cider vinegar. Preheat the oven to 450°. While all of that is going on, line a baking sheet with either greased parchment paper or a silicon mat.
In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and honey. Make sure your water is truly warm. Too hot and it will kill the yeast, too cold and it won’t activate it. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Within that time, the mixture should start to become foamy and lightly bubble. If that doesn’t happen, toss it and start over.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, starch, and salt. Once your yeast is active, stir the flour mixture into the yeast mixture, combining well. The dough will be clay-like, and should hold together easily without being too sticky. You may need to add a bit more flour or water to get the right consistency, but personally, the ratio of the recipe is always on the money for me.
Pat the dough down into the bowl evenly and use a knife to divide it into six equal triangles. Roll each section into a ball and poke a hole through the middle with your thumb. From the center, shape the hole and the dough until it is bagel-shaped. These bagels will not be huge. They are a little larger than the size of your palm. Do not over flatten them to make them larger—you’ll regret it when it comes to cutting them in half.
In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the everything spice. Stir to combine well and pour onto a plate to use after the bagels are boiled.
Once the water is boiling, drop 2-3 bagels in and reduce to a strong simmer. The bagels will sink to the bottom. Once they float, set a timer for 4 minutes. When they’re finished, use a metal spatula to transfer them to your baking sheet and move the next batch into the water. (Do not move your bagels directly from the water to your plate of everything spice—it will be a soggy mess.) Immediately, working quickly and carefully, take the boiled bagels off of the baking sheet and dip the tops into the everything spice. Place back on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels once they are boiled.
Once all the bagels are boiled and coated, bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. When they are finished, you must let them rest for 30 minutes. If you go straight for them, they will be a gummy disaster. I promise they’ll still be warm and chewy even 30 minutes out. And if not, you can always commit the ultimate New York crime and use a toaster. Once rested, cut in half and top with all your favorite bagel trimmings.