The Ultimate Gluten-Free Bagels (Vegan)

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Picking up the top half of a gluten-free everything bagel to show the texture of the inside of a bagel

Chewy, tender, gluten-free bagels?! OH yes — they’re here. After (quite) a few tests, we found a beautiful balance between wholesomeness and classic bagel goodness that we’re just in love with. These bagels are undetectably gluten-free and we can’t wait for you to try them!

Enjoy as breakfast sandwiches or slathered with (vegan) cream cheese. Just 9 ingredients required for bagel bliss, friends. Let us show you how it’s done!

Flaxseed meal, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, sorghum flour, water, ground chia seeds, everything bagel seasoning, sea salt, yeast, and sugar

Who Invented Bagels?

Today, bagels are a type of bread so well-known it’s hard to imagine a world without them (and let’s not, it’s too sad)! While the earliest known recipe for a bagel-like bread (called ka’ak) appeared in a 13th-century Arabic cookbook, bagels as we know them were popularized by Ashkenazi Jews in Poland in the 17th century, possibly even earlier.

The tradition of putting a hole in the middle of bagels is also hundreds of years old. It helps ensure more even baking and makes bagels easier to transport and display! The following is our vegan and gluten-free take on the concept.

How to Make Gluten-Free Bagels

First, gluten-free bagels need the right mix of flours. Brown rice flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca starch create the perfect balance of structure, fluffiness, and chew! Next we add both ground flax seeds and ground chia seeds, which makes the dough thick and easy to handle.

Wooden spoon in a bowl of sorghum flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, ground chia and flax, and sea salt

In addition to a balance of flours, bagels need yeast for the right texture as well as their classic bagel taste. After the yeast proofs (a.k.a. gets frothy from munching on a little sugar), it’s time to combine the wet ingredients with the dry and give the dough time to rise!

Bowl of gluten-free bagel dough

After rising, the dough is ready to form into the shape of bagels. We evenly divide the dough and shape each piece into a “roll” before creating a hole in the center. This is when they start to look like bagels, and yes, it’s very exciting!

Forming bagel dough into bagel shapes

Next, it’s time to boil! Boiling is what gives bagels their classic chewy texture and shiny exterior, and it also helps the toppings to stick. We tried skipping this step, but it’s just not the same, friends.

Using a spatula to lift a bagel out of hot water

Once the bagels are boiled and topped with seasoning (like everything bagel seasoning, cinnamon sugar, or poppy seeds), it’s bake time. Baking the bagels is crucial for cooking the insides and creating the fluffiest result. YAY — bagels will be on the table shortly!

Homemade gluten-free bagels sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning

We hope you LOVE these gluten-free bagels! They’re:

Wholesome
Chewy
Tender
Versatile
Undetectably gluten-free
& SO classic!

We love topping them with vegan cream cheese, using for sandwiches, or enjoying as part of breakfast! They’re perfect for making a big batch on the weekend, then storing in the refrigerator or freezer and toasting when ready to eat.

Love Gluten-Free Recipes? Try these next:

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Gluten-free vegan everything bagels on a blue background

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Bagels (Vegan)

Undetectably gluten-free bagels that are wholesome yet tender, and perfectly chewy! Perfect for breakfast sandwiches or schmears of cream cheese. Just 9 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Hand lifting half of a gluten-free everything bagel to show the inner texture
4.8 from 5 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 (Bagels)
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp cane sugar (organic for vegan-friendly)
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups sorghum flour*
  • 1 ½ cups tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 3 Tbsp ground chia seeds*
  • 3 Tbsp flaxseed meal (ground flax seeds*)
  • 2 tsp sea salt

TOPPINGS (choose one – optional)

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the warm water (100-110 degrees F / 38-43 C) and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the yeast and let it bloom on the counter for 10 minutes until frothy. If it doesn’t foam, start over — your water may have been too hot or the packet of yeast was expired.
  • While your yeast blooms, in a separate mixing bowl, combine the sorghum flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, ground chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and salt. Whisk well to combine.
  • Once the yeast has proofed, make a slight “well” in the middle of the flour mixture, add water/yeast mixture to the “well,” and use a wooden spoon to begin mixing immediately. The mixture will start out quite loose and liquidy, but should start to thicken as you mix. When the mixture has thickened slightly and has no lumps (~1 minute) cover it with a thin kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • When the dough is almost done rising, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C) and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Set nearby.
  • While your water is coming to a boil, dust a clean work surface with a little brown rice flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces (adjust amount if altering default number of servings). Shape each piece into a ball, adding a little flour to your hands if the dough is sticky. Then, shape each ball into a bagel by pressing your pointer finger into the middle of the ball and moving it in a circular motion to widen the hole. The hole of the bagel should be ~1 inch (2 ½ cm) in diameter, as it will shrink slightly when boiled. Dust your work surface once more so the formed bagels are easy to pick up.
  • When the water reaches a rolling boil, carefully (we used a spatula) pick up each bagel and place it into the boiling water (we added 3 at a time). Boil each bagel for ~45 seconds per side, using a fork or tongs to flip each bagel. When ready to remove, use a skimmer or large slotted spoon to remove the bagel from the water, ensuring that all excess water drains off (we used a slotted spatula). Place the boiled bagel onto the prepared baking sheet and immediately top the bagel with 2 teaspoons of your preferred topping (if using). Repeat the process with the remaining bagels.
  • When the bagels are done boiling, place them into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until dry to the touch and just beginning to brown. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before slicing, toasting, and enjoying. Delicious with vegan cream cheese, jam, peanut butter, avocado, or hummus.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*We recommend using a spice grinder or high-speed blender to grind chia and flax seeds (or buy pre-ground).
*The closest sub for sorghum flour would be oat flour, but we haven’t tested it in this recipe.
*To make cinnamon sugar topping, combine 3 Tbsp coconut sugar or organic cane sugar with 1 tsp ground cinnamon and mix well.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 bagel Calories: 249 Carbohydrates: 52.1 g Protein: 4.2 g Fat: 2.8 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 5 mg Potassium: 152 mg Fiber: 3.7 g Sugar: 3.7 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 10 mg Iron: 1.3 mg

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  1. Erin says

    Hi there! I’m so excited to try these for my birthday breakfast! I don’t know much about baking, so bear with me. Is the sugar absolutely necessary, or do you think these can be made without sugar? I’d love to make these without added sweetener if it won’t mess up the results too much.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Erin, that sounds like the BEST birthday breakfast! Happy early birthday! Some form of sugar is necessary for activating the yeast, but you could use a natural sweetener like maple syrup, if preferred. Hope that helps!

  2. Nikki says

    This recipe was amazing! I cannot remember the last I was able to eat a good bagel. I had some trouble with the first few bagels falling apart when I boiled them, but for the second bath I made the bagels a bit thicker and they came out great!

  3. kierstyn says

    i have been gf for almost a year now and i’ve missed bread so much because every gf bread has ingredients i also can’t eat lol. i tried this tonight using light buckwheat flour instead of the rice flour and they turned out! the dough was a little dry but the final product was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside :) if i wanted to incorporate blueberries what would be the best way to do this?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks for the great review and for sharing your modifications, Kierstyn. We haven’t tried this with blueberries so we cannot guarantee results, but we think fresh wild blueberries would probably be your best bet, as they are on the smaller side. Frozen might work, but we aren’t sure. You could probably mix them in before rising/shaping? Let us know how it goes!

  4. Suzannah Kolbeck says

    Made with one modification: I used cornstarch instead of tapioca.

    I will say these were ok. I am going to try them again, this time with a touch less salt and baked longer. I feel like they were a little damp in the middle, and I like a bit more color.

    The flavor was ok.

    This may seem a lackluster review, but it’s not. This was my first time making bagels ever, and I really enjoyed the process (which was clear and well-explained, so thank you for that!). I’d like to see if operator error was the issue, and I will get some tapioca starch for the next go-round. They were good enough to spend the time making to have in the freezer, so that’s the goal.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Suzannah! A slightly longer boil/bake time should help with more color, though gluten-free bagels do tend to be a bit more moist on the inside than a traditional bagel. Let us know how it goes if you make them again!

  5. Elaine Taylor says

    These bagels are amazing! I was a little nervous because I have NEVER baked with yeast before. I must have watched your video at least 10 times. I normally never really follow recipes exactly. This time I most certainly did. They were pretty easy to make because I prepared in advance. They boiled and baked up perfectly. Being a Celiac I am always disappointed because GF bagels are so underwhelming. Not the case with these. They are chewy like a real bagel (I use to eat them) fabulous right out the oven, nutritious and not a gazillion calories! A million thank yous for your delicious recipes, great videos and EPIC end products.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We LOVE to hear this. Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Elaine. We’re so glad you enjoy these bagels!

  6. Katie says

    These looked amazing and I just had to try them, even though I’ve never made bagels before, GF or otherwise. My grocery store didn’t have sorghum flour, so I substituted oat flour as you suggested and yep, it worked great! They turned out perfectly. I am no longer intimidated by bagel-making. 😁 Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tasie, it’s not as absorbent as ground chia, so we’d just suggest using a bit more in that case. Hope that helps!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Natalia, the yeast is pretty essential for the classic bagel taste and texture. We have seen other bagel recipes that use baking powder instead of yeast and skip the boiling, but we haven’t tried that with this recipe so we cannot guarantee results. Hope this helps!

  7. AH says

    Would Bob’s Red Mill GF 1:1 flour work as a substitute for the brown rice flour? I’ve got the rest of the ingredients.
    Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi AH, unfortunately that flour blend has a lot of starches in addition to brown rice flour which would probably change the texture of the bagel quite a bit. We haven’t tried it and we suspect it might be too dense or gummy. Hope this helps!

  8. Jamie says

    Do you know how long these beauties can be stored on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer? From things that I have made that are similar, I would think 1 week on the counter, 2 weeks in the fridge, and 3 months in Freezer. May you confirm please?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jamie, we wouldn’t recommend keeping these on the counter for more than 2-3 days unless you live in a very dry climate. We like to keep ours in the refrigerator for ~1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Hope this helps!

  9. P.R. says

    Hello there!
    I am allergic to flax; is there any possible work-around/substitution, or is this recipe impossible without it?
    Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! You can use more ground chia in place of the flax and it should work well. Let us know how it goes!

  10. Sam says

    Do you think ground psyllium husk would work as a sub for the ground chia? I use psyllium husk as a binder in other bread recipes, so I have it on hand.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sam, we haven’t tried it but we think that would work. Typically psyllium is more absorbent than chia or flax, but we think a 1:1 sub is worth trying. Let us know how it goes!

    • sidnie o'connell says

      It sounds really interesting and fun to do.. one of my favorite bagels is onion bagels. How do you think you could incorporate onions into this recipe? Or other things like blueberries?
      Thanks.

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Sidnie, you could use dried minced onion (from the spice section) and maybe some salt on top of your bagels instead of the everything bagel seasoning. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

      • Alex says

        Hi, they are in the oven as we speak but they were really dense (did not even float in the water). Do I need extra water and if so, how much? Thanks!

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Alex, hmm! Did you make any modifications to the flours? Is it possible your yeast didn’t activate (meaning the dough didn’t rise)?

          • Alex says

            Thanks for the quick response. No, used all the indicated products. My yeast was nice and frothy. The mix was so dense and dry it did not seem to rise much.

          • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

            Strange! Is it possible you were using any super fine flours? They will absorb more moisture.

      • Katy says

        ditto. Psyllium has been working well to give my bread that “chew” that GF is often lacking. From my research and experimenting, it seems that you need about 1 part psyllium for every 3 parts of chia/flax you’re subbing (so you’d use 1 tbsp powdered psyllium husk in place of the 3 tbsp chia seed). I’ve always hydrated mine first – so I’d be inclined to add the psyllium to the water/yeast mixture once the yeast has bloomed. Just spitballing though! I’ll have to give it a shot to see!

      • Alex says

        Will double check if the flours are superfine. Thanks for pointing that out. What would I do to compensate if they are superfine? Cheers.

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Alex, if they’re superfine, we’d suggest using slightly less of them. Hope that helps for next time!