Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Bagels - Gluten Free!

Bagel related injuries account for around 2,000 visits to the emergency room in the USA, every year. Admittedly, the incidents are usually due to the act of slicing them, not making them - but that didn't stop me from approaching this month's Gluten Free Ration Rally with caution!

I'm not really a bagel person and even before going gluten free I only ate them occasionally.  Fortunately, Morri (our host for this Ratio Rally) sent us a link for a great article and recipe from Bruce Ezzel which demystified the process somewhat. I'm not experienced in what constitutes a great bagel - what with living about 3500 miles from my nearest New York deli -  but, I still had fun making them and I was pleasantly surprised by the results.  For bagel-purists, this is not quite a classic recipe, however, I love the combination of orange and caraway and I'm sure you will, too.

The bagel starts life as a sponge base, this is water, flour and yeast combined and left to prove.  The ratio for this worked out as 7:5 - 7 parts water to 5 parts flour.

Orange and Caraway Bagels (Adapted from a recipe by Bruce Ezzel)

For the sponge
1tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp just boiled water
25g psyllium husk powder
225g gluten free bread flour mix (I use Doves Farm)
350g water 

  • Mix the flaxseed and boiled water together to make a slurry, set aside to cool.
  • Weigh the psyllium husk powder and bread flour mix into a large bowl and stir with a whisk to mix.  Pour in the water, stirring as you do so, and combine well.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean tea-towel and leave at room temperature for at least 4 hours

To make the bagels
1 tsp salt
18g honey
1 tsp orange extract
225g gluten free bread flour mix
1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • Add the salt, honey, orange extract and flour (flour last) to the sponge.  Mix with your hands until you have a smooth, slightly wet - but not sticky - dough.  
  • Oil your worktop and hands and turn the dough out on to the worktop.  
  • Divide the dough into 6-8 pieces and mould each piece into a ball.  Use your thumb to make a hole in the centre of each and flatten each slighltly to make your bagels
  • Preheat your oven to 230°C and 3/4 fill a large pan (a wok or deep frying pan would be best) water.  Bring the water to boil (some recipes call for baking soda to be added to the water, but Kent water is pretty hard so I didn't feel the need to make it more alkaline!).
  • Drop the bagels into the water 3-4 at a time and simmer for about a minute on each side.
  • Remove the bagels from the water and place on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle caraway seeds over the bagels and bake for 15-20 minutes.

For more bagel ideas, check out the rest of the Rally-ers:

Morri at Meals with Morri made Blueberry Oat Bagels
Jenn at Jenn Cuisine  made Sundried Tomato Parmesan Bagels
Mary Fran at FrannyCakes made Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Adina at Gluten Free Travelette made Garlic Egg Bagels
Heather at Discovering the Extraordinary made Gluten-Free Bagels, with variations
gretchen at kumquat made Cinnamon Raisin Teff Bagels
Jean Layton at GFDoctorRecipes made Gluten-Free Sourdough Bagels
Meaghan at The Wicked Good Vegan made Vegan Gluten-Free Bagels
Meg at Gluten-Free Boulangerie made Classic Poppyseed Bagels (Vegan/Food Allergy-Safe)
TR at No One Likes Crumbley Cookies made Classic Gluten-Free Bagels
Angela at Angela's Kitchen made Gluten Free Bagels with variations
Caneel at Mama Me Gluten Free made Just Plain Bagels
Pete and Kelli at No Gluten, No Problem made Faux Pumpernickel Bagels


  1. Purist shmurist, these look DELICIOUS!

    I'm kicking myself for not straying away from the ratio (like using eggs, for one), and I'm glad you were able to create a great recipe.

    Orange and caraway, huh? What a cool food combination.

  2. Love the combination of orange and caraway!

  3. orange and caraway sounds wonderful! What a lovely breakfast bagel, and it looks like they came out great!!

  4. What a yummy sounding combination, i've tried the orange\caraway mixture in something else and it was very nice