Super Yummy Gluten-free Bagels

Baking bread has always been my weak point…until I made these awesome bagels this morning. I haven’t been able to find an acceptable pre-made gluten-free bagel and was about ready to give up – you could hardly call what is available a real “bagel” and it’s one of the few bread items I still crave from time to time since starting a gluten-free diet. I decided that today was the day I would try my hand at making some from scratch, and I am so glad I did!

My bagels before I boiled them. © 2013 Sassy Sampler

My bagels before I boiled them. © 2013 Sassy Sampler

I looked at a number of recipes before I chose one to try, and most were basic bagel recipes that simply had gluten-free flour substituted in for the wheat flour. I didn’t feel that would produce a bagel that was any better than the packaged ones, so I kept looking. I found what I was looking for on Food.com – this recipe contained eggs and milk, which I felt would help with the dryness factor that is so common in GF breads. I was a little nervous since this recipe was so different from the others, but after preparing it (it took about an hour total) I found my nervousness was unfounded – the bagels looked like they could have come from the Bagelry (a local favorite) and they smelled great. I have to say that this is officially one of my favorite recipes now!

Bagels have been boiled, sesame seeds sprinkled, and egg washed. © 2013 Sassy Sampler

Bagels have been boiled, sesame seeds sprinkled, and egg washed. © 2013 Sassy Sampler

They came out of the oven a beautiful golden brown and I couldn’t wait for them to cool before I cut into one…pause for a moment of bliss please! Once they had cooled, I cut into another and ate it un-toasted and with no accoutrements – delicious! I imagine that after the first day you’ll have to toast them like any other gluten-free bread, but that doesn’t bother me one bit. They were so good that my wheat-eating husband asked if I was going to make a batch at home so we could have “eggels on bagels” this weekend (what we call a scrambled egg and bagel sandwich – we used to love to make these on the weekends with Bagelry bagels, pre-gluten intolerance). My enthusiastic answer was YES!!!

Gluten-free Bagels © 2013 Sassy Sampler

Gluten-free Bagels © 2013 Sassy Sampler

Gluten-free Bagels

Note – see PDF version for recipe update

Makes 6 bagels

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 c lukewarm milk (plus 2 T)
  • 2 T active dry yeast
  • 3 T sugar (three 1 T portions)
  • 1 c gluten-free potato starch *
  • 1 c gluten-free cornstarch *
  • 1/2 c tapioca flour *
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t xanthan gum
  • 1 t sea salt, plus more for topping
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg
  • 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
  • Sesame seeds or other topping
  • Cooking oil for baking sheet/Cornmeal (optional) – to put on the cookie sheet under the bagels

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, combine the (lukewarm) milk and 1 T sugar. Stir briefly to help dissolve the sugar. Add the yeast (stir to disperse granules) and let sit for about 10 minutes until it is foamy on top.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Put on a pot on to boil, with about an 1 1/2 – 2 inches of salted water in it.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together potato starch, cornstarch, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, 1 T sugar, and 1 t sea salt. Create a “well” in the middle of the flour.
  4. Scramble 2 eggs in a bowl and add the vinegar; mix to combine.
  5. Add the egg and yeast mixtures to the flour “well” and mix well with a rubber spatula to combine and remove all the lumps.
  6. Flour your hands and divide dough* into 6 evenly sized dough balls. Press a hole into the center of each ball with your thumbs and shape it into a bagel—they will rise, so make sure your hole isn’t too small, it should be about the size of a quarter. You can place them on a sheet of parchment paper.
  7. Add 1 T sugar to the boiling water.
  8. One at a time, gently place a bagel into the boiling water. Boil for about 1 minute, gently flipping the bagel after about 30 seconds—the crust will be thicker and chewier the longer you boil them and the interior will be denser.
  9. Remove the bagel from the water (use a large slotted spoon if you have one or a spatula) and place it on a greased baking sheet (you can also skip the oil and instead sprinkle cornmeal on the sheet).
  10. Sprinkle sesame seeds and sea salt over the bagel immediately once it comes out of the water (or whatever topping you have chosen, or none at all) and brush gently with an egg wash (see below). Repeat steps 9 and 10 for the rest of the bagels.
  11. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  12. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Bagels can be frozen.

To make egg wash:

  1. Beat one egg in a small bowl.
  2. Add 2 T milk or water and beat the mixture until combined.
  3. Spread egg wash over the top of the uncooked bagels with a pastry brush.

* Be careful when measuring your flours – if you use even a little more than what is listed then your bagels will turn out dry. If your dough seems a bit dry when you are done mixing, add more milk (start with 1 T) – your dough should be (slightly) sticky and feel kind of delicate when shaping the bagels.

Using an egg wash will give you a shiny and crunchier crust.

Gluten-free Bagels PDF

I haven’t made these, but here is a link to a vegan gluten-free bagel recipe that I thought sounded promising – I wouldn’t recommend adapting the recipe above to be vegan.

Gluten-free Cheesy Crackers (aka Cheese Straws)

I’ve been searching for a really good gluten-free cracker recipe – it’s something that I really miss since I started my gluten-free diet.  We sell a lot of great gluten-free crackers at the Co-op, but I have craved something that is cheesy and crunchy and I just haven’t been satisfied with what is available pre-made.

One of the things I really wanted to avoid was all the rolling involved with most cracker recipes, which is necessary to create flaky layers.  The layers weren’t as important to me as the cheesy goodness – I wanted to find a simple recipe that I could make really quickly.  I found what I was looking for on Food.com – an easy recipe for something called Cheese Straws.

I had no idea what cheese straws were (and still don’t, even after a Google search), but reviews on the recipe were fantastic so I figured it would be worth a try.  The recipe originates from Roben Ryberg’s cookbook The Gluten-Free Kitchen which utilizes gluten-free starches in all the recipes.  When I have made gluten-free crackers with a regular gluten-free flour blend in the past they were good, but they were more like savory shortbread cookies than crackers (if that sounds good, then you can find a recipe here – I just substituted GF flour for the all-purpose flour in the recipe) and since Roben’s recipe uses starches, I figured that I would get a crunchier result.

I was right…not only was the recipe very simple, but they were super delicious – I think they taste like the best Cheez-it you’ve ever had.  I have to admit that I was VERY tempted to sit and eat the whole plate myself they were so yummy, and I have a feeling I’ll be whipping up a batch just for me and my sweetie tonight!

photo gluten free cheese cracker

Gluten-free Cheese Crackers © 2012 Sassy Sampler

Gluten-free Cheese Crackers (aka Cheese Straws)

adapted from Roben Ryberg The Gluten-free Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c organic, gluten-free cornstarch (Let’s Do Organic brand)
  • 1/3 c gluten-free potato starch (can substitute tapioca starch)
  • 1/4 t xanthan gum
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 T organic cream or whole milk
  • 4 oz organic sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

Optional:

  • 1/4 t ground red pepper/cayenne

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium bowl (or preferably in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) cream the butter until really smooth, about one minute in a stand mixer and about 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer.
  3. Mix the xanthan gum, sea salt, and the starches in a bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the creamed butter, with the mixer on low.  Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until the starch has fully incorporated into the butter. Scraping sides of bowl as needed.  The mixture will be crumbly (kind of like powdered Parmesan cheese).
  5. Add the cream/milk and mix until dough is smooth.
  6. Add the cheese and mix until the dough is smooth and the cheese is fully incorporated.  If the dough seems too dry, add more cream/milk by the teaspoon.
  7. Roll out or pat the dough to 1/4” thickness on an un-floured surface.  If the dough is too sticky to work with then refrigerate it for a few minutes.
  8. Cut into thin 4-6” long “straws” and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or you can grease the sheet).
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. Let cool slightly before moving from baking sheet.  Serve at room temperature.

Alternately, you can make cheese crackers:

  1. Roll the dough thinly on a piece of parchment paper and move it to your baking sheet.
  2. Cut the dough (a pizza cutter works nicely) into small cracker sizes and bake for ~15 minutes, until golden.  You don’t need to separate the pieces.
  3. Once the crackers are out of the oven, break them apart.

The thinner you roll the dough, the crunchier the straws or crackers will be.

For a little flair, twist the straws as you place them on the baking sheet.

GF Cheese Crackers/Straws PDF