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 – 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


  • 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


  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 Naan

Naan is one of the things I miss the most since I stopped eating wheat.  It is a versatile bread, and makes great mini pizzas for a quick snack!

In October, I tabled for the Co-op at the 9th annual Bellingham Gluten Intolerance Group information fair at St. Luke’s Education Center.  Next door to me was Josh from Flax 4 Life (who make delicious gluten-free flax muffins locally), and we started talking about the gluten-free lifestyle and he told me his wife Karissa was also a blogger.  Then he told me the news I was waiting to hear – that she had successfully made gluten-free naan.  Guess what I did?  Yup, you got it – after I went back to work I looked up her blog straightaway!

I will be the first to admit that when I saw that the naan recipe contained yeast, I was discouraged.  I don’t have a great history with successfully completing recipes for yeasted breads – I can never get them to rise properly, even when following the directions to a tee, and my kneading leaves a lot to be desired!

As my last recipe demo of the year got closer and closer, I decided to finally put my fears aside and tackle the naan recipe with only thoughts of success – what a good way to end the year, right?  Guess what, it worked…and not only that, it was delicious and super easy!

I think this recipe works best in a cast iron skillet.  You do need a lid, and I didn’t have one, so I just used a cookie sheet to cover the skillet and it worked just fine.  If you don’t have a cast iron skillet (you should really get one, you know!) then you should probably use a little more fat than I did for frying the naan so they don’t stick.  A well-seasoned cast iron skillet won’t require as much lubrication as you cook as stainless steel or other pans, so you can use less as you go through your batch of dough.  The original recipe called for a whole tablespoon of butter for each piece of dough, but I used considerably less than that.

The recipe was originally created by Artisan Bread in Five, and the same dough can also be made as a crusty boule with a few changes to the recipe.  You can find videos and step-by-step photos on their blog of the process.  They have a GF section in their cookbook that I really want to check out after making this recipe, and I will be exploring their blog for more gems.  Karissa at Gluten Free, Frugally adapted the recipe and essentially gave me the courage to go for it.  You can freeze both the dough and the cooked naan, so it is a great recipe to make in a big batch and then just pull them out of the freezer as you need them.

The next time I make these (which will be soon!) I am going to try to tweak it a little by using olive oil instead of the canola, as well as frying them in a little olive oil.  I am a huge fan of butter, and I’m sure that I will make them with butter again, but changing those two components ups the healthy factor a bit – plus I also love the flavor of a good olive oil!

Happy New Year, and enjoy the naan!!!

photo of gluten free naan bread

Gluten-Free Naan © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Gluten-Free Naan


  • 1 c brown rice flour + more for sprinkling the dough
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 c tapioca flour
  • 1 T granulated active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 T xanthan gum
  • 1 1/3 c lukewarm water (110°F)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 T + 2 t canola oil
  • 1 T honey
  • Clarified butter (ghee) or butter


  1. Mix the flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl, if you are preparing by hand).
  2. Add the water, eggs, oil, and honey to the dry ingredients.  Mix with the paddle attachment (or with a large spoon) for a few moments until the dough has fully come together.  It will be very soft and airy.
  3. Put the dough in a large, clean bowl and cover it with a clean towel.  Put the dough in a warm place and leave it to rise for about 2 hours.
  4. Take the dough and break off a chunk about the size of your fist.  Place it on a floured  silicone baking mat or a piece of plastic wrap.
  5. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the lump of dough and flatten it into a round shape with the heel of your hand.  Peel back the plastic wrap and sprinkle a little brown rice flour on top of the dough.
  6. Replace the plastic, and gently roll dough out to about  1/8” – 1/4” thick disc (depending on your preferences).
  7. Heat a small pat of clarified butter over medium heat in a skillet that has a lid (cast iron works the best).  If you don’t have clarified butter, you can use regular butter, but you will have to take care so it doesn’t burn (clarified butter doesn’t tend to burn) – you will have to wipe out the pan after you cook each naan.
  8. Carefully peel the dough off the mat/plastic and place it in the skillet.  Put the lid on to keep the heat in and cook for about 2 minutes.
  9. Flip it over and cook for about another minute or two, until cooked through.
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 until dough is gone!
  • If you don’t have a cast iron skillet with a lid, but have the skillet, use the bottom of a cookie sheet as a make-shift lid.  Just be sure to wear an oven mitt—it will get hot!
  • Let the naan cool on a wire rack.  If you are freezing them, wait until they are fully cooled and then put them in a large freezer bag with parchment paper in between them so you can pull out one or two easily from the freezer.
  • A friend of mine has a tortilla press and is going to try using this recipe to make tortillas – after working with the dough a couple times now, I think he will have great success with that and I will eagerly be awaiting a sample…

Gluten-free Naan PDF