It's funny how much excitement I can get over something as simple as a bagel these days. After making these, I pretty much bombarded every mouth that entered my kitchen the next few days with bagel samples.
Although my willing (and unwilling) taste-testers all said they loved the bagels, I was immediately confused when their levels of excitement did not match mine. I asked everyone if they even noticed my recipe tasted like REAL BAGELS and waited for their jaws to drop in amazement. Instead, I received confused looks like "Well, of course. Isn't it a bagel? What else would it taste like?"
I guess the experience is a little different for those of us who haven't had a bagel or any gluten in five years. Can I get some celiac taste-testers? ;)
Recreating gluten-free and grain-free versions of things like bagels, breads, cakes, cookies, or any baked good is difficult when you can no longer use the ingredient making up 90% of the original recipe. Don't ask me why I thought baking would be easy when I started this blog. Maybe because traditional baking was so easy? Or at least my version was (open box, dump ingredients into bowl, proceed to follow package instructions). Three years into blogging and I still don't have limited ingredient baking figured out. I destroy so many baking recipes but I'm getting closer to understanding it! I have so much admiration for blogs like Brittany Angell's and Gluten Free on a Shoestring who's gluten-free baking always tastes like the real deal.
I really didn't think my multi-purpose dough could be used for bagels but I had some dough scraps and gave it a try. Apparently, boiling is what does the trick. The texture completely changes from the dough's texture after baking or frying. It gives the bagel that smooth, shiny outside while the inside becomes dense and chewy.
It took several attempts to get the baking time and temperature right which is why the cinnamon raisins bagels look darker than the sesame bagels. Plus, the cinnamon makes them darker too.
Because of the texture, these don't crumble apart when sliced or toasted. I enjoyed a few of them plain and a few of them toasted with dairy free cream cheese on top. I didn't realize how much I missed bagels with cream cheese!
I definitely plan on trying these bagels with other flavors but I haven't decided what yet. I always loved poppyseed bagels and everything bagels. What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments - I need some inspiration!
- 1 batch multi-purpose dough
- 5 C water
To make cinnamon raisin bagels, you'll also need:
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ C raisins
To make sesame bagels, you'll also need:
- 2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
- 2 tsp Penzeys Spices fox point seasoning blend, optional but recommended!
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If making cinnamon-raisin or any bagel with mix-in ingredients, start here, otherwise proceed to step 3. Incorporate 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and the ½ cup of raisins (or whatever mix-ins you've chosen) into the dough. Once the dough is kneaded, add another half teaspoon of cinnamon and twist to form streaks throughout.
- Dust a clean work surface or a sheet of parchment paper with a little extra tapioca starch. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and form each into smooth balls of dough. Place the dough on your work surface and just slightly flatten them with your hand to get them a little wider (and bagel shaped!) Use your thumb to punch a hole in the center of each bagel.
- If you're not using toppings, skip this step and proceed to step 5. If you're making sesame bagels or adding toppings of your choice, mix together the sesame seeds and seasoning (or whatever toppings you like) and set aside on a small plate or shallow bowl.
- In a small saucepan, bring the 5 cups of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add one bagel and boil for 2 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Use a heat-resistant slotted spoon to check that the bagel doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot when you first put it in. Remove with the slotted spoon and repeat the process with the 3 remaining bagels.
- If you're adding toppings, while the bagels are still wet but cool enough to handle, dip the tops in the topping mixture.
- Bake the bagels on the parchment lined baking sheet for approximately 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bagel comes out clean and the middle no longer looks "gummy".
- Best served fresh and tastes great toasted. Store any uneaten bagels refrigerated in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave or toaster when serving later.