Whole Grain Gluten Free Bagels

Whole Grain Gluten Free Bagels

These whole grain gluten free bagels are crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside like a real New York bagel, with the chew of whole grains.

Gluten Free Whole Grain Brown Bagels
As a card-carrying New Yorker, I am greatly offended by bagel-shaped bread that has the nerve to masquerade as a bagel. This is a bagel. And a whole-grain-y one to boot. A bagel isn’t a bagel if it isn’t boiled first, and baked after. It might be gluten free bread, but it ain’t no bagel.

I’ve been experimenting with a special ingredient, Expandex modified tapioca starch. It holds things together, gives a great texture, and even helps the bagels crisp in the oven, and forms a really important part of the gluten free bread flour blend that we use in other bread recipes.

Raw bagels on brown surface A close up of raw bagels

The bagels have risen. Carefully lower them into boiling sugar water, two-by-two. The bagels can be frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet after being boiled and before being brushed with the egg washed and baked. When ready to bake, simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight, and continue with the rest of the recipe as directed.

They can also be frozen after being baked. Do not store leftover bagels in the refrigerator, as they will become stale.
If you don’t have (and don’t want to get) Expandex, replace with an equal amount Better Batter by weight. The dough will be more difficult to handle, and the end result will have a looser crumb and won’t be as crispy outside.

Bagels with cream cheese on white surface


Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 8 bagels


3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (438 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

2 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

25 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch

3 tablespoons (38 g) whole grain teff

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (68 g) certified gluten free oat flour

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon (9 g) instant yeast

2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon (21 g) unsulphured molasses

2 egg whites (50 g), at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) warm milk, about 95°F

Molasses bath, for boiling (about 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses, dissolved in 6 to 8 cups water)

Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, beaten)


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, xanthan gum, Expandex, teff, oat flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sugar and yeast. Whisk with a separate handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt and whisk again to combine. Add the butter, vinegar, molasses, egg whites and milk, and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the dough starts to come together. Switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook, and knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and stiff, and only slightly tacky to the touch.

  • Transfer the dough to a large piece of lightly floured unbleached parchment paper. With a bench scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Take the first piece of dough, and roll it back and forth on the parchment paper into a cylinder about 6 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Coil the dough into the shape of a bagel, with one end overlapping the other by about 1 inch. Press down a bit on the ends to seal. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and set aside. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Spray the bagels lightly with warm water, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area to rise until the dough is about 150% of its beginning volume (about 40 minutes). While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 375°F. In the last 15 minutes of rising, place the 2 tablespoons sugar dissolved in 6 to 8 cups water in a medium-sized pot. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.

  • Once the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap. Carefully place the bagels, 2 at a time, in the boiling sugar water. Allow to boil about 90 seconds, then gently turn over in the water and boil for another 90 seconds. Remove the bagels to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels. Brush the tops of the bagels generously with the 1 beaten egg.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating once during baking, or until the bagels are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove the bagels from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.


Comments are closed.

  • April 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    I haven’t tried GF bagels yet but the former NY in me is very excited to find this recipe and excited to give it a try!

    • April 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Hi, Lisa,
      As a former NYer, I think you don’t really have a choice in the matter. You must try! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • JoAnn C
    April 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Oh Nicole, thank you. I’ve been wanting to do so much more with all the teff I have, a little really does go a long way. I don’t want to sound pushy but, think teff and chocolate, or chocolate and teff which ever combination gets those creative juices of yours going. I’ll wait right here ’cause you always come through.

    • April 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Hi, JoAnn!
      Teff and Chocolate, huh? How about making a whole grain bagel, and spreading Nutella on it? ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • April 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    My favorite thing about bagels is when they’ve got little nooks and crannies in them, so that when I slather the butter on there, I end up with lots of what I affectionately call “crater butter” :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :) :) :)

  • April 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Bagels….*whimpers* You realize you’re lucky I just finished edits! Now I need bagels and I’ll have to make these next! You couldn’t wait til I was on vacation when I’d have the extra time to make them… LOL These look great. I wonder how difficult it’d be to make cinnamon raisin bagels from this recipe?

  • Anneke
    April 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    As I sit here eating bread masquerading as a bagel right now . . . clearly the result of a GF emergency! Now I have to eat it, as it was too expensive to let go to waste. Discovered this morning reading this recipe that I have been mistakenly using teff flour, instead of whole grain teff in my brown bread. It has worked fine, but I am guessing the whole grain will up the “good for me” content when I switch. Looking forward to getting the right stuff soon. Would it be correct to assume that if I use my flour that already has Expandex (Jules) that I could forgo the separate ingredient? Can’t wait to make these, I loooovvvveee bagels!

    • April 17, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Oh, no, Anneke! Not bagel-shaped bread!
      Oh my goodness do not use any more Expandex with Jules. Her first ingredient is Expandex! I would actually recommend Better Batter over Jules in this recipe, since Jules finds browning to be a bit of a challenge (truth) because of all the starch.
      xoxo Nicole

  • April 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    You rule! I was just wishing I could have a bagel. Started reading ‘Wheat Belly’ last night and want to go GF but kept thinking ‘But how will I eat….’ then this morning I found your blog! Very auspicious. Great recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  • Allison
    April 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    De-lurking to say that I think you’re rad, and really appreciate how you’re helping to make GF food accessible and unintimidating.

  • GoGoGF
    April 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM


    Can you check the link for where to buy Expandex? It’s not working for me–but maybe it’s just me?

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