Whole Grain Bagels

Whole Grain Bagels

Remember bagels? Think gluten free bread, as bagels or otherwise, is out of reach? I see crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside real gluten free bread, like only a bagel can be, in your future.

Gluten Free Whole Grain Brown BagelsAs 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.

Gluten Free Bread: Whole Grain Brown Bagels

I’ve been experimenting with a special ingredient. Expandex. It’s a modified tapioca starch. Now, I don’t know a ton about it, but I know that it can work some magic in bread. It holds things together, gives a great texture, and even helps the bagels crisp in the oven. I’m just using a bit of it here (a total of 25 grams), so I don’t think my children will end up glowing in the dark as a result.

But I’ll keep you posted. Children are the same as guinea pigs, aren’t they? By the way, these bagels are adapted from my recipe for Gluten-Free Brown Bread.

Gluten Free Bread: Whole Grain Brown Bagels

I thought about showing you the photos of the bagels before they’re shaped. But it looked decidedly un-pretty. So I went with a detailed description in the printable recipe instead.

Gluten Free Bread: Whole Grain Brown Bagels

The bagels have risen. Carefully lower them into boiling sugar water, two-by-two.

Gluten Free Bread: Whole Grain Brown Bagels

Then brush them with an egg wash, and bake ’em beautiful. Here’s what you do:

Whole Grain Bagels
Recipe Type: Bagels
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 7
Whole grain gluten-free bagels with whole grain teff, oat flour and molasses
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (438g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 25 grams [url href=”http://www.expandexglutenfree.com/”]Expandex[/url]
  • 3 tablespoons (38g) [url href=”http://www.bobsredmill.com/whole-grain-teff.html”]whole grain teff[/url]
  • 9 tablespoons (68g) oat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • 3 teaspoons (9g) instant (or breadmaker or rapid-rise) yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
  • 2 extra-large egg whites, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk, about 100 degrees F
  • 2 tablespoons sugar dissolved in 6 to 8 cups water
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  1. 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.
  2. Add the butter, shortening, 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.
  3. Transfer the dough to a large piece of lightly floured unbleached parchment paper. With a bench scraper, divide the dough into 7 equal parts, each about 160 grams. 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 degrees 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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.

Gluten Free Bread: Whole Grain Brown Bagels


P.S. Public self-service announcement: If you like what you see here, wait ’till you see my cookbook! Your support means so much to me. And that’s no joke.

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Comments are closed.

  • Greg
    April 22, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    I’m having a hard time jumping on the dying to make these train. They look burnt and unappetizing to me. And I don’t get the multiple rising agents. Yeast, baking soda,, beaten egg whites AND expandex yet they look flat. I appreciate the effort to make a NYC legend GF but a result like this doesn’t seen to have hit the mark; at least not for me.

    • April 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Hi, Greg,
      I don’t think you should make them, then. I’m not sure what a “dying” is, but I wouldn’t want to jump on it either.

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  • 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 :) :) :)

  • Ashley
    April 17, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Mmmmm bagels…YUM! I noticed your link to the Expandex website lists locations where you may purchase it, but if none of those locations are near me, do you know where I can find it online? I tried Amazon with no luck. I would really like to try this stuff out!! Any ideas, Nicole?

    Thanks :D

    • April 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      Hi, Ashley,
      There’s a link in the post to the site I used to purchase Expandex online. It says: here’s where I buy Expandex. And many of the locations listed on the Expandex site are online locations (including the one I used).
      xoxo Nicole

  • 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

  • Sharon
    April 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    do you have any suggestions for oat flour replacement? Sadly oats are off the menu. The bagels look lovely.

    • April 17, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      Hi, Sharon,
      I haven’t tested this recipe with any substitutions, so I honestly don’t know. You’ll have to experiment!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kristi
    April 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Oh Nikki. Once again, I heart you and your drive to give Team GF the things we miss. I love grain-y, wheat-y bagels. I haven’t broached bagels yet and I want to make them for Jordan too. She loves Everything Bagels which is easy to do with your other recipes. I looked at buying Expandex over the weekend and the shipping was more than the product so thank you for the link my friend. Off to order some! It is OK if the kids glow for just a bit, right? lol, I don’t think the products will cause any kid malfunctions. I am certified to say so too! The FDA and I go way back. You are all good!

    • April 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      That’s a relief, Kristi. Definitely give me a heads up if you hear anything from the FDA about glow-in-the-dark children. :)
      xoxo Nikki

  • 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!

    • April 17, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Hi, Jasmine,
      Glad to be of service. :) I hope you’ll stick around.
      xoxo Nicole

  • 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.

    • April 17, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Hi, Allison,
      So it took bagels to bring you out of the shadows? ;) Sounds good to me. I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to help you see GF food as accessible. That’s the goal, for sure! I hope you’ll post again. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • 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?

    • April 17, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      Hi, Peggy,
      So sorry! I changed it to another link. It’s very strange. The link seems to work for a time, and then stops working. I tried to link you deep into the site, so you could see the actual ingredient, but that doesn’t seem to be working well. Just click on “shop” and then “scratch ingredients,” and you’ll find it. :)
      xoxo Nicole

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