Egg Bagels

Have you ever met someone who always seems to be in the right place at the right time?

I mean, they’re the ones who win that ever elusive “Bring Your Own Bag” raffle at Trader Joes.  (seriously, does anyone ever win that $25 gift certificate?)

Or maybe you have a friend who sat next to Robin Williams on a plane?  They laughed together, shared snacks and had thumb wars the whole way.  Ok, maybe I embellished a few details, but this is how I like to imagine it went down.

Sadly, I don’t have many stories like that.  My closest brush with fame came when I was in culinary school.

I was at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and my bread instructor was Peter Reinhart.  That name will fall on deaf ears for 99 percent of my readers, but those of you who pursue bread-baking as a passion or career may recognize him as the author of  The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers.  Peter Reinhart is a veritable rock star when it comes to the art of bread-making.

I’m usually a bit suspicious when it comes to gurus, so luckily I had no idea who I was dealing with on that first day of Yeast Breads.  By day 3, I was a true-believer.  Chef Reinhart’s generous spirit coupled with an indisputable depth of knowledge make him an ideal teacher.  His hearty Struan bread, perfect baguettes,  luscious challah and chewy bagels seemed otherworldly.  Chef Reinhart taught us to nurture our breads like precious seedlings and I loved reaping the rewards.

During this period I would have found it unimaginable to live without wheat.  When you’ve embraced the dogma, “bread is the staff of life,” it’s a bit of an adjustment to go gluten-free.  For a long time I thought that I would need to erase all the knowledge I had accrued.  Then one day I stopped trying to forget and started making connections.  Connections between what I have learned about baking with and without wheat.  I started to love gluten-free baking and things like these bagels started to appear in my hands, fresh from my oven.  Proof that it wasn’t all for naught.

Proof that I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

Gluten-Free Egg Bagels


  • 3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix, (click link to see the mix I used)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum (I use Authentic Foods Brand since it is corn-free)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed (this is an important ingredient as it helps with the hint of malt flavor in a traditional bagel)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 eggs + 2 yolks
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup warm water, plus 1-4 additional tablespoons if needed* ( I usually need to add this extra water)

To Finish:

  • 12 cups water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 lightly beaten egg (for egg washing the bagels)


Notes:  Please click here  for step-by-step photos of my bagel making extravaganza.  This will be helpful to anyone who hasn’t tackled homemade bagels before!

→  Place the dry ingredients  (gluten-free flour mix, tapioca starch, millet flour, yeast, xanthan gum, brown sugar, and yeast) in the bowl of your standing mixer.

→  With the paddle attachment, slowly mix ingredients until incorporated, approximately 30 seconds.  Set aside.

→  In another bowl, gently whisk the remaining ingredients (eggs + yolks, oil and 1 cup water) until combined.

→  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and with the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes on medium-high speed (start your mixer slowly so ingredients don’t slosh out).  The dough will be a bit sticky, and stiff but it shouldn’t be unbearably sticky (add additional water one tablespoon at a time if it is too stiff and dry).  Please see the bagel tutorial if you would like to see what my dough looks like after mixing.

→  Using a metal ice cream scooper or measuring cup, drop a “glob” (1/2 cup) of dough at a time onto a counter that has been lightly dusted with rice flour.  I usually don’t need much flour and find that a slightly tacky dough is easier to roll into smooth balls.

→  Making a cupped shape with your hand, roll the dough in a quick, repetitive, circular motion to create a smooth, rounded ball of dough.  (don’t get discouraged as this takes some practice!)

→  Using your thumb (you may want to flour it a bit), press straight down into the center of the dough ball and then move your thumb around a bit, in small circles to help widen the whole. See pictures for guidelines.

→  Then, using your four fingers, press the dough down a bit to help make a flattened “bagel shape.”

→  After shaping, move each bagel to a sheet pan that has been lined with lightly oiled parchment paper or a silpat mat.

→  Gently drape the bagels with oiled plastic wrap and allow them to rise in a warm, 80 degree place for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes (not much longer or else the bagels will take on an overly yeasty flavor).  The bagels will look puffy and should be doubled in size.

→  About 30 minutes into the rise, preheat your oven to 450 degrees in anticipation of baking your bagels.

→  About 20 minutes before the bagels are done rising, bring a large, wide-mouthed pot of water to a boil (approximately 12 cups of water).  Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the pot.

→  Working with 3 to 4 bagels at a time (depending on the size of your pot), boil the bagels for 1 1/2 minutes per side.  I flip mine at the half-way mark with a large slotted skimmer.

→  When the bagels are finished, remove them with the slotted spoon/skimmer and place on your prepared sheet pan.  Don’t worry if a bit of water puddles off of them onto the sheet pan.  This will evaporate in the hot oven.

→  Brush the tops of the bagels gently with the egg wash (1 lightly beaten egg).

→  Bake the bagels on the center rack of the preheated, 450 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 425 and bake for 15-20 more minutes.  The bagels should be a very deep golden brown color.

→  Remove from the oven and cool bagels on racks.

→  If you have any bagels leftover, slice them, wrap them and store them in the freezer.  To reheat: pop the sliced bagel in your toaster right from the freezer and they’ll taste just as good as the day they were baked!  I usually make these bagels twice a month and we love pulling them out of the freezer for quick bagel pizzas, bagel breakfast sandwiches, etc.

Yield:  Approximately 8-10 medium sized bagels

31 thoughts on “Egg Bagels

  1. Wonderful looking bagels and I am longing for one of these! Had a poor substitute last night for a bagel and look forward to making these!
    Thanks again for a great recipe and entertaining story.

  2. First of all, thanks for the answer in your previous post – I’m going to buy one! I really loved your story on today’s post! I don’t think I ever have any cool story to share either… But I tend to forget those stories (good or bad one – kind of fair)…. These bagels must be super good! I’d looove to have homemade bagels!!

  3. Oh, my gosh, these look AMAZING!!! I have never made bagels, but they’re on my baking list. I must say I’m in awe that you have perfected a gluten free version!

  4. Mom is coming over today for some GF baking, maybe we’ll add these to the agenda! Also, I make Peter Reinhart’s Sandwich bread almost once a week (sorry, not GF). It is truly the best. Actually, I was thinking about trying to make it gluten free using your yeast bread GF flour mix. Any suggestions?
    And FYI, that is exactly how Robbin’s and my flight went down. We’ve been BFFs ever since 🙂

  5. I think the closest I came to fame was when I had to hold my friend back from beating up Stephanie Tanner from the tv show “Full House”… she really deserved it but at a high school dance would have been completely inappropriate 🙂 But the true star is YOU! These bagels are fabulous! I can hardly believe my eyes that they are gluten free. *And* I didn’t realize that you could get corn-free xanthan gum. Thank you for that tip.

  6. Pingback: Gluten Free Bagels | The Little Chef Bakes

  7. Hello I wanted to know if there was another flour I could use instead of millet flour because I don’t have access to any here. Thanks in advance!! These look great!!! 🙂

    • For some reason millet can be tricky to find. I’m lucky enough to have convinced my health food store to stock it, probably because I keep them in business buying it! 🙂 I love the stuff, and think it has a unique flavor, but if you need to sub, white sorghum flour would work or even a gluten-free certified oat flour if you eat oats.

  8. Hi, your bagels look amazing! I actually tried to make them tonight with not much luck 😦 I followed the recipe exactly, but mine were really hard to handle. The dough was very soft and instead of rising just spread out over the pan. I’m wondering what could be the problem?

    • Hi Valerie,
      I’m so bummed to hear that! I make this recipe at least once a week and pull up the recipe from my own blog when I measure everything out (I don’t always have all my recipes memorized!). I also know of one other food blogger who used the recipe and had success. They posted about it here:
      I love troubleshooting, so feel free to email me and let me know the exact brand and blend of flours you used. Whether or not you used xanthan gum, guar gum, millet, etc. This dough is usually one of the stiffest gluten-free doughs I make and I rarely even have to flour the counter much when shaping the dough in to balls and then bagel shapes. Some reasons for a really loose dough could be, too much liquid/or too little flour, a different combination of flours (they all absorb water differently), leaving out the xanthan gum, etc. Oh, and also let me know how you measure your flours (dip and sweep versus spooning into the measuring cup). So, get in touch and I would love to help! I really want you to be able to taste these! 🙂

      • Hi, thank you so much for replying!
        I used all the flours that were written in the recipe, the only different flour was brown rice, which wasn’t superfine. I can get superfine white rice flour here, but I’m not sure if the results would be the same as yours, if I substitute brown rice for white rice flour. Also I can’t use xanthan gum, so I did use guar gum.
        I also found that, after I added more flour they were easier to handle, so maybe it was a lack of flour after all. Would you suggest to add maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sweet rice flour?

      • The flours you used should have been fine, even if they aren’t the superfine version I use. The guar gum substitute is the root of the problem. When I first started posting recipes on my blog I would specify that people could use xanthan gum and guar gum interchangeably, but after some experimentation I have found that it isn’t quite that clear cut so I no longer suggest that in my ingredient lists. For cakes, cookies, muffins and pancakes that 1:1 sub works, but when working with yeast breads, particularly something that is shaped or formed like a bagel, you need 1.5 times as much guar gum. Guar gum has a lower viscosity than xanthan gum, so it just doesn’t seem to thicken and bind quite as well (making the dough seem slack and loose). That isn’t such a problem if you want a tender end product, but in the case of a bagel or sandwich bread, we need lots of structure. So, this recipe may work better for you if you use 3 1/2 teaspoons guar gum (instead of the 2 teaspoons of x.g.). I still can’t guarantee the results since I haven’t tested it that way, but your instinct to add a bit more four (sweet rice would be great) is a good one. So, to make a very long story short, gf bread doughs seem to work better with xanthan gum, but if you need to sub due to dietary restrictions, you may need to increase the guar gum. I wish I could test the recipe for you to give you clearer guidelines, but my son who is peanut allergic doesn’t seem to tolerate the guar gum (it is a legume too), so we don’t have any in the house any more!

  9. I have made these several times now, and they always come out very nice! I have made them with just 2 eggs (no additional egg yolks) and some extra oil to make the liquid part to 2 cups, and it seems to work fine. Although they don’t double in size, they do rise, and the texture is definitely that of bagels without being extremely chewy. This last time, I used 2 c of regular flour mix and 1 c of “high-protein” mix that contains bean flour (a Living Without recipe; touted as good for elasticity), and seemed to work very well. I’m still working on making the perfect surface that your bagels have, and may never get there, but practice does seem to help! 🙂 Thank you for another great recipe!

    • Thanks for letting me know. You always give such helpful feedback! It’s good to know that the high-protein blend is a success with this recipe. When I develop recipes for Free Eats I try to use flours that will be easy for most readers to find, and will yield an end result that is most similar to the wheat counterpart they may be used to. On a daily basis though, I love trying different blends and hearing about what has worked for others. This is a great way to increase nutritional value in gf baked goods, and some blends may suit individual flavor preferences.

      • Yes, so true about individual flavor preferences, especially with the high protein flour— I used to use garbanzo and did NOT like it at all. Now I’m trying white bean flour and I think I like it better. But today we pulled a bagel from freezer and ate it, and seems like the bean flavor is a lot more pronounced than when they were fresh. So I might go back to just using regular flour mix, unless I run out of the flour (like the last time).

  10. So tired of paying outrageous prices for store bought, so I made these the other day. Not only did it save me money, they taste so much better! Thanks!

  11. Hi do you have any suggestions on how to make these egg free? I have a daughter who has to have a gluten free, dairy free, egg free diet due to multiple food allergies? Thanks in advance. I cannot wait to try this!

    • I really wish I had a more informed answer about this, but my experience with baking yeast breads egg-free is minimal. I think egg-replacer would be your best bet, and hopefully the power of that and the yeast would be enough to keep them from being too dense. If you do try and experiment with it let me know. I just can’t guarantee they will work without the eggs! I wish I could. 🙂 Happy baking and thanks for stopping by!

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