Monday, November 7, 2016

Bagels! And Pretzels!

Bagels! (And Pretzels too!)

Here's the thing: I am a Jew from NY. Bagels are a way of life for me. Before a variation of this recipe came my way, I hadn't eaten a bagel in *years*. THIS IS A TRAGEDY DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT A TRAGEDY THIS IS?  But I still had to modify the recipe a bunch before I could make it safe for me to eat. This recipe is the result of my playing in the kitchen.

These bagels are chewy, dense and satisfying. Even my toddler likes them, which is high praise indeed! They are definitely not the bagels of my childhood, but they are delicious and totally work with veggie cream cheese and lox, with smoked whitefish salad and thinly sliced cucumbers, with any of the things a person would actually want to eat on a bagel. These beauties are paleo friendly, gluten-free, high fiber, and vegan, though will not work for folks with tree nut allergies. And with a very mild adjustment, this recipe magically becomes a soft pretzel recipe. Read on!

1.5 c tapioca or arrowroot starch
2/3 c almond or hazelnut flour
1/2 c coconut flour
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp coconut sugar or other granulated sweetener
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 c oil (I usually use olive but have also done this recipe with hazelnut and several others)
1/2 + 1/3 cup water (I know the amount is weird; it's because I've substituted "flax eggs" for actual eggs, but pre-mixing the flax and water to make "flax eggs" doesn't need to be done as a separate step, it just means the amounts are weird looking. I promise, it works)

Optional: sesame, poppy, or caraway seeds, garlic or onion granules or flakes, and/or Kosher salt (to sprinkle on top or mix into dough), or 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup raisins added to the dry ingredients

Large pot with 1.5 quarts (6 cups) water, 2 tbsp coconut sugar or other granulated sweetener, 1 tsp salt

Equipment needed:

  • One good sized pot, large enough to comfortably hold 1.5 quarts of water
  • A stove top or burner to heat the pot of water
  • An oven (I frequently make these bagels in my large toaster oven, and I find it works out just fine!)
  • A baking sheet
  • A silicone baking mat or parchment paper (I like silicone baking mats best)
  • A slotted spoon
  • A bowl for flour, measuring spoons and cups, a spoon or spatula to mix the dough

  • Put the pot of water with sugar and salt on to boil while you prep other ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil
  • Preheat oven to 425˚
  • Mix all dry ingredients together
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the water and oil
  • Mix and knead well. The dough should be soft and should hold together, not too sticky and not too crumbly
  • Divide up the dough into 6-8 small balls. Shape them into bagels (flatten balls slightly and poke a hole through the center with your finger)
  • Boil the bagels in the salted, sugared water, 3-4 bagels at a time, for about 10 seconds. Gently flip and let boil another 5 seconds (don't over-boil! they'll disintegrate!)
  • Remove the bagels from the water and arrange on silicone baking mat on the baking sheet. Bagels won't rise much, so it's ok to place them fairly close together though make sure they're not touching.
  • Bake 25 min
  • Remove from oven and cool at least 10-15 min before eating
If you want to add variation to the bagels, you can add any kind of bagel-appropriate seed after the bagels have been boiled but before they're put in to bake. Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, onion or garlic flakes, or coarse kosher salt are all traditional! You can also mix any of these seeds into the dough, or add about 1/2 cup raisins and a teaspoon of cinnamon for cinnamon raisin bagels! The sky is the limit! These bagels keep great for up to a week in the fridge, and taste great if you cut them in half and then toast them before serving.


- Instead of adding the salt and sugar to the 6 cups of boiling water, instead add 1/4 cup baking soda. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as above

- Shape the dough into something vaguely pretzel shaped. Long, thin cylindars work fine as well. This dough is more crumbly and way less elastic than pretzel dough, so have patience and get creative with your shapes.

- Boil the pretzels for about 30 seconds before scooping gently out of the boiling water and placing on your baking tray

- Sprinkle on kosher salt and optionally sesame seeds. Bake as above. Poof! Soft Pretzels!

Serving size:            1 bagel
Servings per recipe: 6 bagels
Calories:                  300
Fat:                          17 g
Sodium:                   160 mg
Potassium:               251 mg
Carbs:                      35 g
Fiber:                       3 g
Sugar:                      6 g
Protein:                    5 g


  1. Ah! THE Bagel recipe. While I agree that bagels make the day begin, I rely on Rainbow Co OP in San Francisco...where I get a month's worth at a time. Bagels FREEZE well. Good bagels make almost every day begin well. Wait!!! I'm being pushed a bit....daily practice and a bit of talking to Apollo, Hecate, Sif and of course THOR are pre bagel. Often have to sooth bears and feed Wolf.... Sage SolsmiĆ°ur’lisa

  2. If I didn't have so many food allergies, I might be able to buy bagels. Alas, given my limitations, there is not a single brand of bagel I have found in any grocery store anywhere that will work for me. Believe me, I've looked. And looked. And looked. Which is why I'm now putting my recipes online in a place at least I can access, and maybe others will enjoy these recipes as well.