I am in heaven. Bagel heaven. Last night, I was in focaccia heaven (see picture below). A few days ago, I was in pita heaven. Today, I am in bagel heaven.
You must see a pattern, don’t you? I guess I’ve been craving bread lately!
I tried my hand at bagels about a year ago. I considered myself modestly successful. But maybe I was deceiving myself. I never made them again until today.
My inspiration? Two people:
#1: Rick Fask from Good For Life Foods – he is the originator of a most fantastic pizza which is available at the Boynton Restaurant in Worcester, MA. He makes bagel sticks for On The Rise, a local Worcester bakery that offers gluten free baked goods. They are fabulous! Yesterday morning, I walked there with a friend and had a fantastic cup of coffee and a gluten free bagel stick. Yeah! I think I’ll make that a Sunday morning ritual. Thanks Rick! You’ve helped me feel normal again. Imagine, going to a cafe and having a cup of joe and a bagel. Incredible!
#2: Bette Hagman – again and again. We are all standing on her shoulders. She blazed trails that made it possible for all of us to live a gluten-free happy life. She was my influence for the bagel recipe. I followed the basic outline in one of her cookbooks, but I changed up the flours quite a bit, as I was going for a different texture.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. That is a ridiculously long list of ingredients. But listen, trust me, if you love bagels like I love bagels (bagels were my life pre-diagnosis), it is worth buying every single ingredient and making these bagels. THEY TASTE LIKE BAGELS!!!!
We scoffed down a few of them and then immediately froze the rest. I know they’ll be fresher tasting if I defrost and then toast them.
Yes, Gluten Free Bagels!
Recipe created by Ellen Allard
Servings: 12 bagels (this will change depending on how big the bagels are when you shape them)
1 cup millet flour
Â½ cup brown rice flour
Â½ cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch
2/3 cup potato starch
2/3 cup cornstarch
Â¼ cup ground flax meal
Â¼ cup almond meal
3 Â½ teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Â¼ cup shortening melted in Â½ cup HOT water (I used Spectrum Organic Veg. shortening)
4 egg whites
1 cup warm water (110 degrees) with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 packet of yeast
Cornmeal for sprinkling on cookie sheet.
Note #1: Have extra potato starch on hand to add to mixture if it is too sticky
Note #2: Have some shortening set aside. You will need to rub it on your hands when forming the bagels.
Note #3: The egg whites are best if they’re at room temperature – if you forget to take them out of the frig, before separating the egg whites, soak the eggs in a bowl of hot water.
Note #4: After dissolving the sugar and yeast in the cup of warm water, cover with a piece of plastic wrap. It will speed up the proofing of the yeast.
Grease one or two flat cookie sheets. Sprinkle cornmeal on it.
1. Place the dry ingredients, from the millet flour through the sugar, into the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer. Using your bread hook, mix the dry ingredients together just until blended.
2. Add the hot water/shortening mixture and mix the ingredients again for about 15 seconds.
3. Add the egg whites, mix again until blended.
4. Finally, add the warm water/sugar/yeast mixture and blend until well mixed. This should take about 3 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky. There is a good chance you will need to add some extra potato starch to the mixture. I added about 2 extra tablespoons and while the mixture was still a bit sticky, by rubbing shortening on my hands when I shaped the bagels, the stickiness wasnâ€™t a problem.
5. Rub some shortening on your hands. Take a ping-pong sized ball of dough out of the mixing bowl and roll into a ball, then press it between your two hands to make it flatter, then insert your pointer finger into the middle of it to make a hole in the center of the bagel. Place the bagels on the greased cookie sheet(s), cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place. At the beginning of this process, I turned my oven to 350 degrees for about 2 minutes, then shut it off. It was still warmish when I put the bagels in there to rise.
6. Set your timer for 50 minutes. When it rings, remove the tray of bagels from the oven. Let them sit on the counter for another 10 minutes or until the pot of water comes to a boil. The bagels should have doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
7. Bring a large stockpot of water and 1 teaspoon of sugar to a boil. Once it reaches boiling, quickly place four bagels in the pot. After 30 seconds, flip them over. Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining bagels. The extra water will drip onto the counter below the rack. Return the bagels to the cookie sheet(s).
8. At this point, add any toppings you might like. I added white sesame seeds to some of the bagels, poppy seeds to some of the bagels, and left the rest plain, naked and still yummy.
9. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. When my oven timer went off at 20 minutes, my bagels were done. Your bagels might need an extra few minutes, depends on your oven. When finished, remove from oven and place the bagels on a cooling rack. Do not eat all at once!
Once again, as a reminder, if you have any leftover, slice and freeze them. I have found that gluten free breads are just not that great the next day (even if you put them in a ziplock bag).
And if that weren’t enough, focaccia with olive oil and dried rosemary! The recipe comes from Annalise Roberts’ book Gluten-free Baking and is a must if you are serious about baking gluten free. Every single thing I’ve made from this book is spectacular. Hands down. We had this for dinner last night, with a really crisp baked potato and salad with one of our new favorite vegan caesar salad dressings.
So, now you know why I’m in bagel, pita, and focaccia heaven!!!