• 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)
    (Printable Recipe)

    1 cup millet flour
    ½ cup brown rice flour
    ½ cup sorghum flour
    2/3 cup tapioca starch
    2/3 cup potato starch
    2/3 cup cornstarch
    ¼ cup ground flax meal
    ¼ cup almond meal
    3 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 tablespoons sugar
    ¼ cup shortening melted in ½ 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 wasn’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!!!
    • Shauna McCabe

      Oh, oh my. I am SO trying those this week. Perhaps tomorrow (tonight I’m making vegetable soup, only one project at a time!)

      Love the blog!

    • CeliacChick

      Those are some nice looking bagels you got there! ahaha

      Seriously, the bread and bagels look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    • Kate

      OH, those look delicious!
      THank you ever so much for sharing your recipe.

    • Sally Parrott Ashbrook

      Oh my goodness, those look so good. I wonder if they would work or would fall flat with an egg sub?

    • Ellen

      I froze the bagels and nuked one of them this morning for breakfast – 30 seconds in the micro, then toasted it. Just as good, if not better, as when they first came out of the oven!

      Sally – don’t know about the egg substitute – I’ve never worked with them as the only egg in a recipe. Give it a try – heck, I’ve thrown out more GF failures than I care to admit:).

    • Anonymous

      Great bagels! I just took them out of the oven and had to dive right in. Finally a great tasting and healthy breakfast I have been missing so! Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe!

    • Natalie

      I blinked when I saw this. I have everything on hand because I LOVE these flours. This looks AMAZING!!!

    • Anonymous

      How did I never see your blog before?

      Gorgeous breads of many varieties! Blessings to you and your Husband who chooses to live GF right along with you!

      Be well!

    • Choupichen

      I’d like to try your bagel recipe, but the thing is, I’m in France and I’m not sure how much yeast is needed here. How much does a packet weigh?
      Thanks for your help!

    • Linda

      I’m not a huge bagel fan, but one of my kids asked if I could make them gluten-free. I’m not one to pass on a gluten-free baking challenge so I think I’ll give this recipe a try soon. Thanks!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Linda,

      Good luck! These are really yummy. If you’re crunched for time, pick up a bag of either Breads from Anna or Pamela’s and try making bagels from these mixes. Works like a charm!


    • Anonymous

      These are VERY Good. Thank you for sharing. I smothered them most of them in cinnamon/sugar mixture before baking. I left a few plain for sandwiches…I’m excited that they include HEALTHY flours! My husband and mother in law will be very excited!

    • Jennifer

      I am allergic to almonds. What would you use in place of almond meal in this recipe? I have been dying to try GF bagels and my 3 year old son will appreciate it as well as my other children are not GF.

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Jennifer,

      Good question about substitutions for the almond flour. It’s not a significant part of the recipe – only 1/4 cup, so I’m thinking you could use extra brown rice flour, in addition to what is already in the recipe. Let me know how your sub works out.


    • Anonymous

      Well I just made these and I have to say they are delicious!!!!
      The best I have ever attempted! A definite keeper in my recipe stash.
      I substituted the millet flour with garbanzo bean flour as I coldn’t find the millet and I used whole flax seed instead of flax meal.
      Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Anonymous – SO glad you had success with the recipe! I haven’t made them in awhile – I think it’s time for bagels again!


    • Anonymous

      not sure how i never found your blog before…but u can be sure i'll be a frequent visitor!

      these bagels were AWESOME! they actually tasted like food, which is pretty amazing.

      i've been gf for 2 years now and been experimenting in the cooking/baking area. i've had more failures than i care to mention, but this one was a whopping success!

      thanks for giving me some hope in my gluten-free baking journey.

    • Anonymous

      For the lady in france, I use bulk yeast and when a recipe calls for a "packet" I simply measure out 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 teaspoons. It doesn't have to be exact. Good luck with your bagels. I am dying to try this recipe after reading all the great comments.

    • catie p.

      this is the most stupid question ever but can i use a hand mixer?
      also, i want to try your bread recipe but cannot find rice bran or teff flour (i live in the middle east) – do you know anything that would work as a substitute?

    • Anonymous

      Made these tonight my whole family loved them even my fussy 9 year old son! None of us are on a gluten free diet but I own a small bakery business and have lots of customers ask for gluten free. They will really appreciate these!! They tasted fantastic right out of the oven and the texture was just like a yummy yeast bread! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I did not have the rice flours so I substitued Tom's gluten free flour and it turned out great!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Catie – no questions are stupid! And yes, I'm sure you could use a hand mixer. Give it a try. Regarding subs for rice bran or teff, I think it depends on the recipe. But as a general rule, if the ingredient doesn't represent a huge part of the ingredient list, I would sub one of the other flours. If you have flaxmeal, that might be a good sub.

      Anonymous – so glad for your success. My sister uses Tom's GF flour and swears by it.

    • catie p.

      Ohhh I made them today and they are awesome! Thanks so much!

    • Anonymous

      If you want to have them taste really authentic, get some orange blossom honey and put that into the boiling water. It also acts as a shine factor on the baked bagel. I make regular "Montreal" style bagels very successfully, but have someone in my office who needs the gluten-free product. I will give your recipe a try. I always find the bagels much better after they have sat overnight.

    • Marilyn

      Thanks! I tried this recipe subbing a couple of the flours, amaranth and arrowroot instead of the sorghum and potato, and still these bagels were GREAT. No funny gf taste. Chewy, delicious, amazing.

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Anonymous – ooh, I love the idea of putting honey (I might try agave) into the boiling water!

      Marilyn – so glad for your success!


    • Marjo


      I would like to know if I can make these bagels with no sugar in them.. I have an intolerance to sugar so I do not use any kind of sugar not even fruit. Please tell me if they would workout fine.


    • Marjo

      I love your bagel recipie. Do you think I could omit the sugar in the recipie? I have an intolerance to sugar so I usually by Kamut bread with no sugar, but I love bagels and would love to make some. Please has anyone tried them without sugar.


    • Anonymous


      I am going to give this recipe a try. Can I omit the flax meal or can you recommend something I can substitute for flax? I do not like the taste of flax in any form.

      Gluten Free and Loving It

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Marjo – I'm guessing that you could eliminate the sugar, though it's a classic ingredient in bagels. Can you use a sugar sub, like agave or honey? If not, I would recommend giving it a try w/o the sugar. Let me know how they come out, in any case.

      Anonymous – I think you could replace the flax with any of the other flours in the recipe. I like to add it to my baked goods for the extra nutritional punch, but I think you could omit it. Good luck!


    • Casey

      I know this post is really old but I just made the bagels tonight and they kick butt. Thanks, we're going totally gluten free with our 3 year old and he has rejected every single thing I've baked so far. The bagels are a hit though, thank you!

    • bakingbarb

      I made these bagels and have to say this is the first time I have cared to eat any gluten free "bread" more then once.
      Thank you so much for this recipe.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, how I yearn for a bagel!! What could be substituted for the rice flour? I'm allergic to rice!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Casey – rock on! So glad for your success! It's especially important to bake and cook foods that our children will eat.

      bakingbarb – you're welcome!

      Anonymous – regarding a sub for the rice flour, I think you could use just about any other gf flour/starch. Pick one in the list of flours/starches included in my recipe and begin there. Good luck!

    • Lindsey

      I've made these bagels with an egg substitute, and they were fine the time I made them. Actually, I'd like to make them again, but they're such an undertaking. Well worth it though…

    • Lindsey

      I've made these bagels with an egg substitute, and they were fine the time I made them. Actually, I'd like to make them again, but they're such an undertaking. Well worth it though…

    • http://nhnorthwoods.com Sherry

      This sounds awesome, I am also missing bagels. I am new to Gluten free baking, but it's nice that there are so many resources available, like your blog!

    • http://jeanetteshealthyliving.blogspot.com Jeanette

      Hi Ellen, my son has an egg allergy. Any thoughts on substitutions? I've used flax seed/chia seeds for whole egg substitutions in baking up to 2 eggs. Do you think this would work for the 4 egg whites?

    • Liz

      Thanks so much! I'm REALLY new to the GF diet and missing bagels so much! One week GF free and sad because my gut is sick but glad because there's so much available out there from people like you who are willing to share. Yay!

    • http://u-topiaspa.co, Christin Bonem

      Any substautions for eggs or brown rice flour?

    • http://www.whatisglutenfree.net Gluten-free Gadabout

      Gluten-free bagels? — wow, what a fantastic item for a warming holiday delight. I love this kind of comfort food with a healthy basis. Would love to feature (with credit linking to you, of course) on my gluten free blog ( http://www.whatisglutenfree.net ). Thanks and keep up the good work.

    • http://www.facebook.com/camillescookies Camille

      Wow, so inspiring!!! And yes, I will try these little lovelies! Thank u Ellen for sharing, I keep your blog open just so I don’t forget to browse everyday! Kindly, Camille

    • Krista

      With all the great gluten free flour mixes available now, do you know if a gf flour mix could be used for all the flours? I don’t want to compromise the texture, but it would be so much easier and less costly.

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