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Bagels are known for their classic, chewy texture and shiny coats. They also need a high GLUTEN flour to create this, so making them gluten-free took a bit of work to create the perfect bagel recipe.
This recipe will make perfect gluten-free bagels to be enjoyed with your favourite filling like smoked salmon and/or pastrami with cream cheese and pickled condiments.
Where do bagels originate from?
Apparently, I am living where the bagel was invented. In 1683, a Jewish baker in Vienna made bagels as a gift to King Jan III Sorbieski of Poland to give him thanks for leading the horses in the Battle of Vienna. The baker based the bagel on the iconic shape of the horse’s stirrups, which are incidentally called Bügel in German. These bagels took Poland by storm and ended up being sold as a staple bread. The bagel hole served its purpose to be easily stacked on sticks or hung by strings while being displayed at shops or street markets.
Eventually, the bagels made their way to New York, Toronto and Montreal where the majority of Polish immigrants moved to, taking their family bagel recipes with them, leaving Poland with virtually no bagel presence. The same has happened in Vienna. There are only a few coffee shops, bakeries and select supermarkets selling bagels. In fact, supermarket bagels are imported from the US.
Are making bagels complicated?
Making bagels may look complicated to make, but in actual fact, the dough is very easy to manage and shape, despite lacking gluten. Like any bread-related recipe, it requires patience and organisation.
There are three stages to making a successful bagel:
- Preparing the bagel dough – requires under two hours of rising.
- Boiling the bagels – each bagel boils for 2 minutes in a deep pot.
- Baking the bagels – bakes for 25 minutes.
- 1 egg white, lightly whisked for topping
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, nigella seeds or poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (optional)
Smoked salmon & cream cheese
- 3 smoked salmon
- 100 g plain cream cheese
- ½ red onion, sliced in rings
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp creamed horseradish
- fresh chives, to decorate
- ½ lemon, in wedges
Pastrami & cream cheese
- 3 pastrami slices
- 100 g plain cream cheese
- 1 tbsp cucumber pickles
- wholegrain mustard
- rocket/arugula leaves
- fresh dill, to decorate
Preparing the bagel dough
- Place the water, yeast and honey in a covered bowl in a warm place for 10 minutes to rise.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, xanthan gum, salt and whole eggs.
- Add the yeast mixture and yoghurt, mixing well with a wooden spoon.
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place for one hour.
Shaping the bagels
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes by hand and roll into equal balls weighing approximately 125g each. This method ensures even-looking bagels and baking.
- Roll and press the balls into a disc measuring 8cm in diameter.
- Press your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon or a small rolling pin into the middle of the bagel to form the hole.
- Using slightly wet hands, gently mould the bagel into an even round shape and enlarge the hole again with your fingers if it appears too small.
- Space them out onto a lined baking tray and cover them with a damp tea towel.
- Leave to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
Boiling the bagels
- In a deep stove-top pot, fill it with water and bring it to a boil.
- Lower each bagel, one by one for about 10 seconds. They should float to the top. Lift each floating bagel out and return it to the lined baking tray spacing them 5cm apart.
- Brush the top of each bagel with the lightly whisked egg white and sprinkle with mixed sesame seeds and nigella seeds. Add other seeds for variety or leave some plain depending on your preference.
Baking the bagels
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Place a half-filled tray of boiling water on the lowest shelf in the oven to create steam.
- Bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutes. The bagels should be slightly golden and sound hollow when tapped.
Assembling the bagel sandwich
- Allow to cool down completely before slicing in half horizontally with a serrated bread knife.
- Toast the bagel under the grill or in the toaster until lightly golden.
- Choose either or both: Classic smoked salmon with plain or chive cream cheese, red onions, capers, horseradish and a squeeze of lemon or Pastrami slices with plain cream cheese, red onion, fresh rocket/arugula leaves, wholegrain mustard and pickles.
- Best eaten on the same day as baking
- Toast each side of the bagel under the grill or in a toaster
- Suitable to freeze and defrost straight away in the oven or toaster