I teased you all on Facebook and Instagram earlier this week with a rough camera shot of these gluten free vegan cranberry orange bagels straight from the oven so I think it’s only fair that I don’t make you wait any longer. Friends, can we chat for a second? I want to be honest with you. I have been skirting around the gluten-free vegan bread issue for a very long time now because my experience has been full of utter failures. You can’t just combine gluten-free flour, water, and yeast together and expect to get good results–sadly it just doesn’t work like that. You end up with a very dense, very not tasty food item that is trying to act like bread. I remember the first time I tried my hand at making gluten-free vegan bread. Ooof. Bricks. I even tried creating a gluten-free vegan bagel recipe about 2 years ago which I am still getting some-what good reviews on them (I reiterate some-what) however there were a few issues with them: They were heavy (like, physically heavy), yeasty, dense, and they weren’t pretty. They were close just not close enough and when we are talking bagels they need to be close enough, you know what I mean?
So when I created this gluten-free vegan bread loaf with not only GREAT success by me but by the majority of all of you who made it and commented back to me, I got bit by the bread bug. My fear of it all dissipated because I figured out the damn science behind it all and I got back to work in the kitchen. This time bagels were on the mind because let’s be real, bagels are always on the mind. Am I right or am I right?
Friends, this recipe was serendipitous because I got it in ONE attempt. That rarely happens for a recipe that is of this caliber. These gluten-free vegan bagels are light (like, it doesn’t feel like you are holding rocks in your hand), airy, they have the most chewy bite, and they taste so close to the real thing I cannot even believe it. Did I mention that they are xanthan gum free too? I already had breakfast this morning but I’m heating one up right now just because I want to eat another one…and just because I can. Slather them with some non-dairy Greek yogurt or even make a spreadable cashew cream cheese (use whatever add-ins you think would pair nicely with cranberries and orange).
Update: They still taste JUST as great once frozen and then re-heated!
- ½ c. warm water
- 1½ tsp. dry active yeast
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp. ground white chia seeds (or black--there is no flavor difference)
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- ¼ c. orange juice
- 2 tsp. orange zest
- ¼ c. dried cranberries
- 2 c. Cara's Gluten-Free Flour Blend
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cornstarch + 3 tsp. water - whisk until fully combined
- Cornmeal for dusting
- 2 pieces of parchment paper
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 4 c. water
- baking sheet
- Large slotted spoon (to pull out and drain bagels from boiling water)
- pastry brush (to coat the bagels with the "egg wash")
- In a small bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, and granulated sugar. Allow to froth for 10 minutes. Add the remainder for of the wet mixture ingredients and allow to sit another 5 minutes for the chia seeds to expand.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the dry mixture. Pour the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
- Create 5 even balls of dough, roll in between your hands to create a smooth dough and then flatten slightly to make into 4" bagel shapes--these fit the size of the palm of my hand (What you are looking for in your dough: When you shape the bagel, it will be a little sticky but should be easy to work with. Also it should stay intact when left alone. It might spread mildly but shouldn't lose shape).
- Using your thumb create a hole in the middle and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet lightly covered in corn meal. Cover and allow to rise 45 minutes in a warm, non-drafty area in your kitchen.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan get the water to a rapid boil. Turn heat down to medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar and 1 tsp. baking soda and stir until dissolved. The sugar creates a little gloss in the crust and the baking soda creates a barrier that keeps the water from absorbing into the bagel.
- Drop one bagel at a time into the boiling water, allowing it to sit in the pot for 30 seconds on each side (making a total of 1 minute per bagel). Please note that boiling the bagels prior to the baking them enables a chewy texture on the inside while nicely coating the exterior crust.
- When you take the bagels out of the water, make sure you have drained the water from them and place on a baking sheet lined with a clean piece of parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle the tops with cornmeal and then brush with the "egg wash" mixture. Bake for 20-23 minutes and allow to cool before cutting.
To store: slice in half, place a piece of wax paper in between each bagel, and store in a bag or container of choice.
With a crusty outside and a soft inside, there gluten free vegan cranberry orange bagels are waiting to be slathered with cream cheese!
Oh and let me know how they turn out for you!