A decent vegan bagel is hard to come by where I live. You can certainly find bagels at any generic supermarket, but if they aren’t full of L-Cysteine (blegh), chances are they may have been doused in an egg wash to give them that shine and make the toppings stick. If you’re lucky, perhaps your local farmers market has a place that makes kick ass bagels. Or you live in New York or Montreal. In that case, GO AWAY. YOU DON’T NEED TO MAKE YOUR OWN BAGELS. In my situation, I usually have to stick to packaged sprouted grain bagels from the organic market. Which, are good in their own right, but compared to a real, carbsy, chewy bagel, they make me a little sad inside. What’s a sad vegan to do? MAKE YER OWN, of course!
So, on the search for a good bagel recipe, I stumbled on this Serious Eats recipe which had been recommended around the internet and decided I could set aside a couple hours to try it out. This recipe is SUPER well-written, and I highly suggest it. I honestly don’t even feel like I need to write out my adaptations, but what you will see below are my condensed notes so you can see how easy bagels actually are to make!
3.5 cups all purpose flour
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1.5 cups hot water (I boiled a cup of water and added half a cup cool water)
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond (or other non dairy) milk
1 tbsp golden syrup/agave nectar
Bagel toppings of choice…I used sesame seeds, poppy seeds, organic garlic and onion powder (wish I’d used dehydrated minced instead!), a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, and kosher salt this time around!
Makes 10 bagels.
1. Combine flour, dry active yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix together. Slowly add hot water and kneed until doughy and elastic-y. It should stay together easily and not crumble, but also not be so wet that it sticks to your hands.
2. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for an hour. The size of your little dough lump should just about double.
3. Before going any further with the dough, get some water boiling in your biggest saucepan. Add a tbsp of sugar, too. Also, preheat your oven at 400 Fahrenheit and make sure you have prepared a non stick baking sheet on hand.
4. Turn out risen dough on floured surface and divide into ten balls. Roll out each ball of dough into 7 inch long, one inch thick “ropes”.
6. Take each piece, and wrap it around 3-4 fingers of your hand. Press ends together in your palm so you have a bagel shape. You can wet the ends for them to stick if you have any trouble. Let them rise on your floured surface for another 10 minutes. At this stage, they’ll look like this:
7. By now, hopefully your water/sugar concoction is boiling. With a slotted spoon, add bagels to water one at a time, with no more than 2-3 bagels floating in the water at once.
Allow each bagel to simmer in the boiling water for a minute in total- 30 seconds, flip, then the other side. When removing with slotted spoon, place on a clean kitchen towel, and pat dry.
8. Unless you are the boring-est, hopefully you will put some rad stuff on your bagels. First what you want to do, is mix our non-dairy milk with your choice of liquid sweetener, and brush each bagel liberally with it. Then, sprinkle on your toppings. I first sprinkled on a little garlic, onion powder, and nooch on mine. Then some poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and finally kosher salt.
9. Place bagels on prepared baking sheet (I just put a little olive oil on mine. Lots of people also use cornmeal.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until they start to become golden and shiny. You’ll notice this mostly on the bottom and sides. Then, flip the bagels over, and bake for about 10 more minutes, so the tops get golden as well!
COOL AND EAT FOR EVERY MEAL.
I will be honest when I say I have never enjoyed a bagel so much in my life knowing that they have come from my oven. Props to Serious Eats for the amazing recipe. In the past, many of the bagels I have eaten have been so mediocre that I’ve had to cover them in cashew cream cheese, avocados, almond butter, or something equally delicious to mask their sad taste. However, I just had one of these bagels for breakfast this morning, and all they needed was a little soy free Earth Balance to rock my world!
So, there we have it. Vegan bagels with relative ease. Next time I’m hoping to make one batch of these bad boys (which I’ve learned are called “Everything Bagels”), and maybe a batch of Sun-dried tomato, basil, and herb. Cinnamon Raisin would also be serious noms. What are your favourite kinds of bagels?!