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Gluten-Free Bagel or Flatbread

May 14th, 2008 · by Cyndi · 1 Comment

This recipe comes from my friend Carys Starfire, who has kindly given me permission to post it here. The bagels look absolutely amazing, though I’ve been holding back on trying the recipe myself because I think I’d like them too much and I’m trying to keep my carbs down. I’ll give in sooner or later. – Cyndi


I had a sudden craving for bagels and cream cheese and smoked salmon — and I made bagels! bagels I could EAT!

I’ve been playing around lately with this recipe from Gluten-Free Gobsmacked for flatbread — I can’t have potato, corn, tapioca, or xanthan gum as well as gluten grains, so I had to make changes and see what happened.

I’ve made some yummy flat breads so far — not quite flexible enough to fold, but oooh, GOOD sandwiches if it’s cut in squares and just used as a piece of bread, and yummy toasted, especially when I add caraway seeds and dried dill before cooking — the texture and taste are very similar to rye bread to me, and I love rye bread.

Here’s the latest version of the recipe I’ve been fiddling with:

1/2 cup warm water
1 spoonful dry yeast
1 spoonful sugar
Leave in a warm place until it gets foamy (10-20 minutes).
(I tried adding egg one time like the source recipe, but it was much less like what I wanted that way, so I’ve been leaving it out since.)

Mix together:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
~1/2-1 tsp salt
~2 tsps guar gum.

Add 1-2 tbls olive oil and 1-2 tbls apple cider vinegar to the foamy yeast water, then mix in flour mixture. Add more water or flour as needed to make a dough that forms a ball in the bowl once all the flour is incorporated. Continue to mix/sort of knead (oil your hands first! VERY sticky) 3-5 minutes, to get the guar gum sort of activated.

If you want to add herbs, do it now. I’ve added about 1-2 tbls each caraway seeds and dried dill weed, and loved the result. I’ve not tried other herbs yet. I’ve also added some chopped kalamata olives, about 1/4 cup, and that was wonderful. I’m planning some sauteed onions and some poppy seeds for my next trial…

Put some oil in the bottom of a clean bowl, put in the ball of dough, turn to cover. Let rise 30-40 minutes in a warm place. It won’t rise as much as a gluten dough, but it will still swell up a bit.

For flatbread:

Smoosh flat between 2 sheets of parchment until it’s about 1/4″ thick, then carefully transfer to a floured sheet. Put some more oil on top, smoothing it around with your fingers and sort of gently poking valleys all over. Let rise in a warm place about 30-40 minutes. Bake in a moderate oven til it’s
just done (it really depends on how big, how thick, how hot your oven runs, etc — I’ve had it done anywhere from 8 minutes to 20 minutes). Let cool. I’ve done the fork holes like the original and that’s good too, but more work for about the same result.

For bagels:

Roll balls of dough in your oiled hands until they feel good and solid. Gently poke a hole thru the center. Put on a floured sheet. Brush with oil. Let rise 10-20 minutes while you start a pot of water simmering.

Preheat oven to about 400.

When they’ve risen just slightly they will be sort of funky looking because the surface dough cracks without gluten to hold it together. Don’t stress about it. These are a bit more fragile at this point than regular bagels, I think, so be gentle. Lift with a pancake turner and lower into simmering water. They should not be crowded — my pot will do 3 at a time. Simmer 2-4 minutes, turn, simmer a couple more minutes, put on rack to drain.

When they’re all ready, flour a sheet and set them on it. Bake about 20-25 minutes, turn over, bake another 10.

These are flatter than regular bagels, but I can still cut them in half and each half is sturdy enough to put things on. Do let cool completely before trying to cut, and I find a tomato knife works best.

They are fresh right now and a bit crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside and omg BAGELS. After 2 years of not having any, I don’t CARE if they aren’t exactly right. They’re yummy and I love them.


(A plate full of bagels — recipe made 7 smallish ones)

Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon

(All doctored up with cream cheese and smoked salmon, and a bare half to see what it looks like)

Next day note: these are more like a heavy english muffin after sitting in a zipper bag at room temp overnight, but still really good, especially toasted.


Categories: Food · Grains · Recipes
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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 carys // May 15, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    thank you for posting on your site, cyndi!

    i did experiment with it a little more the other day.

    if you cook about half the brown rice flour with water until it’s very VERY thick (like too thick porridge), let it cool, then make the bagels the same way (and you may have to add extra flour this way), they are NOT good fresh — the outsides are good, but the insides are very damp/gooshy.

    but the 2nd day they were AMAZING!! the moisture evened out and the texture was dense and chewy and wonderful. none of the crumbly muffin texture like the first recipe.

    so there’s 2 options, one for fresh bagels and one if you want chewy bagels adn can wait til the 2nd day to eat them.


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