Momma’s Marvellous Montreal Style Gluten Free Bagels (mmm) are also Vegan! You’ll be saying “mmm” with each bite! The best part is you absolutely can not tell they are gluten free. I promise! These tasty bagels are traditional Canadian Montreal style, slightly sweeter (they are boiled in water sweetened with Canadian maple syrup or honey) and a little smaller than New York style bagels. They are slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. They are incredibly tasty with the perfect chewiness you’ve come to expect from a high quality bagel! If you’re gluten free and miss eating bagels, you’re going to love this recipe! This recipe is dedicated to my incredible Mom, Ceclie, who taught me everything I know about baking! Thanks Mom for sharing your wisdom with me and imparting a love of healthy cooking and living! I love you with all my heart.
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Ingredients in Momma’s Marvellous Montreal Style Gluten Free Bagels
Have you ever thought of bagels as healthy? Me either. However, these bagels contain ingredients that are not only easier to digest, but also have numerous health benefits! Check it out.
I use Traditional Active Dry Fleischmann’s Yeast. My mom always taught me that you need to adjust how much yeast and baking powder you use at different altitudes. She said, the recipes she used when she was growing up in Newfoundland, on the east coast of Canada, just simply didn’t work in Calgary (which is at a higher elevation). The amounts of both yeast and baking powder I list here are for baking in Calgary, AB, Canada at 3575 feet (1090m). King Arthur Baking Company has a great explanation of my mom’s original observation here. You can use their charts to figure out if you need to adjust my recipe due to a difference in altitude (e.g. you live at sea level).
- Warm Water
The most ideal Water temperature to activate yeast is between 105-115°F (40.6-46.1°C). In fact, yeast dies at 130-140°F. So if you place your yeast in water >140°F your dough will not rise properly. Inversely, yeast in water <100°F will create a very sticky dough that will not rise as well either. So it is totally worth investing in a kitchen thermometer for this purpose.
- Cane Sugar
I like to use Cane Sugar over regular granulated sugar. Although identical in chemical composition, these sugars are quite different in taste. Cane sugar imparts a deeper, more full bodied flavour to baking due to its molasses content and is therefore higher in nutrients. Granulated sugar is more processed and stripped of its molasses content making it less flavourful. I figure if I’m adding the calories from sugar, why not use the BEST flavoured type and therefore need much less!
- Crazy Good Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
* See my post How to make your own GF Flour Blend for ingredients & instructional details.
- Psyllium Husk
Psyllium is one of the main ingredients in Metamucil! So needless to say it is incredibly good for the intestinal tract and in fact it enhances the digestive process & has prebiotic effects. Psyllium husk is very rich in fibre and can help improve & prevent constipation and haemorrhoid pain. Research is even showing it can help manage diabetes and may even lower risk of developing diabetes! On top of all of that psyllium husk is heart healthy, may help decrease blood pressure, decrease cholesterol & can help with weight management. Psyllium contains antibacterial compounds that help eliminate toxins in the body & in turn give you healthy glowing skin! You can find psyllium husk at most grocers and health stores (e.g. Blush Lane Organics).
- Baking Powder
Did you know that most Baking Powder is made with corn and contains aluminum. You can find Corn Free Baking Powder free from aluminum in the natural section of some grocery stores, whole foods markets and at Blush Lane in Calgary.
- Brown Sugar
I like to use Demara Style Brown Sugar for its rich flavour, however, any other type of brown sugar will do. If you find your brown sugar is hard as a rock, try my moms trick! Cut an apple into slices and place with brown sugar in container with a tightly fitting lid. Within a few hours the brown sugar will be soft and pliable! You can also buy clay pieces that you soak in water and place in the brown sugar. I’ve used them and they work like a charm!
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is used to strengthen the dough. You can see in my video that the dough springs up after proofing. In fact, if you can’t or don’t like to use yeast, some say you can increase the apple cider vinegar to replace it. Please let me know if you try it! I like to use Bragg’s raw unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar for its purity and flavour.
- Olive Oil
I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for moisture and a boost of heart healthy fats. I like this brand which I get at Costco.
The sky is the limit! Some options we love are Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds & Everything Bagel Spice (which we mix ourselves – I’ll post a recipe soon!)
Ingredients in Crazy Good Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
Please see my post How to Create your own GF Flour Blend for all the details and recipe for my Crazy Good Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
Do I really need to weigh the ingredients?
Yes! I have learn’t through experience that weighing ingredients using a scale whilst baking is super important and will allow you to reproduce great results every time! I’ve attempted measuring out the flours by volume (e.g. cups), then double checked the weights of each. They were off by quite a lot actually! It can mean the difference between the most incredible and beautiful looking bagel, to one that quite literally flops. The density of the ingredient makes a BIG difference in the volume of the flour. A new bag of flour may be packed down tight vs an already opened one. A gram will always be a gram of flour!
I use a very simple mini digital kitchen scale that I got for $19.99. Trust me it is well worth the investment! It is super easy to measure ingredients by weight. I think it’s WAY easier than measuring by volume (e.g. cups). To measure flour, place a bowl on the scale, press the tare button to zero your scale to the weight of the bowl, and then add your flour. Simple as that!
How to make Momma’s Marvellous Montreal Style Gluten Free Bagels
Short instructional video: How to make Gluten Free Bagels:
Watch my detailed video: How to make Gluten Free Bagels
This detailed video has closed captioning to make this video more accessible. It includes all the steps you’ll need to follow to make your MMM Style Bagels just like mine. I hope you enjoy it!
* For step by step quick instructions see recipe card below
NOTE: These bagels are small in size compared to some. I find them quite filling so I like them on the small side. You can always have two right? If you like a big giant bagel, you may want to try doubling this recipe and making a dozen as that will produce large bagels! Or you can keep the recipe as is and simply try making 6 bagels. If you try it, please let me know!
Ok, lets get right to it and make us some incredibly delicious bagels!
* Preheat oven to 85-100°F (proof setting).
If your oven doesn’t have a proof setting, that’s ok! Just slightly warm your oven and turn it off. That will create a slightly warm environment to proof the dough once it’s ready to go. 85-100°F is the ideal temperature to proof bread. This way, no matter what the temperature is outside, your dough will be the same temp and you’ll get consistent, reliable results.
Wet Ingredients + Proof Yeast
New to Baking? Watch this to see how easy it is to proof yeast!
Heat water to 110°F (43°C). Add yeast and cane sugar to a large bowl. Add warm water and whisk slightly.
Allow yeast to proof for 15′ or until active (a creamy foam will appear on the surface of the water).
* How to make Crazy Good Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
Crazy Good Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour is so incredibly easy to make. It is lovely, light and fluffy. You’re going to love working with this flour!
Simply weigh the ingredients, sift together to remove any lumps and your done! Sifting is not absolutely necessary but I find that on occasion the starchy flours have lumps. Honestly though, who wants to bite into a bagel and get a big ol’ chunk of potato starch! Yuck!
(I’m currently working on a separate post which will go into detail as to how I came up with this combination of flours. It will also be a how to post, to show you how to replace any of the below flours with your favourite type of flour just in case you have a sensitivity. Please stay tuned. I’ll post a link here once its ready! You can find all of these flours in Calgary at Blush Lane Organic Market and Bob’s Red Mill brand at many grocery stores including Superstore & Safeway).
Please DO NOT use this flour mix as a 1:1 substitute for regular wheat All-Purpose flour without reading my post on How to make Crazy Good GF All-Purpose Flour. This flour mix requires a KEY staple ingredient to be able to use it to replace wheat flours. I explain it all in a post coming soon!
Create the Dough
Next, whisk psyllium husk, baking powder, salt & brown sugar into flour mixture.
This is the fun part! Watch your dough come together beautifully! You’ll LOVE working with this lovely dough! Please don’t fret if it seems like your dough should be coming together quicker. It will take the entire 9 minutes of mixing, but I promise it will form a gorgeous dough ball!
Add the wet to the dry ingredients. Then use a stand mixer with a dough hook or hand mixer on low to mix wet and dry ingredients for 2 mins until combined. Then increase the speed for 2 additional mins.
Don’t have a mixer? That’s ok! You can simply mix wet and dry together then kneed the dough for about 8-10 minutes like I used to as a kid.
Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, add apple cider vinegar & olive oil. Mix on medium-high until a nice dough ball forms & is slightly sticky & stiff (about 5 mins). Place dough ball in a greased oven proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap & a kitchen towel.
Proof your Gluten Free Bagel Dough
Proof in oven @ 85-100°F for 30mins. Or if your oven doesn’t have a proof setting, simply place in a slightly warmed oven. You can even place your wrapped dough in front of your fireplace in the winter. Just make sure it doesn’t get to hot or it will get super sticky!
Shape the little cuties
Check out this short clip on how to SHAPE my Montreal Style Bagels
Once proofed, place dough on countertop. You should see it rise slightly, almost like it has a little bounce to it. Cut into 12 equal pieces about 95-100g each. You don’t have to be exact! I like to quickly weigh my dough because creating equally sized bagels means perfectly baked bagels every time! It sure is nice to be able to easily reproduce your success each time you bake them too!
Roll each piece into ball with hands, being gentle but firm. I place plastic wrap over once rolled to prevent the dough from drying out.
I cover dough balls with plastic wrap to assist shaping. Since this dough is not quite as strong as dough that contains gluten, I find this step really helps to create a beautifully shaped bagel without destroying the integrity of the dough. Shape into flat round disc about 1/2″-1″ thick and 3″ diameter (I show in detail how I do this technique in my video above).
Keeping the plastic wrap in place, simply lift it slightly to release tension, then poke a hole in centre of the flattened dough ball.
Remove plastic wrap and shape the bagels gently with hands. Be very mindful that gluten free dough is not as strong as its gluten counterpart. This is why I say be gentle. You can easily shape this dough, it won’t be sticky at all, just use a gentle touch.
Let the little cuties rest
Preheat oven to 500°F
Preheat to 500°F convection if you have it. You can turn the oven down a bit once you’re ready to bake if you find your oven bakes on the hotter side. I find the higher temperature helps get the bagels going and browns them just perfectly.
Boil Gluten Free Bagels – Montreal Style!
Whilst bagels are rising, add enough water to a large sauce pan to reach a depth of your second knuckle. Add maple syrup & salt & bring to a GENTLE boil. If the water is boiling hard, the bagels will disintegrate slightly, will be VERY hard to work with, and may go PLOP after boiled. So make sure to keep a close eye.
Flip & drop the bagels one at a time into water so that the tops cook first. Boil 3 at a time. Do NOT overcrowd. Watch that water remains at a gentle boil. Boil for 1min then flip bagels with a slotted turner spatula (aka fish spatula) & boil underside for 1 min.
Remove bagels 1 at a time to a lint free kitchen towel to drip dry for 30sec-1 min. Do NOT let sit longer or bagels will stick! This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but I find if the bagels are too wet, they tend to be undercooked and doughy on the bottom.
Repeat until all 12 bagels are boiled.
Toppings for Gluten Free Bagels
Place bagels on fresh parchment lined tray. Add desired toppings. See below video for two different ways to add toppings!
Bake Montreal Style Bagels
Bake, in preheated oven @ 500°F, on middle rack for 10-15 mins or until golden brown. Mine take 13 mins to be nicely browned and perfectly cooked. Please watch the bagels as all ovens are slightly different.
If bagels aren’t browning as much as you’d like, like mine in the picture above, simple cook an extra 1 minute at a time until you reach your desired golden colour.
If you can avoid it, don’t open the oven while the bagels are baking. The oven will kick in to reheat up to 500°F and may burn or unevenly cook your bagels. If you can’t resist taking a peak, like my daughter Ella and I, turn on the oven light so you can watch your bagels brown like magic!
Egg Wash: If you can eat eggs, using an egg wash on top of the bagels prior to adding toppings helps make them stick better to the bagel and also helps the tops brown nicely. I never use the egg wash anymore but wanted to add this tip for others who wish to try it. Simply make the egg wash by taking the egg white from 1 egg and mix with 2 Tbsp of water. Brush on top of bagels, then sprinkle or dip on the toppings of your choice.
Let Rest THEN Enjoy!
Let bagels rest on baking tray 15 mins to finish cooking and retain moisture. If you cut into any baked breads to soon, the steam that you see leaving the bread is what keeps the bread moist. The bagels will dry out if you cut into them too soon. The bagel also continues cooking on the baking sheet for those 15 mins of rest. If you cut the bagel too soon it’ll be slightly doughy on the bottom. Be patient and wait at least 10mins! You can do it! Ok, Ok, you can try just one while it’s hot then wait 15 mins for the rest! I always do!
After resting, slice while still slightly warm & ENJOY! These bagels are just THE BOMB warm out of the oven (after a 10 min rest…hahaha!)
To Store & Reheat Gluten Free Bagels
Once bagels are totally cooled, after at least 30 mins, store in an air tight container on countertop for a few days (3 max but I promise, they won’t last that long!They are best toasted slightly too warm and create a slightly crispy exterior. If you can eat dairy, try adding some grass fed butter to a warm bagel. Your tummy will thank you 🙂
These bagels freeze well. Simply slice in half, then place in a glass container or freezer bag & freeze. They thaw nicely on the counter overnight. If toasted slightly, the bagels will taste like they just came out of the oven!
* Please remember that not all gluten-free flours are made equally. If you chose to use a premixed gluten free flour the bagels may not turn out right. Trust me, I tried! Who wants to do all the work to have them flop right! It’s well worth the investment to buy the individual flours and make your own. I promise it’s easy and SO worth it!
* If you haven’t eaten them all straight out of the oven…trust me you’ll be tempted…these bagels are best toasted slightly to warm them and create a slightly crispy exterior.
Helpful Time Saving Tips
- Enlist HELP: start “Baking your way around the world” with my family and get your children or loved ones involved in the food prep. Cooking together can be SO much fun and a great way to bond! Wouldn’t it be great if kids could leave home with skills in the kitchen! Plus, I want to be able to go to my kids houses for a delectable meal when I’m retired!
- Mix Flour Ahead: I strongly recommend making our Crazy Good Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour mix ahead of time. It cuts down on the prep time drastically and makes these bagels super fun and easy to make. I like to keep an airtight container on my counter specially for my Crazy Good GF AP Flour. Remember to sift flour right into the mixer bowl so you get rid of any nasty lumps!
- Proof Yeast in Front of the Fire: I often place my yeast mixture to proof near my fireplace when my countertops are colder in the winter. When it is just slightly warmer it will encourage the yeast to be active sooner! However please make sure it doesn’t get to hot or the yeast will die!
I hope you all LOVE this recipe inspired by my beautiful Momma who taught me my love of cooking. If you make this recipe, please be sure to rate it and leave a comment below. Or take a pic, upload it to Instagram and tag #Turmeric_Me_Crazy. If you have questions, please contact me. Please subscribe to keep up to date with my latest recipes.
Thanks again for your readership!
Hugs and love,
- 15 g Yeast (Traditional)
- 480 g Warm Water 100-110°F
- 15 g Cane Sugar
- 530 g Crazy Good Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour *see recipe below or link on homepage
- 28 g Psyllium Husk (I use Blush Lane's variety)
- 12 g Baking Powder (aluminum & corn free)
- 9 g Sea Salt
- 15 g Demara Brown Sugar (or other brown sugar)
- 40 g Olive Oil extra virgin
- 8 g Apple Cider Vinegar I use Bragg Orgnic raw, unfiltered
- 2-3 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey
- 1 tsp Salt
Bagel Topping Options
- Sesame Seeds
- Poppy Seeds
- Everything Bagel Mix *My recipe coming soon!
- Flaky Sea Salt
- Dried Minced Onion or Garlic
- Any mix of the above
- Cinnamon & Brown or Cane Sugar
- Preheat oven to 85-100°F (proof setting) or slightly warm oven and turn off.
- Proof yeast with cane sugar in warm water for 15' or until active15 g Yeast, 480 g Warm Water, 15 g Cane Sugar
Crazy Good Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- Sift all ingredients together to remove any lumps.136 g Sweet Rice Flour, 106 g Potato Starch, 76 g Tapioca Flour, 106 g Brown Rice Flour, 106 g Sorghum Flour
- Whisk psyllium husk, baking powder, salt & brown sugar into flour mixture.28 g Psyllium Husk, 12 g Baking Powder, 15 g Demara Brown Sugar, 9 g Sea Salt
- Add active yeast (already proofed) to dry ingredients above.
- Use a stand mixer with a dough hook or hand mixer on low to mix wet and dry ingredients for 2 mins until combined.
- Scrape down sides & mix on low-medium for 2 additional mins. Ensure all dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Turn off mixer & add apple cider vinegar & olive oil.8 g Apple Cider Vinegar, 40 g Olive Oil
- Mix on medium-high until forms a nice ball & is slightly sticky & stiff (about 5 mins).
- Place dough ball in a greased oven proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap & a kitchen towel.
- Proof in oven @ 85-100°F (or if no proof setting in a slightly warmed oven) for 30mins.
- Once proofed, place dough on countertop. Cut into 12 equal pieces about 95-100g each.
- Roll each piece into ball with hands. Place plastic wrap over once rolled to prevent the dough from drying out.
- Cover dough balls with plastic wrap to assist shaping. Shape into flat round disc about 1/2"-1" thick and 3" diameter (see video).
- Poke a hole in centre of flattened dough ball and shape gently with hands.
- Place on parchment lined baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap & let rise for 15-20mins.
Boil Bagels – Montreal Style
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Whilst bagels are rising, add enough water to a large sauce pan to reach a depth of your second knuckle. Add maple syrup & salt. Bring to a GENTLE boil.2-3 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey, 1 tsp Salt
- Flip & drop bagels into water so cook the top 1st. Boil 3 at a time. Do NOT overcrowd. Watch that water remains at a gentle boil. Boil for 1min.
- Flip bagels with a slotted turner (aka fish spatula) & boil underside for 1 min.
- Remove bagels 1 at a time to a lint free kitchen towel to drip dry for 30sec-1 min. Do NOT let sit longer or bagels will stick!
- Repeat until all 12 bagels are boiled.
- Place on fresh parchment lined tray. Add desired toppings. See video for different ways to add toppings.
- Bake @ 500°F, in preheated oven, on middle rack for 10-15 mins or until golden brown. Mine take exactly 13 mins. Please watch bagels as all ovens are slightly different.
- If bagels aren't browning as much as you like, let them bake an additional 1 minute at a time until you reach your desired golden colour.
Let Rest THEN Enjoy!
- Let bagels rest on baking tray 15 mins to finish cooking and retain moisture.
- After resting, slice while still slightly warm & ENJOY!
To Store & Reheat Bagels
- Once bagels are totally cooled (after at least 30 mins), store in an air tight container on countertop for a few days (3 max – they won't last that long)! They are best toasted slightly to warm and create a slightly crispy exterior.
- These bagels freeze well. Simply slice in half, then place in a glass container or freezer bag & freeze. They thaw nicely on the counter overnight. If toasted slightly, the bagels will taste like they just came out of the oven!
- Please ENJOY!