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Gluten Free Deli Style Bagels

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

These are the ultimate deli style bagels AND you won't even believe they are gluten free. Soft and chewy on the inside and perfect for any of your favorite sandwiches or spreads... or schmears.

Yes I said 'schmears' (Yiddish for spread), because these bagels are not just amazing, they are your typical Jewish Deli Bagels. Fill them with thinly sliced corned beef or pastrami or go classic and make yourself a lox and bagel sandwich. Lox comes from the German word 'Lachs' means salmon. Lox is the Yiddish word for smoked salmon. The word 'lox' has become so popular and synonymous with smoked salmon that you will usually just see the word lox on deli menus. Whichever way you say it, you will transport yourself into a New York deli... or in my case... a Chicago deli.

As a Chicago native, I have spent countless hours in Jewish delis feasting upon matzo ball soup, reuben sandwiches and of course my absolute favorite: the lox and bagel sandwich. I didn't find out that I had to eat gluten free until my mid twenties. Then my dreams came to a crashing halt. In recent years, American delis have become very gluten-free friendly, but the bagels...I miss bagels! I have yet to have a decent gluten free bagel. Until now!

I have been living in Germany for 9 years now and since moving here I have yet to eat a great gluten free bagel. Bagels are not really a thing here in Germany and I honestly do not know why. Germans LOVE their bakeries and their breads. There are bakeries on every corner. They are packed with daily freshly baked breads, rolls, pretzels and of course sweet treats like chocolate stuffed croissants and sweet rolls.

Apparently, Germany started to embrace the bagel, but they marketed it as a roll with a hole in it.

Bagels are not rolls. The baking technique is much different and that is what makes bagels so superior. Bagels must be boiled in water before they are baked. This step is essential in creating that soft and chewy texture.

You can buy pre-packaged bagels at the grocery store, but why? If they do not come from a deli or a bakery then I don't want them. And being gluten free means that my choices are even more limited.

This past weeked my in-laws came to visit and I know it had been years since they had a good deli style bagel. I woke up early and got to work. Make sure you give yourself a few hours because these bagels are made with yeast and need to rest for at least 1 hour. Then after you boil them for a few minutes they have to bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Plan accordingly.

What I love about these bagels is that the ingredient list is super short and you know how much I love my bread machine. SO MUCH! Throw all your ingredients in, press start, step aside, grab a cup of coffee and turn on Netflix. If you don't have a bread machine, no worries! In the printable recipe below I give instructions on how to make these by hand.

Does anyone else love waking up before their kids on the weekends? The house is so silent. Pure bliss.

When my kids did come downstairs and saw the bread machine running they asked, 'Mom, what are you making so early?' I replied, 'I'm making bagels.' They both had these confused looks upon their faces. My oldest, 7 years old, asked, 'What are bagels?'

It was right then and there I realized I had failed them as a Jewish-American mother. How could my children not know what a bagel is??? And the worst, the only way they could kind of picture it was to explain it in German, 'Ein Brotchen mit einem Loch' (A roll with a hole).

Well I was determined to educate my children in the amazingness that is a Jewish Deli Style Bagel.

Let's start! First add in your sparkling water and then your dry ingredients right on top. I like to put my salt, sugar, and xanthan gum in different corners. Then I dig a small well for my yeast. The water that I use is sparkling water (unflavored) because the added bubbles help to give this gluten free dough a little extra airiness.

This is a crazy amount of dough. Usually, I do not use more than 4 cups of flour in my bread machine but this recipe uses over 5. I did have to use my spatula to help incorporate the dough once it had started mixing. The dough got stuck and wouldn't fully mix. After a few turns of my spatula the dough was shaped into a ball and started to mix the way I wanted. It was worth it to be able to get a few more bagels.

Here you can see how much the dose rose after it rested for about an hour.

I wanted my bagels to be HUGE! I remember eating gigantic bagels back when I was a kid. I measured each ball to weigh 150 grams or 5.3 ounces. Then I used my hand to flatten them, just a bit.

I used my smallest circular cookie cutter to punch out the insides.

Don't throw out the middle part!! After 8 punched out centers, the dough combined equaled 150 grams. I got one more bagel, just out of the centers.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and carefully drop in 2 or 3 bagels. Boil for 2min 15sec and then flip and continue boiling for 2 min and 15 sec.

Place bagels on a baking tray. Brush with egg and sprinkle on your favorite toppings.

Then pop them in the oven to bake for about 20-25 minutes

That bottom bagel, that is next to the poppy seed, is covered with dried garlic flakes. AMAZING!

Then have a blast and be creative with your sandwiches. We all quickly decided that we wanted the traditional and classic lox and bagel sandwich. The kids shook their heads at the lox and voted on turkey-salami. I can't blame them, I didn't start to eat lox and bagel sandwiches until I was a teen.

Ok, here is where my German husband and I differ. We are both Jewish, but he likes to cut his onions super small whereas I like my red onion cut into rings. He also loves his with a piece of romaine lettuce.

No matter how you cut the veggies, this bagel sandwich was the highlight of our weekend brunch.

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