In search for a dairy free alternative to fathead dough?! Look no further than these gluten free, paleo and keto bagels! Soft, chewy and with a killer taste (i.e. no eggy or cheesy business here!).
Gluten Free & Keto Bagels
Soft ‘N Chewy!
These low carb and grain free bagels are pure gold guys! And if you’ve already met our soft ‘n fluffy sandwich bread (or proper cinnamon rolls!), you already know we don’t mess around when it comes to bread.
And these guys right here are no exception. Plus, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to whip them up!
p.s. They’re just 3g net carbs per (full-sized!) bagel. Ideal!
Because the keto grain free flours do not cook in water, doing a traditional bagel recipe (i.e. boiling them before baking!) unfortunately just isn’t possible. Still, the results are outstanding.
As you well know, bagels are dense and chewy, so you may want to play around a bit with the rising time to get them denser or lighter. Full disclosure, I prefer to do a bit of a longer rise (about 45-50 minutes); they become a little softer, but the taste with the yeast becomes sooo good.
Still, making these paleo and keto bagels is incredibly simple really. But, like with any yeasted bread, it does require you take care of a few details to ensure the best possible outcome.
In my experience, and unlike our staple sandwich keto bread, these low carb bagels don’t collapse much (if at all!) post bake.
You just must ensure your bagels do increase in size substantially while proofing. They can even double if you let them, but they do become a bit fluffier. And note that grain free yeast doughs do require a little extra warmth. For instance, I place my tray on top of my oven as I heat it up (so my tray gets slightly warm and they rise beautifully). But you must ensure you don’t overheat them or you’ll kill the yeast. Think a warm and humid day at the beach, that’s the ideal temperature.
Shape the dough
Wet your fingertips and shape into rounds, poking a whole in the middle and smoothing as much as possible.
Let it rise
Grain free yeast doughs need a little more cuddling. So find a warm spot and proof the dough for 20-60 minutes (less time for denser bagels, more for fluffier ones).
Bake them up!
Brush with an egg white wash (better browning), sprinkle with toppings of choice (you can’t go wrong with Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel), and bake for about 20-25 mins until deep golden.
The Tips ‘N Tricks
The yeast in this low carb and keto bread ensures a wonderful texture and taste. Check out these tips for best results with grain free yeast doughs!
Weigh your ingredients. This will forever be a staple recommendation for any sort of gluten free baking here at gnom-gnom. As aside from leading to less dirty dishes, it will ensure consistent results time and time again. Remember that gluten free (and particularly keto) baking is notoriously finicky, and measuring by cups is anything but accurate. And if you don’t own a baking scale, measure with cups by dropping the ingredients onto them rather than scooping them out (which often leads to overpacking).
Ingredients at room temperature. Self explanatory really, but incredibly important (particularly for the eggs). If you add cold eggs to the mix your bread simply won’t rise much (if at all).
Proof the yeast. This involves mixing dry active yeast with water that’s just warm to touch (between 105-110°F to be precise) and inulin or an actual sugar (think maple syrup or honey) for 7 minutes until foamy. And before you scream sugar (!!) remember that the yeast will feed on such sugar to emit carbon dioxide, so it doesn’t affect the carb count. And yes, this is a scientific fact.
Avoid abrupt temperature changes and air drafts. Like with any yeast bread, you need to cuddle your dough. Make sure it’s able to rest undisturbed in a warm space.
Baking at high altitude? Yup, so am I (Paola here!!). You just need to up the temperature a bit to seal the rise, and just keep an eye out for excessive browning.
The Ingredients & Possible Subs
These bagels do have a few ingredients, but you’ll find that most are staple paleo and keto pantry ingredients. In the list below you’ll find details on several ingredients and possible subs. This is also perhaps the most forgiving recipe in terms of subs out of all the grain free yeast bread recipes on the site!
Almond flour. You truly need a super finely ground almond flour here, as if you use meal your rolls will turn out dense and oily. Super fine almond flour brands include Anthony’s , WellBees and Bob’s.
Now if paleo, or in keto maintenance, you can lighten up the bread even more by substituting part of the almond flour (3-6 tablespoons) with arrowroot flour.
Flaxseed meal or psyllium husk can be used interchangeably in this recipe, and they both need to be re-ground for best texture. You’ll want to use golden flaxseed meal (we use Bob’s), and regrind the flakes in your (very dry!) bullet or blender until finely powdered. Great way to avoid slimy bread. And for the psyllium husk powder, NOW brand doesn’t turn bread purple.
Whey protein isolate ensures a better rise. But since bagels are on the dense side, you can get away with subbing with more almond flour (they just collapse a bit post bake). Keep in mind that this ingredient varies tremendously from brand to brand, and we’ve only tried (and are super happy!) with Isopure’s Zero Carb Unflavored. I’m still experimenting with more subs here, but a few of you reported back successfully back on our soft ‘n fluffy sandwich bread that collagen and hemp pro protein powder worked (I cannot guarantee these subs yet though!).
Xanthan gum. Borrowed from molecular cooking, xanthan gum is the binding agent which makes your toothpaste jelly-like (and your cream cheese, well cream cheese-like). And it’s also the most common gluten-replacer in gluten free baking. And while we do prefer the results with it, you can sub it with flax.
Gluten Free & Keto Bagels (With Yeast!)
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.
For the keto bagels
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons inulin maple syrup or honey, to feed the yeast
- 120 ml water lukewarm between 105-110°F
- 192 g almond flour
- 42 g golden flaxseed meal or psyllium husk, finely ground
- 20 g whey protein isolate or more almond flour (in tablespoons)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum or 1 1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds**
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt depending on toppings
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 2 egg whites at room temperature
- 21 g extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg white lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water, for egg wash
- Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel
- Our keto bagels use the focaccia methodology (albeit different ratios), but do check out the video below for deets 'n tricks!
- Add yeast and maple syrup (to feed the yeast, see notes) to a large bowl. Heat up water to 105-110°F, and if you don't have a thermometer it should only feel lightly warm to touch. Pour water over yeast mixture, cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 7 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly, if it isn't start again (too cold water won't activate the yeast and too hot will kill it).
- Mix your flours while the yeast is proofing. Add almond flour, psyllium husk (or flaxseed meal), whey protein isolate (or more almond flour), xanthan gum, baking powder and salt to a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
- Once your yeast is proofed, add in the egg, egg whites, olive oil and vinegar. Mix with a whisk or electric mixer for a couple minutes until light and frothy. Add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. You want to mix thoroughly and quickly to activate the xanthan gum, though the dough will become very thick by the end and form into a round.
- Line a baking tray with a baking mat or parchment paper. Wet your hands (so the dough doesn't stick!) and divide the dough into 8 rounds. Smooth the rounds as much as possible and, using your index finger, make an indentation in the center, stretching out the dough until 'bagel shaped'. Cover with a oiled cling film (saran wrap) and place in a warm draft-free space for 20-60 minutes. You want to do 20 minutes for a denser bagel, and 40-60 for a fluffier one (I personally go for the longer rise as the yeast taste develops much more!).
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C while the dough is proofing. And if you're baking at high altitude, you'll want to bake it at 375°F/190°C.
- Brush with an egg white wash (better browning), sprinkle with toppings of choice (you can't go wrong with Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel), and bake for about 20-25 mins until deep golden. Check in on them at minute 10-13, and cover with aluminum foil if needed.
- Allow the bagels to cool completely for best texture, as the bread will continue to cook while cooling resulting in a better crumb. But if you can't hold your horses, at least give it 15 minutes before digging in (the bagels in the pics were cut just 20 minutes after baking).
- Keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple days, giving it a light toast before serving again. These guys also freeze great.