Make your own vegan bagels at home! They're ready in less than two hours, made with yeast, and boiled before baking for a typical texture. Many bagel recipes use eggs and honey, but this version is sweetened with barley malt syrup (or maple) and brown sugar.

Top your homemade bagels with cashew cream cheese or herb tahini sauce, or try something like the sandwich pictured and use pistachio pesto, red onion, and tomato slices.

Top-down view of a sesame bagel sandwich on a picnic blanket.
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Ingredients

You can make your own vegan bagels at home with simple ingredients and truly a minimum of work. This recipe uses bread flour but you can use plain (see below).

Vegan bagel ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Bread flour: this is a key element in the chewy nature of bagels, and is a big part of what makes North American bagels different from their European counterparts. Strong bread flour is best but white flour can be substituted if you can't find it.
  • Baking soda: lye is more traditional but baking soda is much safer to use at home and has a very similar end result.
  • Syrup: if you can find barley malt syrup, use it. Otherwise maple syrup works just as well and only changes the flavour slightly.
  • Yeast: use traditional yeast for this recipe, not instant or quick-rise. Both will cause too much rise in the bagels and make them too fluffy.

How to Make Vegan Bagels

Since bagels only need a single rise, they take less time than you think. Just an hour rising time, a quick boil, and then bake for 25 minutes.

Bagels steps 1 to 4, making the dough and dividing.

Step 1: mix the yeast with part of the water and the maple syrup and set aside to activate.

Step 2: add the remaining water and flour, then knead into a smooth ball.

Step 3: set the dough aside to rise until doubled in size.

Step 4: divide the dough into eight equal pieces.

Bagels steps 5 to 8, shaping and cooking the bagels.

Step 5: roll the dough into balls, then use your finger to make a hole in the middle.

Step 6: boil the bagels in the baking soda and brown sugar water.

Step 7: add toppings if desired and transfer boiled bagels to a lined baking sheet.

Step 8: bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden.

Top Tips

  • Make a bigger hole than you think: the dough will swell up during boiling and baking, so make the hole at least double the size of what you'd like it to be in the end.
  • Use a plate for toppings: if you want to top with sesame or poppy seeds, fill a shallow plate with the seeds. Dip the boiled bagels into the seeds before placing onto the baking sheet.
  • Add a shiny top: if you want that glossy look, brush the boiled bagels in aquafaba before baking.

How to Store

Storage: keep the bagels in a sealed container for up 3-4 days at room temperature.

Freezing: I recommend slicing before freezing. Transfer fully cooled bagels to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. If sliced, pop them right in the toaster from frozen.

Close up of several bagels with different toppings.

FAQ

Are regular bagels vegan?

It's a bit hit and miss, and you'd have to ask or read the label. Lots of bagels are made with eggs or honey.

What can vegans put on a bagel?

Can't have cheese? No problem! Some great vegan bagel toppings are vegan cheese spreads like cashew cheese, hummus, bean spreads, avocado, nut butters, and more.

Are bagels an American food?

Bagels originated in Eastern Europe but have become ubiquitously American, especially in the last century. They're very common in Canada, too, and there is a specific Montreal bagel variety.

If you make this Vegan Bagel recipe or any other whole food bread recipes on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.

Recipe

Top-down view of a sesame bagel sandwich on a picnic blanket.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Vegan Bagels

Make your own vegan bagels at home! They're ready in less than two hours, made with yeast, and boiled before baking for a typical texture.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Rising Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 bagels
Author: Sophie

Equipment

  • 1 Large pot
  • 1 Baking sheet
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients

Dough

  • ½ cup room temperature water
  • 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 ½ teaspoons traditional yeast
  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • 450 grams bread flour about 3 cups
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

To Boil

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or barley malt syrup

Toppings

  • Rock salt and rosemary, everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds

Instructions

  • Add ½ cup of water, yeast, and maple syrup to a large mixing bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
    ½ cup room temperature water, 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup or maple syrup, 2 ½ teaspoons traditional yeast
  • Add the remaining 1 cup water, flour, and salt. Mix into a shaggy dough. Turn the dough onto a workbench an knead for 5-6 minutes, adding more flour as needed, until a smooth ball of dough forms.
    1 cup room temperature water, 450 grams bread flour, 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • Place the dough into a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  • Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Bring the 8 cups water to a boil and add the baking soda and sugar. make a hole in the centre with your finger (larger than expected as it swells up)
    8 cups water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons brown sugar or barley malt syrup
  • Make a hole in the middle of each ball, larger than you think is needed. Place the bagels into the boiling water 2-3 at a time. Boil for 20-30 seconds on each side, using a slotted spoon to turn. Place the boiled bagels onto the parchment-lined sheet.
  • If you want to top the bagels with seeds, add the seeds to a shallow plate and dip the boiled bagels in before placing onto the baking sheet.
    Rock salt and rosemary, everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds
  • Once all of the bagels have been boiled, bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Cool before slicing and serving. The bagels can be kept in a sealed container for 3-4 days and freeze well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bagel | Calories: 270kcal

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