Fresh off the oven: Here’s how you can make your own vegan bagels
09/16/2020 / By Leslie Locklear / Comments
Fresh off the oven: Here’s how you can make your own vegan bagels

Bagels are some of the most popular breakfast items available on the market today, and for good reason: They are filling, they can take on a multitude of fillings and they can be incredibly nutritious.

Bagels, according to food writers, first appeared in Poland in 1618 as a staple food of the Jewish community.

The dense and chewy baked goods, however, soon found their way to the United States — a result of the immigration of Eastern European Jews to New York City during the late 19th century.

According to food historians, this effectively started a food revolution of sorts, with the bagel almost instantaneously becoming a go-to food item for people who wanted a cheap and filling meal that could be eaten even while in transit.

This popularity has been carried over well into the 21st century, with recent statistics from the Census Bureau and the Simmons National Consumer Survey noting that 204.91 million Americans consumed bagels in 2019 alone.

According to research firm Statista, this figure is projected to increase to 210.72 million, come 2023.

Despite its enduring popularity, however, it can still be tricky to find bagels that are vegan – a conundrum that is largely linked to its production.

How are bagels made?

A bagel starts out as a combination of the following ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, liquid, fat and sweeteners. These are then made into a dough which is then subjected to cold fermentation.

Cold fermentation is the process of leaving the dough in the refrigerator for a number of days before rolling it into bagels. This process helps the dough develop that distinct “bagel flavor” while also changing its final texture.

After sitting in the refrigerator for a number of days, the dough is then shaped into circles, which are then dipped in boiling water, before heading into an oven.

This process is what gives the bagel its trademark chewy, tough exterior while preserving a fluffy interior.

The problem with most commercially-available vegan bagels is that some sellers use animal products and animal derivatives such as milk, honey and lard as ingredients, thus making the final product unfit for vegan consumption.

In addition, even when the bagel itself is produced according to vegan standards, it is often served with fillings and toppings such as cream cheese and whipped cream, as well as smoked and processed meats and seafood such as bacon, prosciutto and smoked salmon.

How do I make sure that my bagels are vegan?

If you are shopping for bagels in a reputable bakeshop, you can simply ask the sellers about the ingredients they use for their products.

If you are buying pre-packaged ones from a supermarket, just check the labels and look for ingredients such as milk and dairy, eggs, animal fat, honey and L-cysteine. If you see any of those ingredients, just put the package back on the shelf and look for vegan alternatives. You can also look for a vegan certification in the product labels.

The best way to ensure that your bagels are vegan, however, is to make them yourself. Not only will you be assured of its purity and quality, but you’ll also get to experience the relaxing nature of the whole baking process.

If you’re looking to make your own bagels, try out the following recipes.

Easy Vegan Bagels

These yeast bagels are not only easy to make, but they are also incredibly delicious and flavorful, with the bagel texture — soft on the inside and crispy on the outside —  that everyone loves.



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar


  • Organic coconut butter or coconut oil
  • Organic black and white sesame seeds
  • Organic garlic and onion flakes

Water bath

  1. 4 cups water
  2. 2 tablespoons organic sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat water until it reaches 110°F or 43°C. Once heated, remove from heat and mix in sugar and yeast on top.
  3. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes or until it becomes frothy.
  4. Once the mixture has visible bubbles on top, add the oil, salt and flour. Mix until well-combined. If the dough is still very sticky, add more flour until it becomes manageable.
  5. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes, or until it becomes denser. Once the dough reaches the desired density, place the dough inside a well-oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for one hour.
  6. Once the dough has risen, gently pat it down its center in order to release air. Place the dough on a floured cutting board and cut into 6 equal parts.
  7. Form the dough pieces into balls. To ensure a perfectly round shape, pull the edges of each piece of the dough towards the center and then pinch them shut.
  8. Place the dough balls on a flat, floured surface and cover with a slightly damp towel. Let the dough balls rise for another 10-15 minutes.
  9. While waiting for the balls to rise, heat your bathwater.
  10. Once the dough balls have risen, dip your thumb and pointer finger in flour and squish them through the middle of the bagel to make a hole, then run two fingers along the edges to widen it up to one inch.
  11. Once the bathwater is simmering, carefully add 3 bagels at a time. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes or until the surface of the bagels tense, flipping halfway through.
  12. Once the bagels are done, pick them up with a slotted spatula so excess water can drip off, then place them on a baking tray covered in parchment paper.
  13. Once all bagels are done with the bath, brush their tops with melted coconut butter and add your toppings.
  14. Bake the bagels for 15-18 minutes, or until they are golden and the toppings have crisped up.
  15. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  16. Once sufficiently cooled, split the bagels and add your desired fillings.

Cheesy Tofu Breakfast Filling

A wholesome and savory combination of tofu, avocado, and caramelized onion, this cheesy tofu breakfast filling is perfect for those days when all you’re craving for is a comforting and warm breakfast that’s reminiscent of home.


  • 6 ounces extra-firm organic tofu
  • 1 teaspoon organic turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic coconut oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 of one, medium-sized organic red onion
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese
  • Organic avocado, as needed for topping
  • Vegan mayonnaise, to taste
  • Ketchup, to taste


  1. Remove excess liquid from the tofu block by placing it between paper towels or clean dish towel for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Once dry, slice the tofu into thin squares, and place in a hot skillet with a 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  3. Pan cook for about five to eight minutes per side, turning every two minutes to avoid sticking.
  4. Once the tofu is slightly crispy on both sides, sprinkle with turmeric and salt and remove from heat.
  5. Meanwhile, slice the red onion into big chunks and pan cook with a little coconut oil over medium to low heat.
  6. Once they become translucent and slightly brown in color, remove the onion from heat and set aside.
  7. To assemble the sandwich, cut the bagel, and place vegan cheddar cheese on one side. Toast the bagel to desired crispiness, allowing the cheese to melt slightly.
  8. Stack three to four tofu squares, grilled onion, avocado, on the toasted bagel halves and add ketchup and vegan mayonnaise to taste.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Bagels and bagel sandwiches are some of the most popular breakfast foods today, with the Jewish bread acting as the perfect base for a multitude of fillings and toppings.

Despite the store-bought ones not being really fit for vegans, the good thing is that you can easily make fresh and delicious bagels in the comfort of your own home.

Follow to learn more about nutritious foods and recipes similar to this one.

Sources include:

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