Vegan chickpea flour bagels are quick and easy to bake, with a flavor and texture that you will love. They are grain-free, gluten-free, oil-free, nut-free, yeast-free and perfect with a schmear of vegan cream cheese.
First things first. These vegan chickpea flour bagels are anything but typical.
- Baked in a donut pan.
- Leavened with baking soda and vinegar (no yeast).
- Not boiled
- Made with chickpea flour
I can imagine the “oy veys!” as I type.
I am confident they will yours, too. Commence gnoshing!
Check out everything that these “everything” bagels boast:
- Vegan (egg-free & dairy-free}
- Xanthan gum-free
- 5 grams protein per bagel
- 97 calories per bagel
- Made with minimal ingredients
- Frugal (chickpea flour is an inexpensive grain-free flour)
- Fast & easy to make
The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.
Chickpea flour performs a solo act in this recipe, replacing the all-purpose flour, eggs, and other binders typically found in baked bagels.
Here is the (short) list of what you will need to make a batch of these vegan, grain-free, gluten-free bagels:
- Chickpea flour (it may also be labeled as garbanzo bean flour, besan, or gram flour)
- Non-dairy milk
- Cider vinegar
- Coconut sugar (just a smidge; I have options in the recipe)
- Baking soda
- Optional salt (this will depend on the Everything Bagel seasoning; see the following tip).
- Everything bagel seasoning (or preferred toppings)
Should I Add Salt to the Bagels?
I opted for a ready-to-use Everything Bagel Seasoning (a mixture of sesame seeds, onion bits, garlic bits, and salt) to top these bagels. You can find it with spice blends in the baking section of your grocery store (even here, in my small-ish Texas town).
The brand in my pantry has a generous amount of coarse salt. In earlier batches, the bagels were too salty when I added a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the bagel batter in addition to the Everything Bagel topping. Once I left out the former, the saltiness was just right.
If you are similarly using a prepared jar of such seasoning (with salt in the mix), I recommend omitting the salt in the batter.
For plain bagels, or bagels with alternative (salt-free) toppings of your choice, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt to the batter, according to your preference (I like more salt–1/4 teaspoon–but 1/8 teaspoon will suffice if you prefer less salt).
Any other vinegar–light or dark–can be used in place of the cider vinegar. If you do not have vinegar, or do not use it for dietary reasons, substitute an equal amount of lemon or lime juice.
Step By Step Instructions for Making Vegan Chickpea Flour Bagels
You can make these in no time in the morning. Equally important, the process is so simple that minimal thinking is required. This is exactly the kind of baking I can muster pre-coffee.
Step One: Preheat Oven & Prep the Pan
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
Spray the 6 wells of a full-size donut pan (a pan with wells that are 3.25 inches / 8.2 centimeters in diameter) with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, lightly grease or oil each of the wells. Sprinkle a teaspoon (more or less, as desired) of everything bagel seasoning in each well to cover the bottoms.
Step Two: Mix the Dry Ingredients
Some brands of chickpea flour (notably, some of the less expensive brands that I sometimes buy in bulk) have hard lumps (of the flour) throughout. Break these up with your whisk, or consider sifting the flour if it is particularly lumpy-bumpy.
Step Three: Add the Wet Ingredients
Add the nondairy milk and vinegar to the bowl, whisking until completely blended. The result will resemble a thick pancake batter.
Note that the batter will thicken more within thirty to sixty seconds of whisking. This is a result of the chickpea flour absorbing the milk (flour hydration).
Step Four: Divide Batter into Prepared Pan
Not to alarm you (much), but work quickly! Once the batter is mixed, you need to get the bagels in the oven, stat. The baking soda and vinegar react as soon the batter is mixed, so the faster the bagels hit the oven heat, the better!
Spoon or pour the batter into the prepared wells of the donut pan. Use the spoon to nudge the batter evenly into each well.
The chickpea flour bagel batter will reach the tops of each of the wells (i.e., do not be shy with the batter–fill ‘er up!).
Tip: The Easiest Way to Fill a Donut Pan
Spooning or pouring the batter into the wells work fine. But if you (like me!) want to accomplish this task in with the greatest ease and speed, pipe the batter with a plastic bag.
If you have never piped anything, icing or otherwise, do not panic! Neither special skills nor equipment are required. Just a large plastic storage bag.
Push the bag into a tall glass or cup, letting the top of the bag overhang the sides. Scrape the batter into the bag. Tie off the bag near the top of the batter (zip tie, rubber band, or just tie the bag itself).
Snip off the end of the bag (about 1/2-inch) and squeeze the batter into each of the wells.
CAUTION: An intense love of piping may result as an immediate consequence of this action.
Step Five: Bake the Bagels
Bake the bagels in the preheated 400F (200C) oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops have risen, are firm to the touch, and the color is golden brown.
Let the bagels cool, in the pan, on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
Step Six: Remove the Bagels from the Pan
Run the tip of a spoon of dull knife around the edge of each of the wells of the donut pan.
Fun fact: the chickpea batter will cling to any teeny-tiny bit of unsprayed/ oiled part of the pan, so each of the bagels will need a nudge to get out. It’s a wee bit annoying since these are, theoretically, nonstick pans. But at least only a modicum of nudging is needed.
Behold the culmination of the coaxing: a half dozen bagels!
Let the bagels cool completely on a wire rack. Or don’t. They are great warm, too, so gnosh immediately, if desired.
Do Vegan Chickpea Flour Bagels Taste Like Traditional Bagels?
No. Traditional bagels get their distinctive texture and taste (crisp outsides, chewy, yeast-y centers) from traditional ingredients (notably glutinous flour and yeast) and methods (kneading, rising, shaping, boiling, then baking).
Yet these chickpea flour bagels are a very satisfying alternative (especially since they can be made with little time, effort or expense!).
Chickpea flour bagels have a firm, yet tender texture. They are sturdy enough to handle a schmear of cream cheese, and are also wonderful toasted.
The flavor is nutty and wholesome. The everything bagel topping drives you straight into bagel town!
FAQ & Substitutions
Can I substitute another flour for chickpea flour?
No, this recipe is specific to the unique properties of chickpea flour. Other flours will not work as a substitute.
Can I substitute a different sweetener for the coconut sugar? Or leave it out?
Yes! An equal amount of almost any other granular or liquid sweetener can be used in place of the coconut sugar. For example, maple syrup, unrefined cane sugar, brown sugar, or a measure-for-measure sugar replacement option.
You can also omit the coconut sugar, or other sweetener, altogether. I find that the small addition of coconut sugar balances the nutty flavor of the chickpea flour. It also adds to the browning of the bagels. If the sweetener is omitted, the bagels will be light tan in color (less golden-brown).
Happy baking! Let me know if you give this a try :).
I do not have a donut pan. What else can I use to bake the chickpea flour bagels?
I suggest use a standard size muffin tin. The results will not look like bagels, but they will still be wonderful.
Spray the bottoms of 10 muffin cups of a standard size muffin tin. Sprinkle with the everything bagel seasoning. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups (they will be shallow). Bake in a 400F (200C) oven for 7 to 9 minutes.
Do I have to use everything bagel seasoning on chickpea flour bagels?
Absolutely not! You can leave the bagels plain, or use a different topping (such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, or dried onion flakes).
You can also add seasonings directly to the batter (e.g., fresh or dried herbs, or spices). It is easy to steer the bagels in a sweet direction, too. Increase the coconut sugar to 4 or 5 teaspoons total (or to taste) and add in favorite sweet spices (e.g., cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or nutmeg).
Happy bagel baking!