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Gluten-Free Sourdough Bagels with Teff, Millet, and Sorghum

February 21, 2024 (Last Updated: April 4, 2024)

Craving bagels but need to keep it gluten-free? Our gluten-free and lectin-free sourdough bagels are here to shake up your breakfast and sandwich game.

Made with a unique blend of ivory teff, sorghum, and millet flours, and our gluten-free sourdough starter, these bagels offer a crisp bite, a soft, slightly chewy but light inside, and a deliciously mild tangy-nutty flavor.

They’re the perfect base for any topping and the ideal bread for your next sandwich masterpiece. Simple, delicious, and utterly satisfying—this is the recipe that proves you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health. Ready to bake your best bagels yet?

If you’re just starting your journey into gluten-free and lectin-free sourdough baking, we strongly suggest exploring our Beginner’s Guide to Baking Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread. It provides a thorough introduction to our baking method, ensuring you have all the knowledge needed to embark on this delicious adventure.

A Lighter and Healthier Bagel

To be honest, regular wheat bagels were never a favorite. Their typical heaviness, excessive chewiness, and the effort it took to get through one just didn’t appeal to me.

And don’t get me started on the ingredients in store-bought bagels: enriched bread flour, sugar, canola oil, sunflower oil, ascorbic acid, citric acid, etc.

So, you can imagine my skepticism when I began experimenting with this recipe. But, oh, how I was proven wrong! This has swiftly climbed the ranks to become one of my most favorite sourdough recipes to make. And my family seems to love it too!

Whether it’s serving as the base for an open-faced sandwich adorned with a thick layer of your favorite butter or your spread of choice, being heavily dipped in a pool of extra virgin olive oil, or taking center stage in a classic sandwich, these gluten-free sourdough bagels are a game changer. 

They have a crisp, nutty exterior and a soft crumb, complemented by just the right amount of chewiness, creating the perfect balance for a sandwich that’s satisfying without being bread-heavy. Plus, they’re versatile enough to be enjoyed fresh, toasted, or even frozen and reheated.

Gluten free sourdough bagels

My Gluten-Free Starter and Flour Mix

If you’re new here, I make my starter with a mix of organic teff, millet, and sorghum flour. Check out my popular millet and sorghum sourdough bread, and stay tuned for more lectin-free and gluten-free sourdough recipes at the end of this post.

If you’ve tried my bread recipes before, this one follows a similar process until we get to shaping the dough. It might sound complicated when explained in words, but check out the visual guide, it’s actually easy and fun to make these bagels.

The flour mix I chose for this bagel recipe is equal parts ivory teff, sorghum and millet. If you don’t have ivory teff and use brown teff instead, the crumb might look a little dark and you might need to add some extra water to the recipe, as this type of teff tends to be more absorbant. In this case, if you want a lighter color, use only a mix of millet and sorghum (for both the preferment and the dough).

This article, The Ultimate Gluten-Free Sourdough Tool Guide, provides a comprehensive guide to all the tools and equipment you need to make gluten-free sourdough bread.

Ingredients to Make Gluten-Free Bagels

Preferment (make the night before):

  • 10 grams ripe starter
  • 30-35 grams water (spring, filtered water are best, but make sure they are not demineralized)
  • 35 grams flour mix (ivory teff + millet + sorghum)

Note: The preferment (or levain) is made with a ripe sourdough starter. I make it before I go to sleep, and at the same time, I feed my starter. A ripe sourdough starter is the one that was fed 7-12 hours ago (It has reached peak already and needs to be fed again soon).

For the dough (make early morning):

  • 17 grams psyllium husk flakes (whole)
  • 15 grams honey
  • 10 grams extra virgin olive oil
  • 430g water, divided (400g for initial mix + 30g to ensure full use of preferment)
  • Preferment (the one you made the previous night)
  • 230 grams flour mix (equal parts ivory teff, millet, and sorghum flour)
  • 70 grams tapioca starch
  • 6 grams salt

For the boiling water:

  • About 3L of water (or more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon honey

For toppings:

  • Sesame seeds (white and black), poppy seeds, hemp hearts
  • Sea salt flakes
gluten free sourdough bagels

Step By Step Instructions

Preferment Preparation: The night before, mix the sourdough starter with water and flour and mix until you form a paste. Let it sit overnight, on the counter, covered but not air-tight.

Gel Preparation (in the morning): To make the dough, start with combining psyllium husk flakes, honey, olive oil, and 400g water. Stir and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to form a gel-like consistency.

Dry Ingredients: Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the flour blend, tapioca starch, and salt.

Incorporate preferment: Add the preferment to the gel mixture. To ensure all preferment is used, add 30g of water to the preferment jar, cover, shake, then add this to the gel mixture. Stir well using a silicone or wooden spatula until fully incorporated.

Dough Formation: Incorporate the gel-preferment mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula first, then knead by hand until the dough is well mix and uniform (it’s going to be sticky, so remove the dough on your hands with the dough scraper). Use a plastic dough scraper to fold the dough towards the center while rotating the bowl for about 1 minute, until a nice ball of dough forms.

making dough for gluten free sourdough bagels

Bulk Fermentation: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment at room temperature for 1 hour (this timing is for a temperature of about 70-72°F).

Second Fermentation (Proofing): After fermentation, gently flip the dough to a lightly floured surface (the bottom will be on top). Shape by folding in thirds, or gently rolling it towards you, starting from the far end, until the seam side is facing the surface; then rotate with slight tension until the bottom seals. Place seam side up in a lined and floured banneton. Cover and let ferment for another 40 minutes.

Oven Preheating: Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

Bagel Shaping: Turn the bagel dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces (triangles). Shape each piece into a ball (use the same tension movement as when you shape the dough), and let them rest until you finished them all. Then start with the one you shaped first, poke a hole in the center with your thumb, then gently pull the dough from the center to get a hole of about 1/2 inch. You can use some flour in the process, but don’t overdo it. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic or towels and let ferment for an additional 20 minutes.

shaping gluten free sourdough bagels

Boiling Water Preparation: Heat the pot with water, add the baking soda and honey. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer (no rolling).

Boiling Bagels: Insert the bagels into the simmering water using a slotted spoon. They might stick slightly to the bottom; gently release them. They will float partially, so I don’t need to flip them. Boil each bagel for about 1 minute. Remove with the slotted spoon and arrange on a tray. This may be done in batches.

Adding Toppings: Generously sprinkle the bagels with seeds and salt to your liking and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

boiling gluten free sourdough bagels

Baking: Bake in the preheated oven, on the middle rack, for 25 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack and rest for 20 – 30 minutes before serving.

topping gluten free sourdough bagels

Storing: Store wrapped in a cotton towel, at room temperature. They are best the first day, but still good the next day, especially if you slice and toast them. They can also be frozen and rewarmed in the oven.

gluten free sourdough bagels on a baking sheet

How to Eat These Gluten-Free Sourdough Bagels

I’m sure you don’t need instructions on how to eat these bagels, but just in case, here you have a few suggestions from us:

  • Slice them for breakfast toast; I love them with butter, eggs, and avocado.
  • Make sandwiches; perfect with butter, salami, chicken, egg salad, cream cheese, salmon.
  • When fresh, they are perfect dipped in a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • With nut butter and sugar-free berry jam for a healthy, sweet treat.
  • With homemade Nutella, and topped with strawberries.

Enjoy!

gluten free and lectin free sourdough bagels

More Gluten-Free, Lectin-Free Sourdough Recipes

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Gluten-Free Sourdough Bagels with Teff, Millet, and Sorghum

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By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 8
Prep Time: 50 minutes Cooking Time: 25

Craving bagels but need to keep it gluten-free? Our Gluten-Free and Lectin-Free Sourdough Bagels are here to shake up your breakfast and sandwich game. Made with a unique blend of ivory teff, sorghum, and millet flours, and our gluten-free sourdough starter, these bagels offer a crisp bite, a soft, slightly chewy but light inside, and a deliciously mild tangy-nutty flavor. They're the perfect base for any topping and the ideal bread for your next sandwich masterpiece. Simple, delicious, and utterly satisfying—this is the recipe that proves you don't have to sacrifice flavor for health. Ready to bake your best bagels yet?

Ingredients

  • FOR THE PREFERMENT (Prepare the Night Before):
  • 10g sourdough starter
  • 30-35g water (spring or filtered)
  • 35g flour mix (equal parts ivory teff, millet, and sorghum flour)
  • FOR THE DOUGH (Prepare Early Morning):
  • 17g psyllium husk flakes (whole)
  • 15g honey
  • 10g extra virgin olive oil
  • 430g water, divided (400g for initial mix + 30g to ensure full use of preferment)
  • All of the preferment from the previous night
  • 230g flour mix (equal parts ivory teff, millet, and sorghum flour)
  • 70g tapioca starch
  • 6g salt
  • BOILING WATER:
  • Approx. 3L water (more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • TOPPINGS:
  • Sesame seeds (white and black), poppy seeds, hemp hearts
  • Salt

Instructions

1

Preferment Preparation: The night before, mix the sourdough starter with water and flour and mix until you form a paste. Let it sit overnight, on the counter, covered but not air-tight.

2

Gel Preparation (in the morning): To make the dough, start with combining psyllium husk flakes, honey, olive oil, and 400g water. Stir and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to form a gel-like consistency.

3

Dry Ingredients: Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the flour blend, tapioca starch, and salt.

4

Incorporate Preferment: Add the preferment to the gel mixture. To ensure all preferment is used, add 30g of water to the preferment jar, cover, shake, then add this to the gel mixture. Stir well using a silicone or wooden spatula until fully incorporated.

5

Dough Formation: Incorporate the gel-preferment mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula first, then knead by hand until the dough is well mix and uniform (it’s going to be sticky, so remove the dough on your hands with the dough scraper). Use a plastic dough scraper to fold the dough towards the center while rotating the bowl for about 1 minute, until a nice ball of dough forms.

6

Bulk Fermentation: Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment at room temperature for 1 hour (this timing is for a temperature of about 70-72°F).

7

Second Fermentation (Proofing): After fermentation, gently flip the dough to a lightly floured surface (the bottom will be on top). Shape by folding in thirds, or gently rolling it towards you, starting from the far end, until the seam side is facing the surface; then rotate with slight tension until the bottom seals. Place seam side up in a lined and floured banneton. Cover and let ferment for another 40 minutes.

8

Oven Preheating: Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

9

Bagel Shaping: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces (triangles). Shape each piece into a ball (use the same tension movement as when you shape the dough), and let them rest until you finished them all. Then start with the one you shaped first, create a hole in the centet with your thumb, then gently pull the dough from the center to get a hole of about 1/2 inch. You can use some flour in the process, but don’t over do it. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic or towels and let ferment for an additional 20 minutes.

10

Boiling Water Preparation: Heat the pot with water, add the baking soda and honey. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer (no rolling).

11

Boiling Bagels: Insert the bagels into the simmering water using a slotted spoon. They might stick slightly to the bottom; gently release them. They will float partially. Boil each bagel for about 1 minute. Remove with the slotted spoon and arrange on a tray. This may be done in batches.

12

Adding Toppings: Generously sprinkle the bagels with seeds and salt to your liking and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

13

Baking: Bake in the preheated oven, on the middle rack, for 25 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack and rest for 20 - 30 minutes before serving.

14

Storing: Store wrapped in a cotton towel, at room temperature. They are best the first day, but still good the next day, especially if you slice and toast them. They can also be frozen and rewarmed in the oven.

Notes

Please check the blog post for more details about my gluten-free sourdough method and starter recipe.

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