One of the first things I recognized as something I absolutely could not live without if I gave up plastic was Udi’s Everything Bagels. Shortly after I found out I had Celiac disease, I instructed my husband that if I were ever in an accident and had a short time to live, he was to stuff a fresh, gluten-filled, everything bagel into my mouth. There were bagels for Celiacs, but they sucked, or the halfway decent ones only came in plain or cinnamon raisin. Then Udi’s came out with an everything bagel. It’s missing salt (I add it), and it’s still a far cry from a real bagel, but it satisfies a need. It’s only available at one local store, and it’s almost always out of stock. It’s also wrapped in plastic.
So I decided I’d make my own everything bagels (with salt) using bulk ingredients. The problem is, I only have so many reusable bulk/produce bags, and gluten-free breads always use a ridiculous number of ingredients, so I ended up getting quite a few plastic bulk bags at Winco. I did choose the small size bags, and they are rather thin, so all together they’re probably the same weight of plastic as one Udi’s bag. And I can rinse and dry these and reuse them for the next time I need a ton of ingredients, so that’s something. Still, my plastic-free bagel plan has pretty much failed.
The real test, though, is the texture. There’s something magical about a real bagel that hasn’t yet been mimicked by Udi’s or even Mariposa (though they are close). So this winter, I’m going to try all the gluten-free bagel recipes I can find until I can make a flour mix and cooking method that satisfies my cravings. The first batch is in the oven. It felt very much like playdough when I rolled it out, but it rose well and it looks really delicious with my everything mix on top.
I used this recipe because it required the fewest ingredients. I omitted the cinnamon and added a teaspoon of onion flakes and a teaspoon of dried garlic instead. For the everything mix that I sprinkled on top, I used:
2 teaspoons dried garlic
2 teaspoons onion flakes
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons kosher salt (Use less! See below.)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
which made the perfect amount to sprinkle over eight bagels.
Here they are right out of the oven:
Delicious, dense (but not too dense), and yeasty. I’m eating my second one as I type.
Next time around I’ll just put 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in the everything mix because it’s ever-so-slightly too salty. I like salt a lot and actually have to have more than the average person due to a health issue* (convenient!), so that means normal people should probably try 1 teaspoon and adjust from there.
I may also mess with the flour proportions. The flavor of garbanzo is just a bit more prominent than I would like (I am happy to have some actual protein, though, since a lot of store-bought gluten-free breads are pure starch). Maybe I’ll sub out a bit with brown rice flour or amaranth next time.
I have a feeling that, like many gluten-free breads, toasting will be required after it cools. Right out of the oven with a slab of cream cheese, though, it’s great.
Eventually, I’ll make my own cream cheese, but this time around I got some in a tub that I’ll mail to Gimme 5 for recycling once I’ve got a box full of #5 plastic.
*This, of course, is completely at odds with the low salt diet I should have for my swollen ankle. I can’t win.