A vegan diet is not the easiest one to follow as there are many things you cannot eat.
While you can easily tell when a meal includes meats or dairy products, when it comes to baking products like bagels, how can you tell if they are vegan?
If you are wondering about that, then keep reading below to get the answers you need!
What Are Bagels?
Bagels are baked goods that taste similar to bread but are shaped like a ring.
They also have a distinct chewy texture and a shiny, crusty exterior.
These delicious doughy bakes originated in Jewish communities in Poland and have since become a popular breakfast food all over the world, with New York being one of the many places where they are served in their best version!
Bagels can be eaten plain, but as you probably already know the best way to enjoy them is filled with either savory or sweet ingredients.
From cream cheese and salmon to pepperoni and cheese and from butter and jam to biscoff spread and chocolate sauce with banana slices, the only limit seems to be the imagination.
In addition to the traditional plain bagel, there are also many different flavors and varieties available, such as sesame, poppy seed, everything, and cinnamon raisin, among other options, making them a versatile snack or meal option that can fit many diets and satisfy most palates.
What Are Bagels Made Of?
Just like most doughy bakes, bagels are made from the usual ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt.
They also typically have a small amount of sweetener, which is either malt syrup or honey.
Their dough is mixed and then kneaded until it’s smooth and elastic, and then left to rise for a little while.
Once the dough has risen it is divided into portions and rolled into long ropes, which are then formed into rings and pinched together to seal, and this is where the distinctive shape of the bagel comes from.
After shaping, the bagels are boiled briefly in water that has either sugar or malt syrup added to it.
This gives the bagels their chewy texture and shiny, crusty exterior.
Finally, they’re baked in an oven until they’re golden brown and delicious before you get to enjoy them any way you prefer!
Are Bagels Vegan?
Flour, water, yeast, and salt are all vegan ingredients, which makes bagels sound perfectly safe for a vegan diet.
However, the addition of a sweetener might cause some issues, as honey, for example, is not vegan as it is a byproduct of bees.
Moreover, several bagel recipes or store-bought bagels may include non-vegan ingredients like eggs, milk, or butter.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea to double-check the ingredients list or ask the baker or supplier if you’re not sure.
Are Bagel Fillings Vegan?
Whether or not a bagel’s filling is vegan will depend on the specific ingredients used.
There are many vegan-friendly fillings that you can use with bagels, such as avocado, hummus, peanut butter, jam, or fresh vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumber.
However, some common fillings for bagels, like cream cheese or smoked salmon, are not vegan.
If you’re buying a pre-made bagel sandwich or ordering one at a restaurant, it’s always a good idea to ask about the ingredients used to make your bagel to ensure that they are vegan.
Many cafes and restaurants will offer vegan options or may be able to modify an existing menu item to make it vegan-friendly, so do ask them if you are feeling like you want to enjoy a bagel but can’t see a vegan version available on the menu.
How To Make Sure Your Bagels Are Vegan-Friendly
So, if you or your friends are following a vegan diet or lifestyle and you want to make sure that the bagels you are about to enjoy are 100% vegan, here are some tips to help you out with that!
Check The Ingredients List
The first and most important step is to check the ingredients list for the bagel itself.
As we mentioned earlier, the basic ingredients for bagels are vegan, but some recipes or store-bought options may include non-vegan ingredients like eggs, milk, or butter.
So, make sure to read the label carefully to ensure that the bagels you are about to buy do not contain any of those ingredients!
Ask About The Filling
If you’re ordering a pre-made bagel sandwich or bagel with toppings, you can always ask about the ingredients used in the filling to make sure they are vegan-friendly.
As we have already said, some common bagel fillings like cream cheese and smoked salmon are not vegan.
Therefore, you should always ask your server or the person preparing your food if they have any vegan options or if they can modify the filling to make it vegan-friendly.
If you are buying a bagel at a cafe or bakery that also sells non-vegan items, make sure to ask about cross-contamination.
There’s a chance that the same utensils or surfaces may have been used for non-vegan products, which could make your bagel non-vegan as well, so do not hesitate to ask the staff if they have separate equipment or areas for preparing vegan items.
Make Your Own Bagels
Of course, the best way to know your bagel is 100% vegan is to make it yourself, as this way you can control every ingredient and ensure that everything you use is vegan-friendly.
There are many vegan-friendly bagel recipes and filling ideas available online, so get creative and make your own delicious and animal-friendly bagel creations.
From nut butter to vegan cheese alternatives and vegan meat, you have plenty of options and lots of recipes you can look for online to get some inspiration from!
The Bottom Line
Bagels aren’t always vegan as many products include non-vegan ingredients like honey.
However, you can certainly find many vegan bagel options or make your own to make sure your meals are 100% vegan!
- 7 g sachet dried yeast
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 450 g bread flour
- Place 100 ml of warm water in a large bowl with the yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar. Let for 10 mins till the mixture gets foamy.
- Add the salt and half the flour to the bowl after adding 200ml of warm water. Until you have a soft but not sticky dough, keep adding the remaining flour (you might not need to use it all) and combining with your hands. Then, knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until it feels elastic and smooth. Put in a clean, lightly greased dish after forming into a ball. Cover loosely, then wait until it has doubled in size, which should take around an hour.
- Oven temperature set to 220°C/200°F fan/gas 7. Divide the dough into 10 pieces, each weighing about 85g, and place them on a lightly dusted surface. Each piece should be formed into a flattish ball. Then, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke a hole through the center of each ball. To create a hole about 3 cm wide, insert the spoon into the hole and then spin the bagel around the spoon. While you shape the remaining dough, loosely wrap the bagel with a cloth.
- While waiting, reheat the remaining sugar in a big pan of boiling water. Put no more than four bagels in the boiling water at once. The bagels should be cooked for 1-2 minutes, flipping them over in the water as they puff up little and develop a skin. Remove using a slotted spoon, then pour off any extra water. Put your preferred topping on top and lay it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp; when tapped, the bases should sound hollow. Serve with your favorite filling after let to cool on a wire rack.