Traditional bagels usually include vegan-friendly ingredients like flour, water, yeast, sugar, and salt. However, some may have ingredients such as eggs or dairy.
Bagels are a beloved breakfast staple, but for those following a vegan lifestyle, the question arises: are bagels vegan?
In this guide, we'll explore the world of bagels, deciphering which ones are plant-based and which may contain non-vegan ingredients.
Whether you're a seasoned vegan or just starting out on a plant-based journey, understanding what to look for in bagel ingredients is essential.
If you are interested in making your own bagels, try these chewy, New York Style Plant Based Bagels. I've included a video tutorial too. I have been making them for over 10 years!
Do Bagels Contain Dairy?
Are bagels dairy free? Traditional bagels typically do not contain dairy, but it depends on the specific recipe and brand. Some bagel recipes or commercially-produced bagels may include dairy or dairy-derived ingredients.
To ensure a bagel is dairy-free, it's important to check the ingredient list, as well as any allergen information provided by the manufacturer. If a bagel contains milk, butter, whey, or any other dairy-derived ingredient, it would not be considered dairy-free.
If you're following a dairy-free or vegan diet, there are often specific brands that produce dairy-free or vegan bagels. Additionally, some specialty or homemade recipes cater to dairy-free preferences.
Always read labels and inquire about ingredients, especially if you have specific dietary restrictions or preferences. Many grocery stores offer a variety of bagel options, including those labeled as dairy-free or vegan.
Are Bagels Made With Eggs?
You may have wondered if there are eggs in bagels. The short answer is that some bagels do contain egg, but not all.
It's essential to check the ingredient list and choose bagels explicitly labeled as vegan if you want to avoid egg in your bagel.
Some bagels receive an egg wash before baking, giving them a shiny appearance but making them non-vegan.
What Are Bagels Made Of?
Traditional bagels are made from a relatively simple combination of ingredients. The basic components of bagel dough typically include:
- Flour: The primary ingredient, usually high-gluten flour, gives the bagel its chewy texture.
- Water: Used to hydrate the flour and form the dough.
- Yeast: Provides the leavening agent, causing the dough to rise and giving the bagel its characteristic texture.
- Sugar: Adds sweetness to the dough and also feeds the yeast during the fermentation process.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor of the dough.
These ingredients are mixed, kneaded, and then left to rise. Once the dough has risen, it is shaped into the familiar bagel form—a ring with a hole in the center.
The shaped bagels are then briefly boiled before baking. Boiling is a crucial step that contributes to the bagel's chewy exterior. After boiling, the bagels are baked until they achieve a golden-brown crust.
While this is the traditional recipe, variations exist, and additional ingredients may be included to create different flavors or textures. Some bagels include toppings like sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, onion, or even sweet additions like cinnamon and raisins.
It's important to note that while the basic bagel ingredients are typically vegan, some variations or commercially produced bagels may include non-vegan ingredients. Always check the ingredient list if you have specific dietary preferences or restrictions.
What to Look for in Vegan Bagels
When strolling through the aisles of your local grocery store, keep an eye out for bagels labeled specifically as "vegan." These bagels are crafted without the use of any animal products, ensuring they align with a vegan diet.
A classic example of a vegan bagel is the plain variety, typically made with basic ingredients like wheat flour, yeast, water, sugar, and salt. To add flavor, some vegan bagels may include toppings such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or dried onion flakes.
Check the ingredient list for any signs of non-vegan ingredients like dairy products, egg white, or honey powder. A reliable indicator of a truly vegan product is a certification from independent organizations that verify vegan-friendly items.
The following ingredients can sometimes be found in bagels.
- natural flavor (can sometimes be vegan)
- monoglycerides and diglycerides (can sometimes be vegan)
- non-organic sugar (can sometimes be vegan)
- enzymes (can sometimes be vegan)
Do Vegan Bagels Taste Good?
Yes, vegan bagels can taste very similar to regular, non-vegan bagels. The taste and texture of a bagel primarily come from the dough and the way it's prepared and baked.
Vegan bagels often use traditional ingredients like flour, water, yeast, sugar, and salt to create a dough that is then shaped, boiled, and baked, just like non-vegan bagels.
The absence of animal products, such as eggs or dairy, doesn't necessarily compromise the deliciousness of the final product. Many vegan bagels are crafted to be just as chewy, flavorful, and satisfying as their non-vegan counterparts.
Moreover, with the growing popularity of plant-based and vegan lifestyles, many brands are investing in creating high-quality vegan alternatives that closely mimic the taste and texture of traditional bagels. These vegan bagels come in a variety of flavors, including plain, sesame seed, poppy seed, cinnamon raisin, and more.
Whether you're following a vegan diet or simply looking to explore plant-based options, you'll likely find that vegan bagels can be a tasty and satisfying alternative to regular bagels, offering a familiar experience without compromising on flavor or texture. It's always a good idea to try different brands and varieties to find your personal favorites.
Common Types of Vegan Bagels
Thankfully, there is a variety of vegan bagel options available. Please note, that companies may change ingredients over time. I will try my best to keep this list updated, but please reach out if you notice anything has changed!
All the bagels from Dave's Killer Bread are made without animal products. I've also found them to be very tasty.
- Plain Awesome Bagels
- Epic Everything Bagels
- Cinnamon Raisin Remix Bagels
- Boomin’ Berry Bagels
Some of Thomas' bagels are vegan. However, you should be aware that they use sugar in their bagels and refined cane sugars may be processed with animal products.
- 100% Whole Wheat
- Cinnamon Swirl
- Cinnamon Raisin
- Plain Made With Whole Grain
Franz Bakery has a few bagel varieties that are clearly labeled as vegan.
- Original bagels
- Sourdough bagels
Alvarado Street Bakery has several plant-based bagels. Their vegan products are clearly labeled.
- Sprouted Wheat Everything Bagels
- Sprouted Wheat Sesame Seed Bagels
- Sprouted Wheat Bagels
- Sprouted Wheat Onion Poppyseed Bagels
Are Starbucks Bagels Vegan?
Starbucks offers a variety of bagels, but not all are vegan. Some may contain dairy or other non-vegan ingredients, so be sure to inquire about the specific ingredients or opt for bagels labeled as vegan.
As of right now, the following Starbucks bagels are labeled vegan.
- Cinnamon Raisin
Are Panera Bagels Vegan?
Similarly, Panera Bread provides a selection of bagels, but not all are vegan. Always check the ingredient list or ask a staff member for assistance in identifying vegan options.
As of right now, the following bagels from Panera are considered vegan. However, it is possible that ingredients may change.
How to Ensure Your Bagel Is Vegan
To ensure your bagel is vegan, consider the following tips:
- Make Your Own: Using a vegan bagel recipe is one of the best ways to monitor exactly what goes into your bagel dough. Homemade bagels use a yeasted dough and are easier to make than you may think!
- Check Ingredient Labels: Scrutinize the ingredients list for any non-vegan items.
- Look for Vegan Certifications: Independent organizations often certify vegan products, making it easier to identify them.
- Explore Vegan Brands: Some brands specialize in crafting vegan bagels, such as Dave's Killer Bread. Familiarize yourself with these options for a reliable vegan choice.
- Choose Vegan Toppings: Vegan spreads such as cream cheese, peanut butter, nut butter, avocado, and vegan butter are all great vegan bagel toppings.
- Ask at Coffee Shops: When ordering at coffee shops or bakeries, inquire about the ingredients in their bagels to make an informed choice.
Bagels with cream cheese are a common choice, but traditional cream cheese is not vegan. If you're a fan of bagel sandwiches, be cautious with fillings, as some may contain non-vegan items like meat or dairy-based spreads.
In conclusion, finding vegan bagels is not only possible but also delicious. With an understanding of common non-vegan ingredients and a keen eye for ingredient labels, you can confidently enjoy this breakfast classic as part of your vegan lifestyle.