The Egg-citing Truth: Do Bagels Have Eggs?

January 05, 2023
Last updated on January 31, 2023
The Egg-citing Truth: Do Bagels Have Eggs?

The origins of bagels trace back to Poland, yet these round breads have found worldwide popularity, including in the North American countries of the United States and Canada. Bagels are characterized by their dense, chewy texture, derived from a boiling and baking method applied to a mixture of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. These breads are often adorned with seeds like sesame or poppy, prior to being baked to perfection.

Bagels can be consumed plain or toasted, or used as a base for an array of spreads, toppings, and fillings. From classic cream cheese, smoked salmon, veggies, to peanut butter, the versatility of bagels make them a staple of breakfast and brunch and a sought after snack or quick lunch. The variations in flavors are endless, ranging from plain to whole wheat, cinnamon raisin, to the popular "everything" flavor, a mixture of seeds and spices.

Do Bagels Have Eggs? The Presence

The age-old recipe for bagels involves flour, water, yeast, sugar, and salt. However, the presence of eggs in the dough has sparked much debate. Some argue that eggs add rich flavor and keep the bagels moist and tender, while providing extra protein to the meal. Others, however, prefer the lighter and fluffier texture of egg-free bagels.

Reasons for Egg-Free Bagels

Bagels without eggs cater to various reasons such as religious restrictions, dietary restrictions, egg allergies, or personal preference. Kosher laws, for instance, prohibit the consumption of dairy and meat products together, hence the availability of egg-free bagels in certain bagel shops.

Allergies to eggs can cause severe reactions, thus the importance of checking ingredients before consumption. Some individuals simply prefer the taste and texture of egg-free bagels, finding them to be less rich.

Are Bagels Vegan?

A conundrum surrounds the vegan-status of bagels. Although some bagels can be deemed vegan, it's not a universal truth. The primary ingredients that make up bagels are flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. Yet, it's not uncommon to find bagels with added components like honey, eggs, or dairy-based ingredients, which may render the bagels non-vegan.

To ensure that the bagels you consume align with your dietary preferences, it's best to examine the ingredients listed. Fortunately, there are numerous brands that cater to vegans, offering a range of bagels made with plant-based ingredients.

Here are some popular brands that offer vegan bagel options:

  • Einstein Bros Bagels.
  • Dunkin' Donuts.
  • Whole Foods Market.
  • Bagel Boss.
  • Lender's Bagels.
  • Trader Joe's.
  • Starbucks.
  • Tim Hortons.
  • Panera Bread.
  • New York Bagel Café.

It is always important to check the ingredient list of each brand, as the vegan options and ingredients can vary. Additionally, it may be helpful to call the store or check the brand's website to confirm the availability of vegan bagel options.

Replacing Eggs in Bagels - A Possibility?

Indeed, substituting eggs in bagels is a viable option. The following are some of the most popular egg replacements:

  • Non-Dairy Milk: Almond milk, soy milk, or other dairy-free milks can replace eggs as a source of moisture in the dough.
  • Yogurt: Non-dairy yogurt or regular yogurt can be used to infuse the dough with tanginess and moisture, similar to what eggs would do.
  • Silken Tofu: Silken tofu can be blended to a smooth texture and used to replace eggs in the dough, adding structure and moisture.
  • Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce can replace eggs as a source of moisture in the dough.
  • Aquafaba: The liquid from a can of chickpeas, known as aquafaba, can be whipped and used as a replacement for eggs, providing structure and stability to the dough.

It's important to understand that substituting eggs in bagel dough may impact the final outcome. Therefore, some trial and error may be required to achieve the desired texture and flavor of the bagels.

DIY Vegan Bagels - A Recipe

Here's a recipe for making vegan bagels from the comfort of your home:


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour.
  • 1 tablespoon sugar.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast.
  • 1 cup warm water.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar.
  • Coarse salt and sesame seeds for topping (optional).


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture becomes frothy.
  • Combine the yeast mixture, olive oil, and vinegar with the dry ingredients and stir until a dough consistency is formed.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes.
  • Put the dough in a bowl that has been coated with oil, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm location for 1 hour until it has risen.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Divide the dough into 8-10 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball.
  • Pierce the center of each ball with your thumb and stretch the dough to form a hole.
  • Place the bagels on a greased baking sheet, brush with a little water, and sprinkle with coarse salt and sesame seeds (if desired).
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bagels are golden brown.
  • Allow the bagels to cool before serving.

This recipe yields 8-10 vegan bagels that can be served plain or with your favorite vegan toppings. Enjoy!

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the question of whether or not bagels contain eggs remains a perplexing and hotly debated issue. Some claim that traditional bagels must contain eggs, while others argue that there are various alternative versions that exclude this ingredient due to religious or dietary reasons, or simply personal choice.

As such, it's crucial to take a closer look at the ingredients list before indulging in a bagel, especially if you have an egg allergy.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding eggs in bagels, one thing is for sure: these delicious, versatile treats will continue to captivate palates and bring convenience to snackers everywhere.

Profil Picture Iris Janine Freeman

Meet Iris Janine Freeman, a freelance copywriter and food blogger from the East Coast. When she's not busy crafting the perfect words for her clients, Iris can be found experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen or planning her next travel adventure.

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