Are Bagels Vegan ?
To some, asking if a bagel is vegan seems like a unanimous “YES! Duh!” but it’s not that simple. There is a lot that goes into a bagel, and recipes can change from country to country. So it is still best to check and make sure that what you are getting is a vegan product.
Eggs in bread products are simply unnecessary. Many companies and bakeries still add them in due to tradition. But don’t really seem to notice that eliminating things like eggs and dairy in bread. For the most part, this has been the base for bread on store shelves. However, there are some exclusions to this.
For a short answer, yes, bagels are vegan. The longer answer should have an asterisk, as “most” bagels are vegan. When you go to the grocery store, chances are, all of the bagels that are available for purchase will be made with just a few simple ingredients, such as flour and water, along with a large variety of otherwise vegan preservatives.
There are, in fact, exceptions to this. A few bakeries put egg wash on top of their bagels when they bake it to give them a shiny glaze to them, making them look more appealing, but not animal friendly. Some bagels either have cheese in them, or on top of them. These would obviously not be a vegan choice. Another type you should look out for are sweeter bagels, as there are often made with whey, or contain chocolate chips, which might contain dairy in them.
Another thing that you may want to look out for, especially in frozen bagels, is L-cysteine, which is a product made from feathers that can be found in some bread products. White Castle once had it in their slider buns, and Panera once had it as an ingredient in their bagels. Both of these two restaurants have eliminated the byproduct in their breads.
One thing you should worry about is if you have a gluten intolerance, or otherwise just want to go Gluten-free. Most gluten-free bagels (and GF breads in general), especially the frozen variety, contains egg whites. This is often used as a way to hold the bread together, but it makes the bread non-vegan.
So there are many options to choose from if you are looking for vegan bagels. For the most part, you don’t have to worry about them if they are store bought. Always check the labels though, just to make sure there are not any hidden ingredients in them that are animal derived.
However, you should be able to easily obtain vegan bagels from just about any store, and be able to go home to make yourself some delicious breakfast bagels coated in peanut butter and banana!