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Are Bagels Vegan?
Question: I had an onion bagel with hummus today, are bagels vegan?
Most bagels should be vegan, as the traditional recipe is simply a bread dough that is boiled and then baked. However, some places put an egg wash on top before baking to make it shiny. And, the dough sometimes has egg, honey, and/or whey added to it.
I find it decidedly frustrating when I investigate breads in grocery stores and cafes and find animal products in the bread. Picture me doing that and loudly sighing before tossing (okay fine, I still try to be gentle) the offender back on the shelf. There is simply no need to add animal products into bread. People just keep doing it because they always have, or were taught to do it that way.
If you are buying your bagels from a grocery store, you just need to get in the habit of reading the ingredients list. At big name bagel shops, they will gladly show you an ingredient list, and you can sometimes find the list online. Even smaller bagel shops do have someone who can tell you what is in the bagel because there are so many food allergies nowadays that restaurants have to be up on their knowledge of their ingredient lists.
What you do need to check vigilantly are the toppings and the specialty bagels. At Panera Bread, for instance, the Asiago bagels, Egg bagels, and Honey-Wheat are obviously not vegan. And, many times the ones with sugary toppings are going to be made with butter and/or milk, to make sure the toppings stick to the bread.
You can also learn to make your own bagels, and it's easier than you think. In my ebook The Vegan Bread Box, one of my favorite recipes is for NYC Style Bagels. They're fun and satisfying to make yourself.
Hope this helps!