There are a few foods that New Yorkers take personally and bagels are definitely top of the list. While there are now tons of gluten-free replacements for many beloved gluten-filled foods – the bagel is one item that has remained elusive to reproduce in a gluten-free version. Sure, there are tons of mass manufactured “bagels” lining grocery shelves and freezers across the country but most are actually just dense rolls sprinkled with some flavors that are traditionally associated with bagels. Some don’t even make much of an effort to even stick a hole in them.
When Sweet Note Bakery reached out to me I was a bit hesitant since I had been let down more times than I care to remember when it came to gluten-free bagels. As a native New Yorker, bagels were a major part of my pre-Celiac diagnosis days and believe me – I know what a fantastic bagel should taste like. The true bagel experience should be a symphony of texture and taste. The ever so slight crispiness of the outer crust that immediately gives way to the perfectly doughy center – light, spongy, and perfectly chewy.
Well, Sweet Note did not disappoint. These are among the finest gluten-free bagels on the market and will satisfy even the most finicky bagel connoisseur. I received three of Sweet Note’s main flavors: Plain, Cinnamon Raisin, and Everything. The first thing you’ll notice is that not only are these gluten-free but they are also free from the top eight allergens: Egg, Dairy, Soy, Tree Nuts, Wheat, Peanuts, Fish, and Shellfish – which as Sweet Note says would just be weird but as someone with a shellfish allergy it is something that I always look for on packaging because nowadays you just never know. From an ingredient stand point bagels are something where less is more and a real bagel is just a mix of a few key ingredients. Sweet Note is no different and the base contains only a handful of real, easily recognizable ingredients: Flour Blend, Olive Oil, Yeast, Water, Salt, Molasses, Sugar, and Psyllium Husk.
Sweet Note Bagels arrive frozen and just need a quick refresh in either the microwave or oven. I tried both methods and they both work perfectly. I prefer the oven method as it yields a crispier crust and instantly reminded me of when I used to get to my local bagel shop just as a new batch was pulled from the oven. These also toast to perfection if you’re in the mood for a bagel of the toasted variety.
I first tried the Everything variety. Those were always my personal favorite as there is something about the combination of garlic, poppy seeds, and onion that made me always reach for them no matter what other flavors were on offer. The flavor mix is spot-on the prefect balance of savory spices that make an everything bagel so unique. Using the oven refresh method also gives the flavor bits a slight char that helps to elevate the profile of flavors even more.
Next up was the Plain, which is where bagels are put to the true test. You can’t hide behind flavors and there is a very specific taste that one looks for – think a slightly yeasty savory base with just a hint of saltiness to help balance things out. Sweet Note did not disappoint and hit the mark on the plain front – they are most definitely the real deal.
Last, but certainly not least was the Cinnamon Raisin variety. Another personal favorite of mine – there is just something about the sweetness of the raisins paired with the slight spiciness of the cinnamon that always drew me to them. When they refresh the raisins plump up perfectly and add the perfect amount of sweetness without being overly powerful.
You can learn more about Sweet Note Bagels on their website where you can also find a store near you that carries them. You can also order right online and have them sent directly to your front door. Be sure to check-out some of their seasonal and special flavors – the elusive unicorn bagels even get the gluten-free treatment from Sweet Note. Best of all, if you order online they have graciously given my readers 10% off their order – just enter the code GFM at checkout.