Rainbow Bagels

Rainbow Bagels

Beautiful and delicious

Originating in Brooklyn, New York, rainbow bagels are a colourful version of the regular bagel. This impressive effect is attained by tinting the dough and braiding different colours prior to baking. The simple recipe below skips the usual complicated step of boiling the bagels and instead uses a steam oven for optimal results.  There is no difference in flavour compared to a normal bagel so feel free to enjoy them with your usual favourite bagel-toppings.

Ingredients (makes about 10 bagels)

2 cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
6 cups all-purpose flour (set aside some extra)
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil + some more for greasing the bowl
Pink, white and black food color



1. Mix warm water and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add yeast to the sugar water and let stand until it bubbles and foams (about 10 minutes). 

2. Add flour, oil and salt to the water.

3. Using a dough hook, mix for 5 minutes (if not using a stand mixer, mix with a wooden spoon until too thick to mix). After about 5 minutes, remove dough from bowl and knead by hand for another 5 minutes, until you have a smooth (not at all sticky) consistency. If dough is still sticky, sprinkle with flour and knead until no longer sticky.

4. Place dough in a large bowl, greased with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 60 minutes, until doubled in size.

5. After dough has risen, push it down and divide into 3 even portions. Dye each portion with different food coloring. It’s recommended that you knead each piece for 10-15 minutes to get a nice, even color. Keep dough you aren’t using covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.

6. Roll out the dough onto a cutting board and slice 1-inch-by-6-inch-thick strips. Twist dough to create a spiral and join the ends. Repeat with remaining dough.

7. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rise until almost doubled in size in a draft-free area, approximately 20-30 minutes.

8. Place the bagels on an oven rack and bake on low steam in 150°C (300°F) for 12 minutes. Raise the temperature to 200°C (390°F) and bake for another 10 minutes. Let the bagels rest under a towel.