How To Make Rainbow Bagels

How To Make Rainbow Bagels

I’ve never really fancied making bagels, I love them, don’t get me wrong, but they’re quite a lot of effort for limited reward (if the finished result isn’t great). The ones you can buy in the supermarkets are perfect. Soft, chewy and great stuffed full of different flavours or simply toasted with butter.

I have a steam oven which makes the best bread at home and I found this recipe which cuts out the boiling stage in any bagel recipe. You will need a mixer with a dough hook to get the results this recipe calls for.

Make sure that any food colouring you use is ‘bake stable’ or sadly you’ll have very weak colours. For my first attempt, I used some fairly bright colours so I’ve called these Play-Doh Bagels because they remind me of the modelling clay I played with as a kid.

How do you know if your colouring is bake-stable? Look on the side of the label, or if they’re natural, they’re probably not going to be as vibrant in the oven and will fade, with disappointing results.


Makes 6

263g warm water
7g active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
384g strong white bread flour
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
3 colours of bake stable food colouring


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

Add flour, oil and salt to the water.

Using the dough hook attachment, mix for 10 minutes.  If the dough is still sticky, sprinkle with flour and knead until no longer sticky.

Put the 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.

After the dough has risen, push down the air and divide into 3 even portions. Colour each portion with the food dye. I used the mixer again for this.  Keep the dough you’ve coloured, and the dough you’re going to colour under plastic wrap to prevent it drying out.

Roll out the dough to measure 6″ x 6″, cutting six 1″ strips. I use a pizza wheel for this. Take one each of the 3 colours and pinch to form a seal and twist the braids, form a circle, pinching to close it.

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.

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

If you love a proper gin martini, can I suggest you read my blog on Dukes.

1 thought on “How To Make Rainbow Bagels”

Comments are closed.