Introduction: DIY Rainbow Bagels

About: I am an 18-year-old student in 12th grade, I enjoy baking, running, programming, 3-D design, photography, and nature!

If you've ever had one of the iconic rainbow bagels from The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, you probably understand the magic behind eating one of these colorful rings of dough. But to all of you who haven't gotten the chance to try one of these bagels, now is your chance, and you don't have to go all the way to New York to enjoy one. With this recipe, all you have to do is spend a few hours in the kitchen to have eight of these delicacies.

Step 1: What You Will Need

In order to make the rainbow bagels, you will need the following:

For the bagels

  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp canola oil + extra for greasing
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon gel food coloring of each color (you may need more or less depending on what you use)

For the rainbow-fetti cream cheese

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles (or more if you want it to resemble unicorn barf)

Step 2: Making the Dough

The first step in bagel making is making the dough. To make the dough, start by stirring the tablespoon of sugar into the 2 cups of warm water in a stand mixer. If you don't have a stand mixer, use a large bowl with a handheld mixer. Add the packet of yeast to the sugar water and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes until the yeast is foamy. Next, add the 6 cups of flour, the tablespoon of oil and the salt to the water. Using the dough hook mix everything on low for about 5 minutes, then remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for another 5 minutes. You should end with a smooth but not sticky ball of dough if it is sticky add flour, however, if the dough is dry and crumbly add a little water and knead until incorporated.

Step 3: Rising

Now that the dough is in a ball, put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sit in a warm place for 60 minutes, until it is about double in size. Now that the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 6 portions for dyeing.

Step 4: Adding the COLOR

Next, get out the food dye, and gloves if you don't want your fingernails stained for a weak. I recommend using four colors and mixing them to get all 6 desired colors: Red, Orange(red+yellow), Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple(blue+red). Start with about a 1/2 tablespoon of each color food coloring, however, you will likely need more as the dough is very difficult to dye and requires a lot of food coloring. Mix each dough separately by hand for 10 to 15 minutes until the color is constant throughout the dough. Be sure to keep all the other dough covered before and after dyeing, to keep it from drying out.

Step 5: Shaping

Once all the dough is the desired colors, flatten each into a small rectangle, about four inches by six inches. Using water to bind the layers, stack the six rectangles in a rainbow pattern or whatever pattern you would like. Now twist and pull the stack to turn it into a log about ten inches long, if any layers begin to detach use water, and pinch them back together, as it is very important the layers will not separate when boiling. Divide the log of dough into 8 equal parts, cover all but the part you are shaping with a damp towel. Roll the piece of dough until it is at least six inches and can be shaped into a ring. Use water to attach the two ends to form a bagel ring. Set aside and cover as you make the rest. Once they are all complete, allow them to sit for ten minutes and rise.

Step 6: Boiling & Baking

As the bagels finish rising, set a large pot of at least three inches of water to boil and preheat the over to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the water is boiling, and the allotted ten minutes have passed, place two to four bagels in the water to boil for one minute on each side. If you wish to have chewier bagels, you can boil for two minutes per side, however, there is a greater risk of the layers coming apart. Once boiled, set on a rack to dry until all the bagels are finished boiling. Place the bagels on a baking sheet with parchment paper, and make sure the bagels aren't touching. Bake the bagels for 15 minutes. Then take them out of the oven and allow for them to cool.

Step 7: Rainbow-Fetti Cream Cheese

While the bagels are cooling it's time to make the rainbow-fetti cream cheese filling. First, in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, whip together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Next, add the butter and mix until evenly combined. set the mixer to low and slowly add in the rainbow sprinkles. Evenly spread the rainbow-fetti cream cheese onto a bagel to your desired amount. If you want even more rainbow, roll the bagel in more sprinkles, or other candy until the cream cheese is fully coated. Now, its time to enjoy your magical creation!

Step 8: Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed making these bagels as much as I did! They require a long and somewhat tedious process, but if you put in the time, it will definitely be worth it, just for the beauty of them alone. Feel free to try different variations mixing in other candy, flavors or colors, and share your creations below!

Check out The Bagel Store Website, Creators of the original Rainbow Bagel!

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