The Best Rainbow Bagels

Last Updated on March 16, 2021 by Michele Tripple

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Colorful and chewy, and using ingredients you already have around your house makes these rainbow bagels a recipe worth making over and over again!

The Easiest Rainbow Bagels

In our family we love all things breakfast. Whenever I ask my kids what we should have for dinner, they usually respond by saying “breakfast food!” They get their love of breakfast food from me for sure. 

rainbow-bagels

The other day I decided to get a little creative! The kids love bagels, so I decided to create for them these fun rainbow bagels. I know what you are thinking, that sounds like way too much work! But to be honest they are super simple to make and so delicious to eat! The kids absolutely loved them and we are now adding these to our favorite rainbow-colored foods that we love making like our rainbow poke cake and rainbow donuts!

rainbow-bagels

I love this recipe for so many reasons! One of those reasons is that it is so easy to have the kids help you make them! My kids have learned to make air fryer donuts and pumpkin banana muffins too! With the addition of these bagels, I’ll have to have them start making me breakfast!

More Breakfast Recipes You’ll Love

Colorful Rainbow Bagels

If you’re looking for a fun, easy breakfast side, then you will love this recipe! These bagels are so versatile as there are so many different spreads and toppings you can add to them! Stick with a classic cream cheese or get creative with a fruit or herb flavored spread. 

Looking for a little more protein in your breakfast? Layer a fried egg and sausage patty in the middle of a halved bagel and you’ve got breakfast on the go! No matter how you enjoy these bagels, we know they are going to be a hit for you and your family!

Ingredients

Dough (makes 1 color):

  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¼-oz packet active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp gel paste color (1-2 squirts)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (for bowl when rising)

Bagels:

  • 3 or more colored doughs
  • 12 cups water

The Following Tools With Be Helpful When Making These!

How to make Rainbow Bagels

Don’t forget to download the full printable recipe below so you can print it out and use it whenever you feel like making this delicious recipe!

  • Add yeast and sugar to one cup of warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment.
  • Add half of the flour and food coloring.
  • Mix until well incorporated and add the second half of the flour.
  • Mix until a stiff dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is no longer sticky.
  • Add oil to the bottom of a glass mixing bowl and place the dough on top.
  • Set dough into the refrigerator until all colors have been prepared.
  • Repeat the above steps for each color.
  • Remove all bowls of dough from the fridge and place them in a warm area. Cover and allow to rise for 40 minutes.
  • Punch down the dough and knead each one slightly.
  • Roll out each dough color into inch-thick rectangles.
  • Lightly grease a sheet of parchment paper. Stack colored rectangles on top of each other on the parchment paper. Make sure each color is about the same size and length.
  • Cut the stacked dough in half and add the two stacks on top of each other.
  • Cover the dough and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Slice dough into 1 inch by 6 inch strips.
  • Twist the dough to create a spiral and join the ends together to form a circle.
  • Repeat with the remaining strips of dough.
  • Place each ring on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Cover the dough and let rise until about double in size (about 20-30 minutes).
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bring a large pot of water (12 cups) to a boil.
  • When bagels are finished rising, boil each bagel for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Place bagels on a lightly greased parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • Turn bagels over and bake for an additional 15-18 minutes.
  • Remove bagels from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Tips Tricks and FAQs

  • When making each dough, start with the lightest color first. This helps keep the darker colors from contaminating the lighter ones without having to wash the bowl after each color! 
  • If you do not have a warm place to put your dough to rise, try preheating your oven and setting the bowls on the stove-top.
  • Do not overproof the bagels or over boil them! Both of these could cause the bagels to come out completely flat. Bagels should be doubled in size before adding to the boiling water.
  • High-gluten flour will result in chewy bagels. You may use bread flour or all purpose flour. All purpose flour will give you a softer bagel.
  • Make sure the water is at a rolling boil before placing bagels in the pot. This will give you that classic crisp bagel crust.
  • Small blisters may appear on the surface of the bagels. This is due to the fermentation of the bagels, but should not affect the taste!
  • To prevent cracks in the bagels, cover well during each proof. Plastic wrap can be used to keep the dough from drying out too much.
  • Make sure you are not using bad yeast. When you allow your sugar, water, and yeast to sit for 10 minutes, you should see bubbles at the 10-minute mark. If it has not foamed up, your yeast is likely bad and will result in a dense bagel.

Storage

Homemade bagels are best enjoyed the same day they are made. If you MUST store leftovers, do so in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze them for up to 2 months. DO NOT refrigerate leftover bagels as they will go stale faster.

More Easy Bread Recipes

Love what you see? Leave a comment and don’t forget to rate it below! We always love knowing how your recipe turns out! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @micheletripple to show me your finished product!

Yield: 12

Rainbow Bagels

Rainbow-Bagels

Your kids will love these colorful bagels! So delicious and using minimal ingredients (that you probably already have on hand), you will want to make this recipe over and over again!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours

Ingredients

  • Dough (makes 1 color):
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¼-oz packet active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp gel paste color (1-2 squirts)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (for bowl when rising)
  • Bagels:
  • 3 or more colored doughs
  • 12 cups water

Instructions

    1. Add yeast and sugar to one cup of warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
    2. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment.
    3. Add half of the flour and food coloring.
    4. Mix until well incorporated and add the second half of the flour.
    5. Mix until a stiff dough forms.
    6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is no longer sticky.
    7. Add oil to the bottom of a glass mixing bowl and place the dough on top.
    8. Set dough into the refrigerator until all colors have been prepared.
    9. Repeat the above steps for each color.
    10. Remove all bowls of dough from the fridge and place them in a warm area. Cover and allow to rise for 40 minutes.
    11. Punch down the dough and knead each one slightly.
    12. Roll out each dough color into inch-thick rectangles.
    13. Lightly grease a sheet of parchment paper. Stack colored rectangles on top of each other on the parchment paper. Make sure each color is about the same size and length.
    14. Cut the stacked dough in half and add the two stacks on top of each other.
    15. Cover the dough and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
    16. Slice dough into 1 inch by 6 inch strips.
    17. Twist the dough to create a spiral and join the ends together to form a circle.
    18. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough.
    19. Place each ring on a lightly greased baking sheet.
    20. Cover the dough and let rise until about double in size (about 20-30 minutes).
    21. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
    22. Bring a large pot of water (12 cups) to a boil.
    23. When bagels are finished rising, boil each bagel for 30 seconds on each side.
    24. Place bagels on a lightly greased parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven.
    25. Turn bagels over and bake for an additional 15-18 minutes.
    26. Remove bagels from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
    27. Serve and enjoy!

    Notes

    • When making each dough, start with the lightest color first. This helps keep the darker colors from contaminating the lighter ones without having to wash the bowl after each color! 
    • If you do not have a warm place to put your dough to rise, try preheating your oven and setting the bowls on the stove-top.
    • Do not overproof the bagels or over boil them! Both of these could cause the bagels to come out completely flat. Bagels should be doubled in size before adding to the boiling water.
    • High-gluten flour will result in chewy bagels. You may use bread flour or all purpose flour. All purpose flour will give you a softer bagel.
    • Make sure the water is at a rolling boil before placing bagels in the pot. This will give you that classic crisp bagel crust.
    • Small blisters may appear on the surface of the bagels. This is due to the fermentation of the bagels, but should not affect the taste!
    • To prevent cracks in the bagels, cover well during each proof. Plastic wrap can be used to keep the dough from drying out too much.
    • Make sure you are not using bad yeast. When you allow your sugar, water, and yeast to sit for 10 minutes, you should see bubbles at the 10-minute mark. If it has not foamed up, your yeast is likely bad and will result in a dense bagel.

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