This DIY Rainbow Bagel-Making Kit Is the Most Fun I’ve Had in 15 Months
My teens love to tackle food projects they find on the internet — jiggly Japanese-style pancakes, sweet potato dinner rolls, creamy whipped coffee, the list goes on — and rainbow-hued carbs always rank the highest. (Theres’s a particular rainbow crepe cake they keep threatening to make, but they usually wimp out when they see the long list of steps.) So when I stumbled on this new rainbow bagel-making kit from FarmSteady, I knew they’d want to try it out.
Buy: FarmSteady Rainbow Bagel Making Kit, $29.95
As soon as the kit arrived in the mail, my eldest looked at the photo of the technicolor bagel on the label and scoffed, “Yeah right.” She had no faith that bagels would turn out as pretty as they were advertised on the box. My youngest was less of a skeptic, but there was only one way to find out who was right.
Looking at the instructions, we soon realized that this project would require several hours and plenty of kitchen space. The dough for each color had to be mixed and kneaded separately, then needed to rise, and then everything needed to be shaped, boiled, and baked. The whole ordeal would take about three hours start to finish. So, we set aside a weekend afternoon, cleared the kitchen countertops, put on some music, and got to work.
We lined up six mixing bowls — pretty much every bowl I own! — and measured out yeast, sugar, and water in each. When the mixtures started to look foamy, we added the requisite amount of food coloring to create the six rainbow colors. We then measured out the “bagel mix” into each and started mixing and kneading.
This was the most time-intensive part. The dough was really sticky and each had to be kneaded on a floured surface until smooth and elastic and the color was evenly distributed (about three to five minutes). With six different doughs, that kneading time really adds up! Plus, we had to wash our hands before moving on to the next bowl so we didn’t transfer the color from one dough into another. Because we were doing it together, though, it was fun and it went by a lot faster than it would have if I was doing this project alone. It brought back memories of when my kids were little and we’d bust out the Play-Doh — except this project had an edible payoff.
We let the dough rise, which took about an hour in our kitchen, then flattened each color out, stacked them, and cut the log into rainbow-hued strips as directed. This was by far the best part. The rainbow strips of dough were so bright and vibrant that they made us happy just looking at them. When we rolled them into ropes and twisted them into bagels we felt like artistes. We shaped 12 bagels, but we could have happily made 1200.
After boiling the bagels two at a time, we baked them for 20 minutes. As we waited, with fingers crossed they’d turn out, the whole house began to smell deliciously yeasty (like a bakery). When the timer dinged we all ran to the kitchen.
We couldn’t believe our eyes. These bagels really turned out as beautiful as advertised — eye-poppingly bright all the way through, with a puffy, soft, chewy texture. We couldn’t stop staring at them, photographing them, and then eating them. Somehow, the rainbow colors made them just as fun to eat as they were to make. As my kids started brainstorming future color combos, I got the feeling there will be a lot more technicolor bagels coming out of our kitchen over summer vacation. No complaints here!