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December 20, 2022

Christmas Bagels

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With all the chocolates, sugar cookies, gingerbread, fudge, candy canes, and other sweets that bombard us around Christmas, wouldn’t it be great to have a more satisfying treat on hand? Something both festive and filling? Something like…Christmas bagels?

I like to make these Noel nibbles every December to celebrate the season while taking a break from all the sugary sweets. Not only are these Christmas bagels delicious and visually stunning, but they’re also a great excuse to recruit a loved one to help you in the kitchen. Your kids can form great memories of rolling the colorful dough and shaping the bagels while you talk and laugh together. What better way to celebrate the holidays?

Christmas Bagels

(makes 1 dozen bagels)

Ingredients for Sponge

  • 10 oz bread flour
  • 10 oz warm water
  • 0.03 oz yeast
  • 5 g malt powder

Instructions for Sponge

  1. The night before you plan to make the bagels, make your sponge by mixing all four ingredients together for four minutes. Scrape bowl and mix for two more minutes.
  2. Place sponge in a container, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temperature for at least 1.5 hours.

Ingredients for Dough

  • 23.5 oz bread flour
  • 9 oz warm water
  • 0.15 oz instant yeast
  • 0.8 oz salt
  • 0.3 oz malt powder
  • green and red food coloring
  • 1 oz molasses

    Instructions for Dough

    1. Place the proofed sponge into a large mixing bowl and add the water, yeast, salt, and malt powder. Mix.
    2. Divide dough into three equal parts. Add green food coloring to one portion and red to another. Leave the third portion uncolored.
    3. Mix the uncolored dough portion at low speed for 4 minutes. The dough should be slightly firm and a tiny bit sticky. If it’s getting too firm or dry, add a little water. (A softer dough will be much easier to mix and shape into bagels.) Turn speed up to medium and mix dough for 5 more minutes. Repeat this step with the other two portions of dough, one at a time. (If you’re using a mixer, mix the portions in the order of white, green, then red. Otherwise, the colors can get messed up.)
    4. Prepare sheet pans with parchment paper that has been sprayed on both sides.
    5. Working with one portion of dough at a time, scale the dough into 4 oz balls. (If you want to make mini bagels instead of regular size bagels, scale into 2 oz balls.)
    6. On a flat surface, stack the dough balls with one red, one green and one uncolored ball on top of each other. Gently roll the stack on the flat surface until the dough portions combine to form a “snake” approximately 1 inch in diameter. bagel recipe, rolling dough, how to roll bagels, bright colored dough, red, blue, yellow, pride week, dough, bagel making
    7. Shape the rolled dough into bagels by wrapping them around to form a ring. Where the two ends come together, gently roll the seal back and forth until the ends fuse.
    8. Place on prepared baking sheet, spray the bagels with cooking oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Retard dough in the fridge overnight or at least 6 hours. (You can also freeze the dough to be used later.)
    9. Remove the bagels from fridge. Dissolve molasses in a pot of boiling water. Boil bagels in the water/molasses mixture. When the dough starts to expand, flip the bagels and boil on the second side. Using chopstick or a slotted spoon, carefully remove the bagels from the boiling water.
    10. Bake bagels at 375°F for 15-20 minutes or until bagels are lightly golden brown. Allow bagels to cool to room temperature and slice clam-shell style.
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    This Christmas bagels recipe can be adapted to other holidays and occasions simply by playing with the color combinations. In the past, I’ve made these bagels for Pride Week every year.

    Happy Holidays, and eat well!

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