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The fact that a rainbow bagel exists is upsetting.
The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking.
Today's Snackshot is of a bagel... a rainbow bagel. What the hell is that, you ask? Good question. There were rumors of this so-called "rainbow" bagel, served at The Bagel Basket in Manhattan, floating around the office. How could such a bagel exist? Why would anyone make something so stupid? I mean, look at it. It looks like a bagel, one of the most glorious things on this Earth (especially on a Friday morning), is on its way to Burning Man. Or maybe it just got destroyed in a paintball match with its superior cousin, everything, or sesame. Either way, get this thing out of my face.
Read more about The Daily Meal's Snackshot feature. To submit a photo, email jbruce[at]thedailymeal.com, subject: "Snackshots."
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King Arthur Baking Ambassador, Martin Philip says bagels are a “zany, misfit member of the baked goods family.” While bagels aren't a staple in our bakery, Martin has his own recipe. Though with a lengthier timeline than some of the other bagel recipes on our website, the wait is well worth it for the flavor it develops. Dark and chewy (yet not tough), these bagels will make you think twice about ever buying a bagel again.
This recipe was adapted from Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes by Martin Philip, photography by Julia A. Reed, Copyright© 2017. It's been reprinted with permission of Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
- 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (166g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (198g) lukewarm water (75° to 80°F)
- 1 1/2 cups (340g) lukewarm water*
- 5 1/2 cups (663g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 3/4 teaspoons (17g) salt
- 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
To make the poolish: Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and yeast. Add the water, mixing until smooth. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 to 8 hours. This broad time range is for both convenience and flavor. More time will yield more flavor, but even a few hours will be enough to make a noticeable difference.
To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl combine the poolish with the water, mixing by hand to break up the poolish. Add the flour, salt, and yeast, stirring by hand or on low speed of a stand mixer until the dough forms a cohesive, shaggy, tacky mass. Resist the urge to add more flour.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and allow it to rest for 2 hours, stretching and folding the dough over onto itself three or four times in the bowl after 1 hour.
Without touching the dough again, place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours.
Take it a step further
How to shape bagels
The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces if you have a scale each piece will weigh about 114g.
Shape each piece into a tight ball, place on a lightly floured surface, then cover and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
To shape the bagels: Using your fingers, poke a hole in the middle of each ball, gently expanding the hole until it’s 2” to 3” in diameter.
Return the shaped bagels to the floured surface, cover them again, and allow them to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
While the bagels are resting, preheat the oven to 475°F. If you have a baking stone, place it on the middle rack in the oven and have ready two pieces of parchment large enough to fit the stone. To bake on baking sheets, line two pans with parchment and set aside.
To prepare the water bath: Put 4” of water in a shallow (wide) 6-quart pot, then add the barley malt syrup or molasses and the salt. Bring to a medium boil.
Carefully place three bagels at a time in the water bath. Boil the bagels for 30 seconds on one side. Using a slotted spoon, flip them over. Boil the bagels for another 60 to 90 seconds.
Remove the bagels from the water, allowing them to drip dry for a few seconds before placing them 2” to 3” apart on the prepared parchment or parchment-lined pan you should be able to get six bagels per parchment/pan.
Sprinkle any toppings onto the bagels. Alternatively, dip the bagels into a shallow bowlful of the toppings before returning to the parchment/pan.
Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, either in two batches if baking on a stone, or rotating the pans halfway through if using baking sheets. The bagels are done when the bottoms and sides are a deep mahogany brown and firm.
Remove the bagels from the oven and cool them on a rack. Store bagels at room temperature for up to one day, or wrap and freeze for longer storage.
Tips from our Bakers
To shape bagels ahead of time and bake the following morning (to serve fresh for breakfast or brunch): Shape, place on a parchment-lined or cornmeal-dusted baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate. In the morning proceed with the recipe as written, boiling bagels immediately out of the refrigerator.
Join King Arthur baker Martin Philip and his family as they bake Martin's Bagels together, start to finish. Watch Martin Bakes: Bagels now.
Bio: Scot Rossillo, Bagel Artist For The Bagel Store Presently
"The World's Premier Bagel Artist"
I have always craved for unique ways to appeal to the demanding bagel palate and my desire to re energize a subdued industry
I left my partners in other bagel ventures so that i can bless bagel lovers from around the globe with my personal creations. I enrolled in the acclaimed French Culinary Institute's International Bread Baking Arts program. Upon my completion and driven by my passion I have fathered many hybrid food products most notably the "The Bacon Egg and Cheddar Bagel" ,The "Cragel" (the original half bagel and half flaky croissant) and most recently the world famous Rainbow Bagel tm
Not Over-the-Rainbow Bagels!
Deborah (Debs) Gardner is a public health professional, writer and semi-snarky Jew living in Seattle, WA. Our “pundemic correspondent,” she is a multi-time winner of Pundamonium Seattle, a local pun slam.
Rainbow bagels displayed at bagel shop on Brick Lane in London (Photo by Victor Huang/Getty Images)
When the judges assigned a wiggly, domed “jelly art design cake” as last week’s showstopper challenge, I started digesting how far off the rails “The Great British Baking Show” has gone. Even today’s “patisserie week” semi-final — back in a familiar corner with cornucopias and savarins — couldn’t save it.
“The Great British Baking Show” (called “The Great British Bake-Off” outside of North America), broadcast on Netflix and on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, is an escapist, feel-good baking competition judged by Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.
But it’s hit a few rough spots. The show elicited ire for its Japanese week episode, released October 30 in the United States, because it featured so much racism and implied interchangeability of Asian cultures. In that episode, Host Matt Lucas misheard “katsu curry” and responded, “cat food curry?!” And neither judges nor hosts batted an eyelash when a participant planned to decorate a cake with a fondant geisha. “Japanese week” epitomized how the show is as careless with cultural traditions as it is with slippery cakes.
The Great British Baking Show is as careless with cultural traditions as it is with slippery cakes.
Meanwhile, the Uzbekistan Tourism Ambassador has been promoting a virtual, home-based spinoff called the “Great Central Asian Bake-Off,” and I’m considering jumping ship. Those savory samsa from the show’s pastry week are much more tempting than any fondant-covered — and, in some cases, wildly unidentifiable — bust sculptures of Charles Darwin, David Attenborough, Lupita Nyong’o and Marie Antoinette featured on “Baking Show.”
But for Jewish viewers, “The Great British Baking Show” first hit soggy-bottom this season during “bread week,” when instead of helping us pretend our biggest anxiety was upside-down cakes literally falling upside-down on the floor, the show delivered the Jewish people a 2020-worthy travesty: Rainbow bagels. It was the strawberry that broke the caramel’s back.
When the episode preview showed a bright rainbow bagel, I assumed it was the creation of an offending baker who was sent home to write “I will never insult a bagel again” 500 times or was thrown into a rainbow prism, with lox locked. But as the episode soon revealed, all the bakers had to make this striped mockery of my New York Jewish childhood comfort food.
Watching this scandal was a hole exercise in hue-miliation. An unbialyievable disaster, all-a-round. A bun worse than any pun.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. Jewish fans know, bread master and judge Paul has messed up Jewish breads before. As a writer at My Jewish Learning pointed out, not only did Paul describe braiding a loaf as a dying skill in a 2012 episode, but also his cookbook from the same year, “How to Bake,” insists challah (spelled “cholla loaf”) is “traditionally served at Passover.” Goy vey.
Even an occasional rainbow challah seems better than rainbow bagels — as long as it’s not as a test of a baker’s challah-making skills. Maybe in a six-stranded rainbow braid. Or as a celebration of LGBTQ+ cultures for Pride — but not for Pesach.
What’s next on brand, Paul? Candy-cane latkes? A glitter-bomb honey cake? Putting ham in hamantaschen? Maybe kale-chip sufganiyot. Sourdough pumpkin-spice matzah. Rugelach with ranch dressing. Blintzes filled with rage.
In watching that bagel episode, I flashed back to a weekend in college when I visited a friend in Columbus, Ohio. She brought out a bag of bright green bagels. “Why… are they green?” I managed to ask. She said the store makes these for Saint Patrick’s Day. My innocence was shattered.
Watching the “Baking Show” contestants’ vibrant rings bake, the bakers seemed dubious. “How do you know they’re really… [done]? Because normally, they’ll get brown, but these’ve got color!” one lamented. Another looked at his flat results and said, “That’s not a bagel.” I agreed — likely for different reasons.
The bagel’s striped design was twisted — in both senses. Without a golden-brown sheen speckled with seeds or onions, they didn’t look much different baked than raw. Judge Prue, known for bulky, colorful plastic jewelry, probably eyed them for bracelets.
Picking up a rainbow bagel, Paul gushed, “They’re quite light!”
I shouted, “They’re not supposed to be light!”
He praised another’s vibrant colors. I yelled obscenities at the screen.
What does one boil rainbow bagels in, anyway — malted unicorn tears? I found Paul’s recipe on the show’s website. Then I noticed the blurb:
“What could be more magical than making a rainbow?” (Answer: Not making one?) “We’ve chosen rainbow hues for this dough, but feel free to experiment with your own favourite colours to make the bagels your own.”
Make them your own? Sorry, but on behalf of my culture: if you’re going to make them so un-bagel-like, maybe call them something else — like baked–gall.
The following episode’s technical challenge was a babka. I wondered if this was t’shuvah — repentance for the sin committed against Jewish baking. At least this babka was full of chocolate rather than, I don’t know, Froot Loops? Paint? The bar is pretty low by now.
But judge Prue sneered after trying Paul’s sample babka, “It’s lovely it’s much nicer than I thought it would be. I’ve had it in New York, and it’s not nearly as nice as this.” Paul joked, “I had it in Birkenhead.” (Birkenhead, a small town across from Liverpool, near where Paul grew up, has so few Jews that its only synagogue closed in 2006. Also, Paul is now a celebrity and can travel places where there are, you know, actual Jews.)
I’d always wanted the show to include a Jewish technical challenge. Maybe New York versus Montreal bagels, or a hot onion bagel with a fragrant residue that sticks to your fingers as you pull it apart on a cold day. Only now, I’m imagining a harder challenge, like making matzah under strict rabbinic supervision.
The show featured bagels in the early years, in the same episode where Paul claimed braiding a loaf was a dying skill. But those bagels were what the show calls a “signature bake,” where the bakers could choose flavors and style: one savory and one — shudder — sweet. The fallout included chocolate-orange-mint, blueberry-white chocolate and fig-walnut-gruyere bagels. Implying these flavors are better than traditional was poppycock — a total spotted-dick move.
Bagels have been badly mistreated over the years, from the ubiquitous Lender’s of the 1980s and 1990s to McDonald’s breakfast “bagel” sandwiches that all contained pork. Bagel makers have worked hard to counter this and showcase what makes a bagel great.
The “Baking Show” bagel debacle is personal for other reasons. A dozen years ago, I learned I can’t eat gluten, and I’m wistful about bagels every day of my life. I can make gluten-free bagels that are delicious for what they are but will never be the same. So it’s a hard pill (or stale bagel) to swallow when people who can still eat bagels not only commit bagel sacrilege but also use a huge platform to mislead viewers about bagel perfection.
It’s also more sobering than a standard shake-your-head-at-the-goy Hebrouhaha. In 2003, Paul attended a costume party dressed as a Nazi character from the WWII-themed sitcom “‘Allo ‘Allo.” Learning this in 2020 — with actual Nazis running around — feels ominous. Paul has since apologized, but he could have taken this as a sign that he has much to learn about Jewish communities. Until he’s humble about this, maybe I’ll rage-bake pie, using (Paul’s-in) hot-water crust pastry.
At first, I hoped kvetching about rainbow bagels was itself an enjoyable distraction from real problems. But with subsequent episodes, the show no longer felt escapist or culturally relevant. Instead of feeling anxious about whose Eton mess will look messiest when eaten, I started wondering when the show would stroopwafel to a new level.
I’ve stopped caring. Find me in virtual Uzbekistan instead, munching a crispy samsa.
Deborah (Debs) Gardner is a public health professional, writer, and semi-snarky Jew living in Seattle, WA. She is a multi-time winner of Pundamonium Seattle, a local pun slam.
Rainbow Bagels and Crazy Milkshakes: What Happens When a Dish Goes Viral
The sudden penchant for unnaturally colored novelty foodstuffs seems to rail against the current trend that has food manufacturers and big restaurant chains axing artificial ingredients left and right, as the Washington Post points out. Besides the childlike sense of wonder and ridiculous number of Instagram likes that these psychedelic-colored foods seem to inspire, could there be a scientific explanation behind it?
Previous studies have examined how different colors affect our sense of taste for example, a 2015 study found that people associate certain colors with different tastes (like red and pink with sweetness, and green and yellow with sourness) so effectively, rainbow-colored bagels could be perceived as more flavorful than their basic beige counterparts. Additionally, a 2014 scientific review in the journal Appetite found that colored foods stave off boredom while eating, which could help explain why the technicolor versions of everyday items like coffee seem so much more enchanting.
And when it comes to things like the Brooklyn-born rainbow bagels that went viral earlier this year, at least some of the appeal can be attributed to the millennial plague that is FOMO: When we see our friends on social media stuffing their faces with these eye-poppingly bright novelty foods, we can't help but want to taste the rainbow too — concerns about artificial coloring be damned.
- 2 packets active dry yeast (I like Red Star)
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 3 ½ cups flour (I use bread flour or high gluten flour)
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- Food coloring (Between 4-6 colors)
- Pour the yeast and sugar into a large bowl.
- Add warm water but do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the mixture to dissolve.
- Add flour and salt and stir with large spoon until you can gather dough to place on floured surface.
- Knead the dough for about 6-8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
- If too moist add a sprinkling of flour until dough is not sticky.
- Lightly coat a large bowl with butter or oil and place dough in bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel.
- Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
- Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces. (Should be roughly 3.2 oz balls)
- Shape each piece into a round.
- Wearing disposable gloves, take each dough ball and color with food coloring, working the dough to distribute color.
- With a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to form a rectangle. Make sure each dough ball is rolled out the same size.
- Layer each rectangle on top of each other.
- Cut into 1-inch strips lengthwise.
- Twist dough into a round bagel shape and seal the ends by rolling with your hands or pinching. (You can use a little bit of water on your fingers to act as glue.)
- After shaping the dough rounds place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Prepare a pot of boiling water.
- Drop 2-3 bagels at a time into the water and cook for 2 minutes.
- Flip bagels over after one minute. With a slotted spoon, remove bagels and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Repeat until all bagels are boiled.
- Sprinkle tops with desired seasonings. (I used a garlic sea salt mixture)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake bagels for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.
- Serve while still warm with cream cheese or butter.
To make Sprinkles Cream Cheese-- Mix enough powdered sugar into 8oz of cream cheese for desired sweetness, starting with 1 tablespoon. Add more for sweeter spread. Add about 1 tablespoon of rainbow sprinkles and mix.
Step 1 - Make Dough
Step 2 - Layer Dough
Step 3 - Slice and Twist Dough
Step 4 - Roll and Twist Into a Bagel
Step 5 - Boil Bagels
Step 6 - Bake and Enjoy!
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Food writer, cookbook author and Emmy-Award winning television host and producer. She owned two restaurants and a gourmet food company. You can catch Jan cooking and co-hosting the AZ Midday Show on KPNX Channel 12. Her passion, heritage recipes.
New York-style bagel shop is opening in Richardson, selling eye-catching rainbow bagels
10:08 AM on Nov 30, 2020 CST
A married couple from Boston plans to open a New York-style bagel shop named Bagel Cafe 21 in Richardson.
Lisa and Kyriakos Kouzoukas recently sold a bagel shop in The Colony so they could open a new restaurant at Coit and Campbell roads, in an area they think is underserved.
To their point, most areas of Dallas and its suburbs are underserved when it comes to bagels: North Texans don’t have a ton of hole-y roll options beyond Einstein Bros. Bagels, a chain and local shops Benny’s Bagels, Deli-News, and Cindi’s N.Y. Delicatessen Restaurant & Bakery. Shug’s Bagels, a new shop in Dallas, opened to much fanfare — and proved that Dallas-area diners seem passionate about bagels.
“Coming out here and visiting them, we did notice the lack of bagel shops,” says Lisa Kouzoukas, who is originally from Boston. “This area was definitely lacking real, authentic New York-style bagels.”
Their bagels are kettle boiled, then topped with seasonings and baked. Kyriakos Kouzoukas does most of the bagel-baking himself, and it’s an early-morning job: He’ll arrive at 1:30 a.m. each day.
Cooking is in his blood, Lisa Kouzoukas says. His family is from Greece and moved to Chicago when he was 6 years old. He’s worked in or owned shops selling doughnuts, bagels or pizza for most of his life. He operated several shops in the Boston area, where he met Lisa, before they moved to North Texas.
They did consider opening a doughnut shop instead of a bagel shop, but the couple says they were amazed to find that Dallas-Fort Worth has no shortage of those.
“We chose the bagel concept over the doughnut concept because doughnuts around here: There’s one in every plaza,” she says.
Bagel Cafe 21 is so named because of its 21 varieties of bagels, which include everything, onion, egg, asiago, jalapeño-cheddar, rosemary-garlic-parmesan, chocolate chip and more. They plan to sell 12 flavors of cream cheese, including bacon-scallion, chive, chipotle and honey-pecan.
Bagel sandwiches can be breakfasty, with eggs, cheese, bacon or sausage or piled with lunch meats like turkey-swiss or chicken salad.
Bagel Cafe 21 will also sell bagels and lox topped with tomato, red onion and capers.
The rainbow bagels — which are plain but come in a swirl of colors that change weekly — are bound to be popular.
The Kouzoukas family hopes to open Bagel Cafe 21 in January 2021, pending construction.
When it opens, Bagel Cafe 21 will be at 1920 N. Coit Road, Richardson.
Video: Witness The Creation Of The Psychedelic Rainbow Bagel
Remember the leisurely mornings of your childhood? Remember colorful bowls of cereal, pastries slathered with blue frosting, and cartoons on TV before school? Carefree and sweet, the a.m. used to be such a simpler time. You woke up rested, grown-ups shuttled you around. Coffee was the least of your worries and once again, there were cartoons.
Baker Scot Rossillo, who opened his first Bagel Store in Williamsburg 15 years ago, has found a way to capture some of that child-like joy with his latest concoction, the Rainbow Bagel. Working out of his Bagel Store location on Williamsburg's Southside, Rossillo has created something of a phenomenon, one propelled by social media and founded on decades of experience. “These colors do make you happy," he said while rolling out rainbow dough in his kitchen. Brushed with butter and marbled ROYGBIV-style, the bagels are already multicolored long before they're put on sale, and working with them every day gives Rossillo "personal therapy."
"If you're having a shitty day," he says. "I'll guarantee this'll make your day better."
Rossillo, 49, grew up in Gravesend and boasts that he grew up in a bagel store. Over the years, rainbow bagels became a kind of personal hobby—fun treats he made in small batches for friends, family, and himself. But in 2015 he decided to bring them to the marketplace. Since that happened, Rossillo has made untold thousands of "traditional" rainbow-style bagels, red velvet bagels, pink and blue cotton candy bagels, and all-purple batches for NYU events. He's concocted sweet "funfetti" cream cheese to pair with them. His stock sells out daily, and on weekends The Bagel Store's rainbow offerings are all gone in three hours, sometimes less.
“I really look at it as an art form, I love what I make," Rossillo said. "I’ve eaten every one of my bagels thousands and thousands of times, but I don’t need to do that in order to maintain a creative aspect any longer.”
When it comes to flavor, the batches can differ, based on which colors and ingredients are inspiring Rossillo on any given day (during a visit last month, the baker confessed to being in a Disney Princess state of mind), but each rainbow bagel blends a light sweetness with a soft, hearty texture. In a world where donuts refuse to abide by sugar limits, or even sanity, the rainbow bagel is in fact a pretty sensible choice.
On a good day for Rossillo, five hours of mixing, kneading, and baking can yield two hundred bagels, but Rossillo admits that, were he sticking to a more monochromatic recipe, he could crank out five times as much product. "It's really a passion of love, not a passion of profit."
"The bagel industry in itself is very mundane," he assured. "It's very, very basic, and I'm not a basic kind of person, so I took it to a different level."
The Bagel Store is located at 349 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg
The Ultimate Smoked Salmon Bagel
Whether you're into smoked salmon, lox, or gravlax, this open-faced salmon bagel sandwich will blow your mind. Pickled red onions not only add an unexpected pop of color, but also a nice vinegary bite that helps lighten up the smokiness of the salmon. The capers add a salty depth to the sandwich, while the scallions add a nice, mild oniony bite. Buy good quality ingredients for an extraordinary sandwich.
For a fancy version, add some bright red mullet roe or deep, dark sturgeon caviar to the cream cheese. Or mix goat cheese into your cream cheese to add extra tang and creaminess.
Serve with an aromatic cup of Turkish coffee for an out-of-this-world breakfast.
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