Christmas Spice and Olive Oil Bagels


Translating this one from what we actually call it home was a doozy. We call them “kolači na ulju” which would quite literally translate to cakes on oil. That does not make much sense or sound appetizing at all. So I figured they are a shape of a bagel and I’ll go with that, even though they are not technically a bagel, you don’t boil them at all. We make them mostly for Christmas and they are filled with spices and olive oil so here we are, Christmas spice and olive oil bagels name it is.

The flavor of these is amazing, they have cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves inside and olive oil gives it a beautiful aroma. It is a very dense bagel but with a drink (I do recommend hot chocolate, but coffee or tea will do) they are just perfect. We grew up eating them, for the longest time my grandmother would send us care packages with them at Christmas time, and then my mom started doing them too. When I moved to the US it was time for me to make them, and I must admit, I had several not so successful attempts. The key with these guys is time and patience, all that olive oil takes a very long time to rest and rise. Give yourself all day, its mostly down time anyway!



Christmas spice and olive oil bagels

Aromatic bagels made with spiced and olive oil
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
resting time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Croatian


  • 1 kg flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (melted in 1/3 cup warm water)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 oranges, zest only
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp active fry yeast


  • Put the flour, orange peel, salt and spices in the mixing bowl with your bread kneading attachment and add the olive oil. Slowly start mixing and adding sugar melted in water, add yeast last.
    You are looking for the dough consistency similar to the one you make for bread. If it’s too firm add a little bit more warm water. Knead it together in mixer for a few minutes then transfer into a bowl and set into warm place to proof for minimum of 3 hours. I like to let it for 4 or even 5 hours but for sure until you see it grew nicely. (It will probably not double though, it is a heavy dough because of all the olive oil).
     Transfer the dough onto lightly floured surface and divide into 14-16 pieces. You will roll each into a thick log and make a bagel shape.
     Put them on baking paper and on to the baking sheet, cover them with a towel and let them rise again for about two hours.
    I know, these guys are a marathon...
    Bake the bagels on 350 for 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and brush them with egg-wash. Return to the oven and bake until nice and golden brown, another 10-15 minutes. You are looking for a nice deep golden brown color in a done bagel. They are yummy when still warm, but I like them best the next and in the following days. They are best kept in a zip lock bag for up to 10 days.
    This is a dipping bagel. We eat it with coffee, tea, or my favorite is hot cocoa for breakfast or night time snack. It is pretty firm so it pairs well with a drink and the flavors are just amazing. It reminds me of holidays and home, but sometimes we ‘cheat’ during the year and make them because they are just that good!


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