Jerusalem Bagels

I had such a hard time finding a good recipe for Jerusalem bagels on the internet. I finally found one in my book of new Israeli food which is a good recipe, except for the tiny fact that the recipe does not contain salt…

In the times I forgot to add salt to my bread I was very disappointed, as the result it a bland and boring bread. The recipe I post here is the one found in the book plus salt, and I also use another method to shape the breads.  These bagels taste better when eaten right away, and are best fresh from the oven. The secret ingredient is powdered milk. I bought it especially for these bagels and it really makes a difference.

They are great to eat warm out of the hand with just some za’atar to dip.

The picture above was taken on September 2008 in Jerusalem, Jaffa gate, where these nice bagels were rested on the stones.

To make 3 big bagels

300 gram bread flour

10 gram fresh yeast

20 gram sugar

30 ml oil

1 heaping tablespoon powdered milk

180 ml lukewarm water

Sesame seeds

1 egg (to make eggwash)

Mix the first six ingredients into a smooth and slightly sticky dough.

Transfer it to a bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in size

Flour your worktop, divide the dough into three equal parts and roll them into balls. Flatten the balls and press your thumb through the center to make a hole. Gradually expand the whole by rolling your fingers through the hole until you have a nice and thin bagel.

Put some baking paper on your baking tray and arrange the bagel in the oval shape on the paper. Remember that the bagel will double in size again so you should space them and also make sure the whole in the middle is big enough (as you can see in the picture, that’s where I went wrong a bit). Mix the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the bagel with it, generously cover the bagel with the sesame seeds, the egg wash works as glue . (you can use much more sesame seeds than you see in this picture)

Cover and let the bagel rise again until doubled. Preheat the oven to 180C(350F). Bake the bagels for about 15 minutes or until golden with a bit of darker under sides.

Let them cool slightly before you attack. If you want them to be softer, let them cool down under a kitchen towel.

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4 thoughts on “Jerusalem Bagels

  1. I love bagels. My favourite are salmon and cream cheese. Now I want to try one of your Jerusalem bagels with my favourite filling.
    I’m sure there is enough salt flavour in the salmon so may try your recipe with the salt, then without the salt and see which is best.

    Thanks for the recipe anyway.

  2. Like you, I’ve looked for a Jerusalem Bagel recipe online not finding one. Barnes & Noble had an Israeli cookbook with an identical recipe as yours which I tried. I too, thought it tasted bland compared to the bagels I had eaten in Jerusalem a couple months ago. When I checked to see if the recipe I used called for salt (your recommendation) I found it didn’t. Instead of sugar, I used Stevia (natural sweetener) and thought that might be the problem. I’ll try the recipe again using regular sugar and salt. Thanks.

    I’m anxious to use the za’atar I bought back on a tasty bread.

    • Sometimes we have to ignore recipes a bit and follow our instincts. If you can find milk powder, this is also a key ingredient to get the special flavor. And the za’atar is the perfect finish for it (you can also use it in salads, marinates, eggs). I hope you had a nice time in Jerusalem, have fun baking…

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