The Baygeleh may be the perfect way to celebrate National Bagel Day

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Whether served with eggs and cheese or with cream cheese and lox, bagels are some of America’s most popular breakfast breads. It is also well deserved!

For National Bagel Day on January 15, there are plenty of places across the country to strike a deal on a typical bagel breakfast sandwich. There really is no problem with a hot and fresh bagel. They’re easy to grab and take, and pretty much guaranteed to be satisfying and filling.

But what if there was an option to enjoy a bagel that isn’t just a traditional (and rather basic) choice of fresh or toasted, poppy or sesame?

The Israeli version of the basic bagel is the Baygeleh, known as the Jerusalem bagel. And, for those who haven’t tried it yet, National Bagel Day is a great opportunity to give baking a spin.

“Like all regional bread products in Israel, baygeleh are baked all day and eating them when they come out of the oven or from one of the local street vendors is like having a little piece of bakery heaven” said Ellen Shapiro, the director of public relations for Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, who said these baked goods are often dipped in zaatar (a mixture of dried spices that may include hyssop, sesame seeds grilled, salt and sumac, oregano and thyme).

Here’s how to make Jerusalem bagels at home!

(This recipe is taken from Israel Soul by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Reproduced with permission from Rux Martin Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Makes 6 small or 8 large bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 sachet of active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup of lukewarm water
  • 4 cups of bread flour
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup of labneh
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • Sesame seeds, to sprinkle

To prepare:

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Let stand until frothy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, oil, labneh and salt and mix until the dough comes together.
  4. Cover the bowl and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, 1 to 1.5 hours.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 evenly sized balls and place it on a large, lightly floured board.
  6. Cover with a tea towel and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  7. Pat a piece of dough onto a rough rectangle the size of your board, then roll it up starting with one long end, pinching and deflating / degassing the dough as you roll.
  8. Pinch the seam to seal.
  9. Continue rolling the dough into a long rope using both hands, starting in the middle and moving outward to make it as even as possible (it should be about 1 ½ feet long).
  10. Bring the edges together to form a long oval and pinch to seal.
  11. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
  12. Let sit on the board for an hour. The dough swells a little.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  14. Spread the baking soda in a small baking dish and bake for 3 minutes.
  15. Remove from the oven and whisk together with the eggs and the remaining quarter cup of water in a small bowl.
  16. Once the dough ovals have risen, place them on the prepared baking sheets.
  17. Brush the tops with the egg wash, using all of the above, and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  18. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

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