No doubt the reason these are called bagels in Jerusalem, is because of the hole in the middle. But, as they say on TV detective shows, any resemblance to 'the real event' is purely coincidental. OK. So not purely but pretty close. In a previous post I showed you how to make Montreal bagels, a variation on the NYC bagels and to North Americans the only true bagels in the world. It's just not true! These bagels, found all over the Mideast but especially in this form, in Jerusalem have the required hole, but that's where the comparison ends. They are completely covered with sesame, and most importantly, they are not boiled like their North American cousins. Regardless, they are delicious, and these relatively thin round, elongated breads are crunchy as well. The sesame adds a nutty flavor you just don't get with other breads like this. Serve them with za'atar and olive oil for dipping.
Here's What You'll Need:4 1/2 cups AP flour
3 1/2 Tbs. sugar
2 heaping Tbs. milk powder
1 Tbs. dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbs. oil (olive oil is good but optional)
1 tsp. salt
Here's What You'll Need To Do:1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook until it comes together into a 'shaggy' dough. Then mix at medium speed for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and a little shiny.
2. Place it in a lightly-oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover and let it rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces (depending on the size of the bagels). Then flatten each piece. Punch a hole in the middle using you thumb, then stretch the dough (careful not to tear it) into an elongated oval bagel shape.
4. Place each bagel on a parchment lined baking tray. Cover and let rise a second time, this time for about 20 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Before baking, brush each bagel with egg diluted in water then sprinkle heavily with sesame seeds mixed with sugar and salt (2 Tbs sugar + 1 Tbs salt + 3 Tbs. sesame seeds).
6. Bake for 15 minutes until they are a rich golden brown and crispy. Cool on a rack and serve with za'atar and olive oil. Yum!!