There's nothing quite like a fresh bagel to start your day! I recently learned about Jerusalem Bagels, the lighter, airier, more bread-like cousin of the NY-style bagel, and just had to share them with you.
And the best part is, they're super easy to make at home!
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*Original recipe posted November 29, 2020. Recipe updated (to add salt) on February 26, 2022
What are Jerusalem Bagels?
Jerusalem Bagels are a bit different from regular NY-style bagels, as they are lighter and more bread-like in texture. They are also baked only, no boiling involved like with traditional bagel recipes.
These bagels are lighter and less dense than regular bagels. They are easier to make yourself at home, too. Keep in mind that bagels do take a little bit of time to make, as they are yeasted breads and require some time to rise. I think you'll find these come together and bake up rather quickly, as far as bagels go though!
Traditionally, Jerusalem Bagels have a sweet sesame topping. This topping is a mix of honey or sugar and sesame seeds. In my version here, I use Everything Bagel seasoning instead of the sweet sesame topping.
You can use whichever version you prefer - I included a note in the recipe card about how to make the traditional topping.
Here's my New York Style Bagels recipe - because you should definitely try making both of them and tell me what which you prefer.
Ingredients needed to make Jerusalem Bagels
These bagels don't require any special ingredients. Here is a list of the ingredients you will need:
- Milk: I use whole milk because that's what we have at home. You can try substituting the whole milk with 2% milk instead. If you are looking to make these bagels vegan, you can substitute the cow's milk for unsweetened almond milk
- Water: straight from the tap, filtered or bottled, whichever you prefer
- Active Dry Yeast: Be sure your yeast says "active dry" instead of "rapid rise" or "instant". And, check that expiration date! If your yeast is old your bagel dough will not rise. In step 2 where you allow the yeast to activate, if your yeast does not foam up and smell yeasty, throw it out and start over with new yeast
- Neutral-flavored oil: I recommend using vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed or avocado oil here. Do not use olive oil, as the flavor is strong and will alter the flavor of your bagels
- Granulated sugar: whatever brand you have at home works here. I have not tried this recipe with sugar alternatives, so I do not know if those will work in this recipe. If you try it, let me know!
- All-Purpose Flour: Use whatever kind you have at home. Just make sure it's fresh (check that expiration date) and be sure you're measuring it correctly by spooning the flour into your measuring cup without packing it, then leveling off the top with the back of the spoon. Using too much flour or flour measured incorrectly will result in dry, dense bagels
- Salt: I like to use fine sea salt in bread recipes. I used to use kosher salt exclusively but switched over to fine sea salt recently and love the way it incorporates into bread dough. Feel free to adjust the level of salt to your liking. Keep in mind the Everything Bagel Seasoning also has salt in it
- 1 large egg: this will be used as an egg wash on your bagel dough, allowing the everything bagel seasoning to stick to the bagel
- Everything Bagel Seasoning: this seasoning can be found in most grocery stores in the spice section. You can also find it online or at Trader Joe's. You can substitute the seasoning for the traditional honey sesame topping (see note in the recipe card below) or you can substitute with any bagel topping you prefer
How to Make Jerusalem Bagels at home
To make Jerusalem Bagels at home, start by warming the milk and water then activating the yeast. Do this by sprinkling the yeast on top of the warmed water/milk mixture, add in the oil and sugar and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, the yeast should become foamy and smell yeasty. If this does not happen, throw out the mixture, grab some new yeast and begin again.
Next, sift the flour over the mixture and add the salt. Then, knead in a stand mixer or by hand for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky. Let it rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 equally-sized pieces (I use a kitchen scale to weigh the dough to get pieces that are all the same size). Roll each piece into an 18-inch rope. Press the ends of each rope together to form a circle, then gently stretch the circle to form an oval.
Brush the bagels with egg wash and sprinkle on the Everything Bagel Seasoning. Allow to rise in a warm spot for another 30 minutes then bake for 12-15 minutes.
How to serve Jerusalem Bagels
Jerusalem Bagels are best consumed the day they are made. Rip off a hunk and dip in good quality olive oil then sprinkle with zaatar seasoning. Or, you can slather in butter like a traditional New York-style bagel.
To store, place cooled bagels in a large ziplock bag and seal tightly. Keep at room temperature for up to 4 days. Or place in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze, slice bagels in half and wrap individually plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Serve your bagels on this Grazing Table!
I have not tried making these bagels gluten-free, however, I have had a lot of success substituting all-purpose flour in other baking recipes with cup-for-cup gluten-free baking flour such as Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur Baking brands.
Instead of cow's milk, you can substitute unsweetened almond milk. And, instead of egg or honey, you can use a vegan substitute such as grape or pomegranate molasses, agave nectar or date syrup.
Like this recipe? Follow me on Pinterest for lots more recipes just like this one! And don’t forget to pin this recipe for later by clicking on one of the images below the recipe. Or, click on any of the images in this post to save to Pinterest.
Looking for more homemade bread recipes? Give these a try:
Watch how to make Jerusalem Bagels
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup water
- 3 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup vegetable, canola, avocado or grape seed oil
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 2-3 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning
- In a small microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup, add the milk and water. Heat until approximately 90-95ºF.
- Put the warm milk/water into a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer if you will be using one) and sprinkle the yeast on top.
- Add in the oil and the sugar, stirring gently.
- Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, the yeast mixture should be foamy and smell yeasty.
- Whisk it gently to break up any lumps then sift the flour over the liquid using a mesh sieve or hand sifter. Add the salt to the bowl
- Attach the bowl to your mixer fitted the dough hook and knead on medium-low speed (2 on a kitchenaid mixer) for 10 minutes.
- If kneading by hand, do so for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and just slightly sticky.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Line two baking trays with baking parchment and set next to your work station.
- Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour and divide the dough into six equally-sized pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a thick rope, about 18 inches long. Join the ends of each snake and press them together to seal.
- Gently stretch the dough to make a long hole in the center. Place the bagels on the trays, 3 to a tray, evenly spaced out to allow room for rising.
- Brush each bagel gently with the beaten egg then sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning.
- Allow the bagels to rise in a warm spot 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Once the bagels have risen, bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the bagels are golden brown.
- Allow to cool on trays for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Baked bagels are best consumed the day they are made. Dip in good olive oil and sprinkle with zaatar seasoning. Bagels will keep at room temperature in a tightly sealed container or bag for up to 4 days. Toast if consuming after the day they are baked
- To make the traditional sweet sesame topping, mix together ½ cup sesame seeds with 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of water. Spread out the mixture on a plate and in step 4, instead of brushing the bagel dough with egg wash and sprinkling with everything bagel seasoning, dip the bagel dough into the sesame mixture, pressing the seeds gently into the bagels so they stick
- Recipe adapted from FromTheGrapevine.com
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