Despite bearing the name of a bagel, Jerusalem bagels are uniquely Israeli, and rarely found outside of Israeli markets and restaurants… but I’m hoping that will change!
Jerusalem Bagels have very little in common with bagels as we know them across North America and much of Eastern Europe. Jerusalem bagels likely got their name from their ring-shape, but unlike other bagels, Jerusalem Bagels are oblong, and oval rings, covered in a layer of nutty sesame seed, and lighter than their dense, round, traditional bagel cousins.
Traditional bagels are boiled before baking, whereas Jerusalem bagels skip that important step and are cooked only in a hot oven. This step of submerging bagels in a sweetened water bath can make bagel-making time consuming, messy, and intimidating, which is why I love making Jerusalem bagels, a simpler, streamlined process that still satisfies my bagel craving. The best part, they are fully coated in sesame seeds, no skimping on toppings here!
While in Israel, it is common to dip Jerusalem bagels into fresh herby za’atar and enjoy it on the go, I like to think outside of the box, with a tangy, creamy, and herbaceous labneh-based ranch dip. Labneh is one ingredient I always have on hand. If you’ve never tried labneh, think of it as a mix between yogurt and cream cheese… but better! Labneh is a yogurt-based cheese made of strained yogurt. It’s thick, creamy, and a little tangy. Because of the yogurt base, I find that my lactose-intolerant digestive system can digest it without any worries.
No matter how you tear it, schmear it, or dip it, there’s no denying that these Jerusalem bagels deserve a spot on your table.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 7 g package instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup labneh
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
Jerusalem Bagels with Ranch Labneh
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
In a large bowl or base of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, warm water, 3 tablespoons olive oil, honey, instant yeast, and salt. Mix using a wooden spoon or the stand mixer until a smooth dough forms, about 8-10 minutes by hand, or 5-7 minutes using a mixer. If needed, tip it onto a floured surface to roll. It will be slightly sticky.
Remove from the bowl and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the bowl. Return the dough to the bowl, and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Once risen, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough into 6 even balls, slightly smaller than a baseball.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Use your index fingers to poke a hole in the center of the dough, pulling and stretching into a 9 to 10 inch oval. Place on the lined baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough.
Fill a rimmed baking tray or dish with ½ to 1-inch of water. Add the sesame seeds to a separate tray or dish. Dip the shaped dough into the water, and cover with sesame seeds. Return to the lined tray. Repeat with remaining bagels.
Let rest for 10 minutes.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden.
Meanwhile, make the Labneh Ranch. Combine the labneh, mayonnaise, parsley, dill, chives, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl.
Dip the bagels into the ranch.