Saturday, January 19, 2013

Safta Yocheved's Bageles (Granny Yocheved's small bagels)

Baby bagels are known as bagele

It may not come as a surprise to you that we eat a lot of bagels here in Israel.

Jewish communities from Poland brought them to Israel, just as they brought bagels to the States, Canada and England. And from there the bagel basically conquered the world. The astronaut Greg Chamitoff even took a few bagels with him abroad the space shuttle Discovery.
When I first came to Israel, I was really happy to discover 'bagel-toast'. Your bagel gets filled with whichever filling you like (tuna, cheese, vegetables, spreads, etc.) and then it gets squashed in a toast maker. The bagel comes out as flat as a pancake - but totally delicious. My friends and I often went out in the evenings to go and have a bagel-toast, especially during the cold winter months.

Bagel-toasts are out of fashion these days and are not found much anymore. I only come across them in those obscure eateries you find in food courts. And they are not as delicious anymore as I remember. Maybe it is an age thing...

Another form of the bagel, is the bagele. Bagele basically means 'little bagel'. Most people just buy them in large packets in the supermarket, but my mother-in-law makes the most delicious home-made bagele. She bakes them for quite a long time, so they come out all brown and crunchy. Perfect for dipping into a steaming cup of tea.

The secret of her delicious bagele are the sesame seeds. She adds a lot of sesame seeds IN the dough itself. Instead of just sprinkling them on top of the bagele itself.

Yochevet's Sesame Bagele

Ingredients for about 50 small bagele:
200 gr of  softened margarine
1 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of oil
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2.5 - 3 cups of flour (about half a kilo)
1 cup of water
1 egg (beaten with a little bit of water)

1. Heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and line baking pans with parchment paper.
2. Mix all of the ingredients, except for the egg, together to form a stiff dough. Add extra water or flour if you have to.
3. Pinch of a small lump of dough and roll it into a 5 cm long 'cigar'-like shape. And now press the two side together to form a round bagele and place in the baking tray
4. Keep on doing this until you have shaped all of the dough into little bageles. I recommend that you sit and listen to music... this will take a while.
5. Once you have made a baking tray full of bagele, brush each one with the egg-water mix and bake in the oven.
6. The bagele needs about 20 minutes in the oven. They should be more of a dark-gold color rather than a light-gold color. If you take then out too soon, they may still be a bit raw in the middle.
7. Cool the bagele, make yourself a nice cup of tea and start dipping!

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