Four years ago I tried to make a batch of Jerusalem-style bagels. They were far from stellar. The other day, Lior Lev Secarz emailed me a recipe for these bagels on which he swore. He got them from chef Mike Salomonov, author of the restaurant and book known as Zahav. The recipe is fantastic. I adapted it for sourdough using a refreshed young levain, along with Bulgarian yogurt replacing the labneh as called for in the original formula. My neighbors got lucky with a batch and left me comments too, which made me feel good about sharing during this pandemic period.
"we couldn’t even bother to clean our counter!"
This is Solomonov's formula, yeasted. Sourdough takes more fermentation time, but not much! Yalla!
1 packet active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1¾ cups warm water
907 g bread flour
⅓ cup canola oil
⅓ cup labneh
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 large eggs
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
• Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1½ cups of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, oil, labneh, and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Cover the bowl and let rise at room temperature until it almost doubles in volume, 1 to 1½ hours. Portion the dough into 6 to 8 equally sized balls and place on a lightly floured large board. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
• Pat one piece of dough into a rough rectangle the size of your board, then roll it up, starting from one long end, pinching and deflating/degassing the dough as you roll. Pinch the seam to seal. 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 1½ feet long). Bring the edges together to make a long oval and pinch to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces. Let rise on the board for 1 hour. The dough will puff up a bit.
• Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread out the baking soda in a small ovenproof dish and bake for 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and whisk with the eggs and the remaining ¼ cup water in a small bowl. After the dough ovals have risen, place them on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the tops with the egg wash, using all of it, and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Bake until deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.