this recipe results in a sesame covered pita-like bread which can be cut horizontally, filled with whatever you like, and then cooked panini style, weighted down, in a dry fry pan or panini press, if you have one. of course, it can be eat as is. it makes a substantial sandwich once filled and toasted, enough for two people or one hungry person.
unless they are baked closer to the element [heat coils], they will be somewhat white as they cook in only 4 to 5 minutes. they will brown nicely once toasted.
this bread is made in several stages:
- yeast slurry
- mixing the dough
- proving of dough
- scaling the dough
- formation of rings
- seeding the rings
- reproving I
- rolling out the rings
- reproving II
- baking the rings
the following amounts makes 5 baigeleh but the recipe can be doubled to yield 10. make sure you have space as they take up a lot of space for the rising!
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/3 c warm water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/4 c flour
1 1/4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 c sesame seeds
PART I —
make your slurry, mixing together the yeast, flour and water.
it will seem gloppy at first.
after about 20 minutes, in a warm place, the slurry will have activated and puffed up.
add the oil to the slurry and mix well until it is incorporated.
add the rest of the flour along with the salt and sugar and knead until you have a cohesive ball. correct with a bit extra flour or water, if necessary. the dough will be slightly sticky. cover and set aside to rise until doubled.
at this point, before rising, you may also refrigerate the dough. if so, remove it the next day and let it come to room temperature and then continue.
PART II —
later that night [in my case].....
carefully deflate the dough and place it on a floured surface.
separate [scale] the dough into 5 equal portions.
roll out each portion into a long thin rope about 12 inches long.
form the rings as i show in the following photos, bringing each end together and then rolling the joined ends together to seal them:
moisten the rings with a water mister or a brush.
coat both sides of the rings completely with the sesame seeds. i used much less than called for in the orginal recipe. better safe than sorry, however. you can put the seeds in a pyrex type container and dip them on both sides in it that way, too.
once the rings have all been coated with the seeds, place them on a floured surface with a generous amount of space between each. they will ise and may stick to eachother if they are too close. cover the rings with plastic wrap well so they do not dry out.
note that you can stop here, too [ignoring the previous stopping point], and refrigerate them now and continue the next day. if done that way, let them come to room temperature. that will take an extra hour most likely, so 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
PART III —
let the dough rise again for another 1 1/2 hours or until doubled. after resting, they will have proved nicely, as seen below.
taking a rolling pin, flour the surface if needed and then roll out each ring until it is approximately a 1/4 inch thick.
again, making sure the surface is floured, place the rolled out baigeleh well spaced. cover them and let them rise again for yet another hour or so.
the baigeleh will rise again but this time not as dramatically as the first time.
while they are rising for the last time, turn the oven to its highest heating, about 550 F degrees. let the oven heat for the full hour. move the rack up to the upper 1/3 of the oven.
place the baigeleh rings in the oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes. using flat baking stones is recommended as they do the best job to conduct the heat in such a short cooking time. if you don't have them, don't worry, your baking sheets will work also. do not overcook or they will dry out. keep them close to the top element if you want them browned. i baked mine in the center as i was using them for sandwiches and they would brown when grilled.
place the baigeleh on a rack to cool.