Thursday, January 25, 2007


this is a recipe as per author, maggie glezer. baigeleh are a type of pita bread which are often seen in israel and made into all sorts of sandwiches.

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
this is something you should make when you have several hours to play around with, not to be made if you are in a hurry or have little patience. you can make the dough the night before and refrigerate it and then restart it the next day. you have two stopping points that you can take advantage of which should cut some of the time off and lessen the workload.


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!


slurry mixture:

3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/3 c warm water

1 tbsp vegetable oil

dough ingredients:

2 1/4 c flour
1 1/4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 c sesame seeds



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.


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.


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.



Anonymous said...

bookmarked 2 try :D

Anonymous said...

yay! you used normal measurements too :D

burekaboy — said...

hey sarina - they're fun to squish flat! :X normal measurements? **runs off to switch to metric** ;D

hope you have fun making them. be sure to make some sandwiches from them.

Pamela said...

Hi Burekaboy,

Do they perhaps have something like 36 hours in a day over there in Montreal? How do you manage to get all this cooken done!! I'm impressed!

burekaboy — said...

pammie - hehe, are you crazy!? i have a "reserve" of things from before. i'd be 1,000 lbs if i made and ate this stuff every day!

Anonymous said...

omg... ! i thought you were making these in 'real time' LOLZ!

burekaboy — said...

sarina - lots of the stuff yeah, real time. this was from a few weeks ago though.

Krithika said...

looks fantastic !

Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

I really really really want to make these... have an Israeli food party, olives, feta, cucumber/tomato salad, falafel, roasted eggplant, some of your za'atar thingies, too, maybe...

Now all I have to do is figure out how to get rid of all the clutter in my "dining room" and the rest of the house so that I can fit other people in here! :)

Hey, have you done a plain old pita recipe?

burekaboy — said...

krithika - thank you :)

emily - i think you really, really, really should make these :) LOL. they're actually fun to make and produce a fantastic bread for a sandwich; i usually end up cutting them in quarters (after they've been grilled) as they're big. i haven't done pita yet but it's basically the same recipe; i'm actually making some this week so i will post when that's done ;P

if you try making the manakish (za'atar ones), you can make them quite small for individual portions. i was lazy and made large ones in my post. just keep an eye on them bec they will cook faster in that size.

good luck cleaning up :)) you're going to need the space if you make the baigeleh, LOL. love all those mezze things. sounds like it'll be a fun party.

Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

OK, how big are the baigeleh when they're done? From your photos I'm guessing about 8 inches...

I remember the ones I used to buy in Jerusalem (ok this is 20 years ago) that were the size of a bicycle tire, and came with a little packet of za'atar...

One last question: bread flour or all-purpose?

burekaboy — said...

hi em - LOL -- bike tire?!? no, no, they're not THAT huge!! :P they're about the size of a regular sized pita so, yes, about 7 or 8 inches.

they do take a bit of counter space which is why i posted so many pix of them alone and together, and especially if you make the full recipe which gives you 10 baigeleh (just double the ingredients); they freeze very well.

these only need regular AP flour. the manakish also use only AP.

oh yes, on the final rising, perhaps keep them on the sheets you'll bake on as they are a bit difficult to transfer due to their size. i have a small peel so transfer was not too bad.

Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

Sounds good, thanks BB - oh, and if I do have that party, you're invited, of course! :)