Oct 9, 2018

Jerusalem Bagels | #BreadBakers

Jerusalem bagels are oblong sesame coated breads that are baked in wood fired ovens sold by street vendors in the streets of the Old City. They are a version of ka'ak, sold throughout the region, but, according to some, the ka'ak in Jerusalem are better than anywhere else in the region.

Jerusalem Bagels

These Jerusalem bagels are smaller than the ones sold on the streets of the city, making them more home oven friendly.

These bagels are coated in sesame seeds that are mixed with pomegranate or grape molasses. I used pomegranate molasses, which I found in a local Middle Eastern market. If you can't find it, you can make your own by following the recipe for the pomegranate reduction in this post.

You could also just egg wash the bagels before dredging them in sesame seeds. You'll get the sesame seed flavor, but not the tart pomegranate flavor.

Jerusalem bagels with sesame seeds

This bread is pretty amazing straight out of the oven. How often have you cursed a bread recipe that has said "cool completely on a wire rack?"

This bread is amazing straight from the oven, no holds barred, no cooling required. In fact, if you have any leftovers, freeze them to maintain freshness, and then toast or warm them in the oven or microwave before eating.

This recipe is adapted from the amazing book, The Palestinian Table by Reem Kassis.

This month, the Bread Bakers group is baking Middle Eastern breads. After the recipe, be sure to check out the amazing collection of breads. 

bread, artisan bread, kaak, bagels, Jerusalem
Middle Eastern
Yield: 6 bagels

Jerusalem Bagels

prep time: cook time: total time:


For the dough
  • 4 1/2 cups (500 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/ 2 cups warm milk (whole or low fat)
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Olive oil
Sesame Seed Topping
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons hot water


  1. Add the flour, sugar, salt, milk, yeast, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook. Mix on medium for two minutes. 
  2. Lightly coat a bowl with olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl and turn it to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour. 
  3. In the meantime, mix the sesame coating ingredients in a shallow pan large enough to dip the shaped bagels. Set aside. 
  4. Deflate the risen dough, and turn it out onto your work surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. 
  5. Roll each piece into a 12 inch or longer log. Form each piece of the dough into an oval ring, about 6 inches in length. 
  6. Place each oval onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and let rise for 15 minutes, covered with oiled plastic wrap. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  8. Take each oval and press the tops into the sesame seed mixture. Place them back onto the baking sheet, seeded side up. Let rest for another 10 minutes. 
  9. Bake the bagels in the oven until they are a deep golden brown, for about 15 to 18 minutes. 
  10. Serve warm with butter,  a spread, or a dip. 

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Jerusalem bagels with sesame seeds and pomegranate molasses


  1. Such delicious bread Karen. Golden and studded with sesame seeds that seem to be toasted beautifully. Love the shape. Sesame seeds in pomegranate molasses sound interesting.

    1. It really is! Thanks! The pomegranate adds a unique flavor.

  2. These golden baked beauties are looking absolutely amazing Karen.

  3. I just received a bottle of pomegranate molasses as a gift so I'm excited that you shared a recipe using it.

    1. It's good stuff. Try the cocktail I linked too =)

  4. Simply love the colour of the Jerusalem Bagels. Love the shape and its nothing like the original bagels. These ones seem much easier to make.

  5. Oh I love the idea of enjoying some fresh bagels with an interesting twist! I've never tasted pomegranate molasses on a bagel and I hope to try your recipe soon! Thanks for the lovely theme Karen!

  6. Another beauty! Having made the ka'kat I would love to try these too... and the list keeps growing and growing..

    1. These are amazing straight from the oven.... just saying....

  7. Those bagels look absolutely PERFECT. I wish I could take one right off the screen :-):-) Thank you for hosting this month with this wonderful theme -- loved baking my Middle Eastern bread and now have quite a few of below Bread Bakers recipes bookmarked to try soon.

    1. Thanks Pavani. I know what you mean! I want to bake every single one of the breads in the list.

  8. Another proof that you're a pro baker and should have a bakery of your own:):) Awesome bagel Karen!
    One small question; you mention that after the 2nd rise (before baking them), you dip them into the solution with the sesame. Is the dough firm enough so they won't lose their shape by handling them this way? Or should we brush them with the sesame solution?

    1. The dough is pretty firm, so there is no worries about it losing its shape. By dipping them, you get lots of sesame seeds on them, which is the goal. Thanks!

  9. Wow these Jerusalem bagels look so yummy. Takes me back to the streets of Jerusalem where I was trying to buy these yummy delights and the tour guide pounced on me and whisked me away sadly without these beauties. Thanks for the recipe will make it at home. :D

    1. That's a great story! I'm so sorry you had to miss out!

  10. Love the shape of these bagels they look so stunning can't wait to try them.

  11. OMG what a beautiful baked bread, love the crust and the beautiful golden colour


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