Yid.Dish: Litvak Bagels

Litvak Bagels, Duluth, Minnesota circa 1900

(yield 5 to 5 1/2 dozen – this recipe takes most of a day to complete)

15 cups white flour

1/2 cups kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 jumbo eggs (at room temperature, leave out overnight)

4 1/2 to 5 cups water

2 pkgs yeast


Pour flour into large dishpan. Add salt, sugar, oil. Add eggs, one by one. Dilute yeast in a little warm water (110 degrees) containing a drop of sugar, then add to mixture. Add 4 cups of the water and mix well by hand. Gradually add a little more water, until you have a stiff dough. Bagel dough is sitffer than bread dough. Knead very well.

Cover and keep warm until raised double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again until double in bulk.

Put a large roasting pan full of water on the stove over a high heat to boil.

Take a piece of dough two inches long and roll with your hands into a spindle shape. Join ends to make a circle. Place on a tray or table. Do not cover. After all the dough is formed, start with your first formed bagles, now having risen again (to twice their bulk).

Put a few, maybe 7, in the pan of boiling water at a rolling boil. When the water returns to a boil, tip over bagel to cook on opposite side. When water again returns to a boil, remove bagel ot a wet wooden board.

When board is covered with bagels not too close together, put in 450 degree oven on top rack. When bagel dries enough to hold its shape and can be picked up easily, place it on bare oven rack in lower part of oven. When the bottom is brown, turn over to brown on other side. Watch the baking as this is a qucik turnover and food can easily burn.

(reprinted from the Duluth Jewish Fellowship News, October 1983)

Written by

Leah Koenig

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