When were bagels invented?

Anyone who thinks the bagel is just a bun with a hole in the middle is far from it. The pastry is not only traditional, but is also unique in its production. What is so special about the dough ring?

The preparation - what makes the bagel special

The bagel dough consists of classic yeast dough, i.e. flour, water, salt and yeast. Rings are then formed from this and stored in a cool place overnight. In this way the yeast cannot ferment, the taste becomes more intense and a harder crust forms. The next step gives the bagel its characteristic shine: it is briefly boiled in hot water - often in sugar or honey water, depending on the variant. Only then does it go into the oven. The result is crispy baked goods with a soft core on the outside.

How the Beigel turned into a bagel

The bagel is a traditional Jewish pastry from Eastern Europe. The Americanized term bagel originated from the Yiddish word Beigel or Beugal, derived from the verb beigen (to bow). Its origin is dated to the year 1610 by Jewish sources. But you don't know exactly. Too many different stories are circulating about the making of the bagel for that.

How the bagel got to its hole

Theory number one: strict Jews are forbidden to work on the Sabbath. This also included the preparation of meals. So the Jews found a way to freshly prepare the bagels even after the Sabbath was over. They formed the dough the day before and kept it cool until they were allowed to "bring it back to life" on the Sabbath day after sunset by poaching it in hot water. Since even touching dough was forbidden on the Sabbath, the bagels were stored on wooden poles so that they could still be transported. This is how the bagel got its trademark: the hole in the middle.

The bagel as a pastry

According to another theory, bagels were the pastries used by Jewish peddlers - a common activity for Eastern European Jews at the time. If one adhered to the Jewish religious laws, hands had to be washed every time before eating bread. Since this was often difficult on the way, the bread was boiled in hot water beforehand. In this way, the pastry lost its bread status and it could be eaten on the go without washing your hands beforehand.

The bagel as a stirrup

In the best-known tradition it is said that a Jewish master baker from Vienna made the first bagel in 1683 for the Polish King Jan III. baked: As a gift for the victory over the Turks. Since the king is said to have been a passionate rider, the baker shaped the dough like a stirrup.

What is certain, however, is that Polish-Jewish immigrants brought the bagel with them to the USA at the end of the 19th century. Since then it has become an integral part of the food culture, especially in New York. In the USA it is traditionally eaten with cream cheese or with salmon. The bagel finally found its way back to Europe as a "re-import" from the USA.

The latest trend: Rainbow Bagels from New York