According to Wikipedia, my trusted source for all things factual, Israeli cuisine has evolved from a purely Jewish cuisine to a mixture of Eastern European foods and Levanite dishes. Among the many wonderful multi-cultural foods born out of this culinary cauldron is bagele with za'atar.
Bagele, of course, is the Israeli equivalent of the bagel. Although they share the same background and roughly the same name, the two are quite different. Bageles are larger, oval-shaped and sprinkled with sesame-seeds, while bagels seem to come in all shapes and sizes, with various sprinkles, and sometimes, coatings. And while bagels are typically eaten for breakfast, bagele's are eaten more as goûter; a mid-day snack. Then there's the Levanite side of the bagele; the za'atar part. Za'atar is the very staple of Middle-Eastern herbs, and consists mostly of sesame seeds, dried sumac, thyme, oregano and salt, among other spices. Bagele are thus eaten by tearing pieces of the dough and dipping it into za'atar. I haven't been able to find it in Norway, but I did bring back some from Israel. I know they seel za'atar in the States, but as for the rest of Europe; perhaps in Middle-Eastern stores? It's worth a shot :-)
Recipe by My Moms Recipes and More
28 g fresh yeast
83 ml tepid water
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 kg bread flour
625 ml tepid water (+ uptil 60 ml if needed)
2 tsp salt
1.Dissolve the yeast with the sugar and 83 ml tepid water thoroughly. Then add the flour and 625 ml water and knead well, until you're left with a homogenous dough. Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise for one hour, or until the dough has doubled.
2.Once risen, punch the dough down and add the salt, kneading regularly until you have a firm dough. Divide the dough into ten pieces and roll each piece into sausages.
3.Shape the sausages into oval shapes and let rise for half an hour. Brush with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let rise for another 30 minutes.
4.Preheat the oven to 250°C. Bake the bagele for 10 minutes in a warm-fan oven.
Yummy, just like the one's I had in Israel. Especially good when warm and rubbed with a good dose of za'atar. They're not complicated to make and take little time, so it's a nice treat whenever you're having guests over or simply wish to indulge your taste buds on a Sunday morning. In Israel, they're eaten as a snack, at the souk or at home, on a daily bases. They're still good without the za'atar, but if you do have the spice, you should definitely use it!