December 8, 2020

Simplifying Bagels | Vintage Jewish Bagel Recipe (1921)

This recipe is from the Settlement Cook Book (1921). Written by progressive reformer, Elizabeth Black Kander, the book was so popular, it went through 35 editions from 1901 to 1940.  

Kander, was the daughter of Jewish, English and Bavarian immigrants.  She was a  member of many charity organizations, such as the Ladies Relief Sewing Society, the National Council of Jewish Women, and founded the Settlement House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  

The Settlement House was part of the Settlement Movement which was a philanthropic response to Nativism, racism, and calls for restrictive immigration policies in the early 20th century. Followers of the movement lived and worked among the poor with an aim to reform society by working for better labor standards, education, living conditions, and healthcare. The Settlement House provided Eastern European immigrants, classes on English, sewing, and cooking. The Settlement Cook book was used in their cooking classes and also raised money to fund their mission. 

The earlier editions of the cook book were focused on helping immigrants assimilate and contained many Eastern European recipes, but specifically Jewish and Kosher recipes were added in later editions including holiday recipes. 

I was interested in trying this recipe because "bagel pretzel rolls" intrigued me. I always thought making bagels was too hard but it ended up being easy and it cost less that a $1 for 12 bagels. Seeing the process done in the home and not in a bagel shop really demystifies the process. 


Vintage Jewish Bagel Recipe 


- 1 cup warm Milk 
- 1 Yeast Cake or 1 Tablespoon of Yeast 
- 1/4 Cup Butter, melted but cool
- 1 Egg, seperated 
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar 
- 3 3/4 Cups Flour 
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt 


Stir the sugar into the warm milk . Pour yeast on top of the warm milk, let sit a minute and stir in.  Pour Flour, yeast, egg white, butter, and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix until it is too hard to mix with a spoon then use hands. Knead for about 6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let rise, covered for 1 hour. Punch the dough down, cut it in two. Set aside half covered. Cut the other half into 6 pieces and roll into bagel shapes. Seal with water and place on a greased baking pan.

 For the cinnamon version, roll out the other half of the dough, coat the dough with water and sprinkle with a mixture of 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon. Cut into 6 pieces an roll into bagel shapes and put on a greased cookie sheet. 

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Bring a large, shallow pot of water to just below simmering. Put your bagels in a few at a time and cook for 20 seconds. Flip them over and cook another 20 seconds. Remove to a greased cookie pan. Lightly brush the bagels with a mixture of egg yolk and water. Add your toppings ( I used poppy seeds and almonds on top of the cinnamon ones as the recipes called for). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  

For those asking where I got my tray, it's this one painted.


This is an early version of The Settlement Cook Book:

The links above are affiliate links. Please support my work. 


  1. Ooh! They're kind of like Montreal style bagels with the enriched dough. I have to give this recipe a try.


Tell me what you think!

Copyright © 2008-2020 Stephanie Ann Farra. All rights reserved.

All materials posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by Stephanie Ann Farra. Any reproduction, retransmissions, or republication of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless the author has explicitly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or republish the material. All other rights reserved.