Jewish Krakover Bagels (Polish Obwarzanki Krakowski)

Obwarzanki Krakowski
Chris Brown / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Refrigeration time: 24 hrs
Total: 25 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
13 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 13
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 443mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 161mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for egg-free Jewish krakover bagels (obwarzanki krakowski) is from Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg's "Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking." Looking more like a pretzel than a bagel, these twisted ring breads are sold from colorful street food vendor carts throughout Poland, especially in the main market square of Kraków. This Polish bagel is crustier and not as dense as the water bagels that are so popular in New York City and other American cities.

The dough for this recipe needs to be made the night before, so make sure to plan accordingly. You can enjoy krakover bagels as is, as you would typical bagels sliced and topped with cream cheese or butter, or similar to a pretzel dipped in a cheese sauce.


  • For the Dough:
  • 1 tablespoon (22 g) diastatic malt (powder or syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (370 g) warm water (105 F/40 C)
  • 5 cups (680 g) flour, high-gluten or bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (14 g) salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon (2 g) instant yeast
  • For Cooking the Bagels:
  • Cornmeal, for dusting baking sheets, optional
  • 3 to 4 quarts (3 to 4 liters) water
  • 2 tablespoons (40 g) diastatic malt
  • Sesame seeds or poppy seeds, optional

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Dissolve the malt in the water in a bowl.

  3. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer set at the lowest speed, or a wooden spoon, blend the flour, salt, and instant yeast.

  4. Add the malt-water mixture.

  5. If using a stand mixer, mix with the paddle attachment until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes. If making the dough by hand, mix the dough vigorously for about 10 minutes. In either case, the dough will be ready when it's smooth, silky, and stretches when you pull a pinch away from the mass.

  6. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured surface, form it into a thick log shape, about 12 inches (30 cm) by 4 inches (10 cm), cover, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

  7. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and roll each portion into a strip of dough about 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) thick. Divide each strip into 6 equal pieces, and roll each into a log about 24 inches (60 cm) long and the thickness of a pencil. If you can't get enough traction on your work surface, mist it very lightly with water or swab it with a damp paper towel.

  8. Fold the log in half to form a double strip about 12 inches (30 cm) long and twist it into a tight spiral. Carefully seal the ends together to form a slender, twisted ring about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

  9. Arrange the bagels on a cornmeal-dusted or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover well but loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Cook the Bagels

  1. Heat the oven to 450 F (230 C). Prepare 2 baking sheets by dusting with cornmeal or lining with parchment paper.

  2. In a large pot, bring the water and diastatic malt to a rolling boil.

  3. Only remove from the refrigerator as many chilled bagels as you can boil and bake at one time. Plunge them into the boiling water and cook until they float.

  4. Drain the bagels on a cooling rack and sprinkle them with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if desired.

  5. Place on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until they are a rich brown color. If you aren't using toppings, flip the bagels after 3 minutes and continue to bake for another 12 to 15 minutes.

  6. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before eating.

  7. Enjoy.


  • Diastatic malt is a grain that is used in baking to create a dark brown exterior. It also promotes rising and makes for a nice texture in the finished dough.
  • If you're using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, stir it into the malt water mixture at the beginning of the recipe and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes until it foams.