Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels – a Romanian Traditional Recipe


Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels


Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels – a Romanian Traditional Recipe


This is an old traditional pastry recipe from Romania. I didn’t find the real author of these soft, fluffy, flaky, crescent, delicious bagels soaked in a lemon flavored syrup, but all Romanians have known them for (at least) many decades.

I’ve red recently that The Bagel Store – a bakery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – created in 2013 something they called „cragel” and they sell it for 2,95 $ per unit. Well, we have here in Romania something very similar, very successful and we can have it for only 50-70 ¢ per unit. All the Pastry Shops sell these soft croissant style sweet bagels and you will never find even a single Romanian Baker or Pastry Chef who doesn’t know how to prepare them.

So, these wonderful bagels are made from a rich, buttery, nice flavored, leavened dough which is very similar to the croissant dough. We call them “Polish Bagels”, nobody knows the reason why, but everybody loves them. When they are baked, shortly after they came out from the oven, they are soaked in a delicious syrup, made from water, sugar, honey and lemon – and that is particularly the reason why these traditional bagels are loved by so many people. So, before you come to Romania, maybe you would like to try these gorgeous, delicious, heavenly bagels 🙂


Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels 2


Ingredients Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels

 For the dough

  • 50 g soft butter
  • 150 ml milk
  • 7 g active dry yeast
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 20 g vanilla sugar
  • 30 g honey
  • 1 egg
  • 300 g flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon oil


For glaze

  • 70 g soft butter
  • 1 egg, beaten


For syrup

  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 600 ml water
  • 50 g honey
  • fresh juice and zest from ½ small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels 3


Directions Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels


Mix flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a hole in the center.

Put milk, butter and granulated sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer under medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Add yeast and let sit for a few minutes. Add the egg, vanilated sugar, honey and lemon zest. Pour the mixture over the flour and knead (by hand or using the mixer with the dough hook attached) until you get a smooth, elastic dough. Shape the dough into a big lump, rub it with oil, cover and let rise until it doubles in size (it takes 30-60 minutes, depending on room temperature).

Transfer the dough onto the work surface and roll it into a rectangular shape. Spread evenly the soft butter all over the dough surface. Then fold the dough in three, then bring the ends toward the middle, as seen in the pictures below. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the refrigerator until the butter hardens (minimum 30 minutes).

Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagelsa

Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels – a Romanian Traditional Recipe

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put water, sugar and lemon zest into a saucepan and boil for a few minutes. Then take off the heat, add honey, rum, homogenize and let cool.

Prepare a baking tray and coat it with baking paper.

Roll the dough into a rectangular shape for approximately 20/40 cm. Cut strips of 40 cm length and 1,5 cm width, twist them, form bagels and place them onto the tray.

Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels b

Cover the bagels with a towel and place the tray in a warm place, to rise for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 175 Celsius degrees.

Brush the bagels with beaten egg and bake in the oven until nicely browned (20-30 minutes).

Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels c


When ready, remove the tray from oven and allow to cool. Pour syrup over warm bagels. The bagels will absorb the syrup in a few minutes. Serve immediately.

Soft Croissant Style Sweet Bagels 4