If you’ve ever had a true Bialy, you know it’s not just a bagel without a hole in the middle. Bialys are lighter than a bagel with an open crumb. Bialys are not boiled, so the crust is crisper than the crust of a bagel. Best of all, a Bialy gets a boost of flavor from the onion & poppy seed filling in the middle.
Today the #BreadBakers are sharing our favorite “seeded” bread recipes. As soon as I signed up for today’s event, I immediately thought of making an onion/poppy seed bread. At first I thought I’d do a loaf with a swirl of filling. Then I considered making onion/poppy seed rolls.
I finally realized where my brain was heading when I remembered a favorite bakery treat that I hadn’t had in years, Bialys! Perhaps you’ve never heard of a Bialy.
Born and raised in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City, I grew up enjoying New York specialties like Rye Bread, bagels, and the bagel’s lesser-known cousin, the Bialy.
You see, Bialys almost always have a “filling” made with onions and poppy seeds. That’s why I kept coming up with recipes that focused on onions and poppy seeds. I was having a food memory and it just took a few days for it to bubble up to the surface of my brain.
I’ve never made Bialys at home, so I researched a number of Bialy recipes and created a dough that I was happy with. While the basic ingredients of a Bialy are similar to the ingredients in bagel dough, there is one key difference that make this a totally different bread than a bagel.
As soon as a bagel is shaped, it’s boiled, and then it’s baked. Since the bagel goes right into the water after shaping, it doesn’t get a big rise. A good bagel has a tight crumb and a dense texture. Also, the boiling step creates a shiny and chewy crust.
Bialys are not boiled and the shaping process maintains most of the air in the dough. So a Bialy has a lighter crumb and a matte, crisp crust.
Here are photos showing the step by step process for making Bialys:
Since Bialys have a light crumb, I think they make a much better sandwich than a bagel does.
I like to slice a fresh-from-the-oven Bialy in half and eat it with lots of butter. You can spread the onion filling over the bottom half of the bialy before spreading on the butter.
Left over Bialys can be frozen. Unless eaten the same day, Bialys are best served toasted or briefly reheated in the oven.
- 1 3/4 cups (14 oz, 415 ml) warm water (110F)
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 cups (20 oz, 566g) bread flour
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- pepper to taste
For the Dough
- Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the bread flour and mix to form a thick batter.
- Switch to the dough hook if using a mixer. Add the salt and remaining flour and mix until the dough clings to the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. If mixing by hand add flour until you can no longer stir, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface to finish by hand. Knead for 3-4 minutes to develop the dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Set in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in volume (1–1 ½ hours).
For the filling
- Melt the butter in a sauté pan. Add the minced onion and salt and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned.
- Remove from the heat and add the poppy seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside to cool.
Shape the Bialys
- Generously flour a baking sheet.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion to a ball.
- Line the dough balls up on the floured baking sheet, leaving 2" between for room to rise. Cover the dough and set aside until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour. When you poke the middle of the dough it should spring back slowly. If it bounces right back it's not ready.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. If you have a baking stone put it in the oven to preheat.
- Generously sprinkle a baking sheet with corn meal. If you are using the baking stone sprinkle a wooden peel with corn meal.
- Working carefully not to deflate the dough, pick up a piece of dough. Use your thumbs to pinch the dough to form a depression in the middle of the ball and gently pull to form a 5" round. Set each bialy onto the prepared baking sheet or peel, leaving 1" between them.
- Spoon a teaspoon of filling into the middle of each bialy. If a large air bubble forms on the surface of the dough, poke or pinch to deflate.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.
- Cool before serving.
You might also like:
Thanks to Mayuri Patel of Mayuri’s Jikoni for hosting today’s event. Check out these other wonderful seeded bread recipes:
- Almond Poppyseed Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Crunchy Seed Braid from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- Fennel and Poppy Seed Rolls from Mayuri’s Jikoni
- Onion & Poppy Seed Bialys from Baking Sense
- Savory Seeded Focaccia from Palatable Pastime
- Seeded Ficelle Bread from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Siddu from The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen
- Six-Seed Soda Bread from Food Lust People Love
- Sugarless Multiseed Rye Bread from CookwithRenu
- Tangzhong Method French Loaf With Seeds from Sneha’s Recipes
- Vegan Seeded Challah Bread from Cook’s Hideout
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.