Have you ever had a bialy?
Cary and his family introduced me to them, along with rhubarb custard pie, sweet potato casserole, and a lot of other wonderful things.
Bialys are like a bagels, but instead of holes, they have delicious onion and poppy seed centers.
Yeah, they’re pretty fantastic.
Also, unlike bagels which need to be boiled and then baked, bialys only need to be baked, which makes them easy to make at home.
Just prep your dough the night before (or that morning if you get up earlier than we do), let it rise overnight in the fridge, and then shape and bake the bialys in the morning. Delicious, homemade bialys in about 30 minutes. Add some smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers, and you have a bakery breakfast while still in your PJs.
It’s pretty fantastic.
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
(I’m submitting this recipe to YeastSpotting!)
Makes about 12 bialys
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
6 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose or a mix of flours – we like 5 cups all-purpose and 1 1/2 whole wheat), plus more for cloaking the bialys
2 teaspoons butter
2 medium onions, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1. The night before, make the dough. Mix water and active dry yeast in a large bowl or tupperware. Add salt and flour. Mix well. Pop it in the fridge and let it rise slowly overnight. (If you prefer, or forget to start it the night before, you can also let the dough rise on the counter. It’ll take about 2 hours to double in size. You may need more flour than usual for cloaking if the dough isn’t refrigerated.)
2. The next morning (or when the dough has risen), preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat butter in a large saute pan and saute the onions over medium heat until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the poppy seeds.
3. Pull a peach-sized piece of dough out of the bowl and sprinkle with flour. Cloak the bialy – pull the floured top around to the bottom of the ball, and then rotate the dough ball. Continue to pull down and rotate until you have a nice smooth ball with a lot of ends on the bottom. Place bialy on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat until dough is gone.
4. Insert both of your thumbs into the center of a dough ball, and then pull your thumbs away from each other, creating an indentation in the center of the dough ball and stretching it out to the sides. Don’t poke thumbs all the way through – there should be a thin layer of dough left against the parchment paper. Do this all the way around the bialy until you have about half an inch of rim around the outside of the bialy and a large almost-hole in the center. Repeat with the rest of the bialys.
5. Add some of the onion and poppy seed mixture to the center of each bialy. Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes, or until bialys feel firm when tapped. Let cool slightly, then serve with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers. Enjoy with someone you love.