A bialy could be called a cousin of the bagel. It's an enticing flatbread that's topped with onion and poppy seed and baked crisp. Like the bagel, they go well with cream cheese.
1 1/2 cups warm water (110°F to 115°F | 45°C )
5 teaspoons dry active yeast
5 teaspoons granulated sugar
5 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup finely minced onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon coarse salt for sprinkling (optional)
Approximately 1/4 cup corn meal for baking sheet
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar; let yeast mixture set for 5 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in one cup of the flour and salt into the yeast mixture, mixing well. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Attach dough hook or hand knead 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with a floured dish cloth and allow dough to rest for about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment and lightly sprinkle with the corn meal.
- Combine the onion, oil and poppy seeds for the topping. Set aside.
- Punch down dough and divide in half. Divide each half section of dough into six equal pieces. Allow dough to rest ten minutes. Roll or stretch each portion into a 4 to 5-inch oval or circle, being careful not to overwork the dough. Place bialys on prepared baking sheets. Lightly glaze with egg wash. Spoon about two teaspoons of prepared onion topping and, if desired, sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Cover with a floured dish cloth and allow to rise 30 to 40 minutes or until puffy.
- Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Watch closely, if bialys are browning too fast, reduce heat to 425°F (220°C).
Makes 12 bialys.
- For thicker bialys (great for sandwiches) allow to rise longer.
- For thinner bialys, reduce rising period.
- Bialys freeze very well.