Tuesday, February 11, 2014

TWD: Onion Bialys

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Lauren Groveman

The bialy (pronounced bee-ah-lee), is similar, yet different than the bagel, and originated in Bialystok, Poland. The bialy does not have the hole in the center like a bagel, but is stretched very thin in the middle with the edges rising above to leave an indentation to hold an onion and poppy seed mixture; whereas bagels are boiled before baking, the bialy is not, it goes straight to the oven.

When I pulled them out of the oven I was disappointed at first, at how brown they were. I knew I should have pulled them out when my olfactory (sense of smell) alarm went off (my sister comes up with the best words :)). I thought they were going to be rock hard. But once I cut into one, and had that first bite, all was well.

They may have been a shade darker than I liked, but they were so wonderfully soft and delicious, not as hard and chewy as bagels.

You can put sautéed onions on anything, and I would probably eat it. I only wish there was more surface room for the onions - well, there was quite a bit, but after baking, the indentation shrunk. A lot.

The dough itself also has sautéed onions mixed in, however they were not very discernible. I would add more next time, along with extra on the outside.
These were fun to make; I can see myself making them again (with extra onions of course). It took only about four hours from start to finish. Not bad for a yeast bread! Some can take a full day or two. They really are best the day they are baked - like most baked goods are. The next day they had a staleness to them. However, once toasted they had a new and deliciously different life.

The only issue with slicing them in half to toast, is the filling falls out. Once removed from the toaster, I replaced the onion mixture that fell out - spread it out over the entire surface, then topped it with a poached egg. Yumm!

I still have six more balls of dough in the freezer. I used all of the onion mixture (I love sautéed onions..) on the first batch. So when I make the rest, I'm going to not only fill the middle with the onions, but press some onto the edges as well.

You don't want to brown the onions too much - they will brown more when baked.

Mmm, can't wait..

Oops. No more onion filling for the rest of the rolls. I couldn't imagine using less.

Where did the indentation go? 
I stretched the center really thin, and pricked the hell out of it. I'm not familiar with bialys - maybe this is how they are supposed to be?

Do make sure to check out my fellow (and amazing) cohorts results. You can find there links over at the TWD website, look for the link LYL: Onion Bialys.

I'll have the recipe posted in a day or two (or three..).

Until then, you can find the recipe here.


  1. Yep, traditional or not, I wanted more filling too! They look delicious.

  2. Yours look amazing! My onion filling erupted out of mine and didn't look nearly as mouth-watering as yours.

  3. Whaooo!!! Amazing, I love your pictures, especially those where we can see the inside!!!
    I enjoyed them too, I used caramelised onions, a bite stonger but very yummy!!!!

  4. mmmm...they look great inside! mine puffed, too. thought I'd picked/stabbed them enough, but next time i'll hand-stretch them more.

  5. These look amazing Cathy! I am definitely going to make these. I've got to get my TWD rhythm back! Yours look so perfect!

  6. Cathleen, perfection my dear - your Onion Bialys look fantastic and your pictures are just amazing - wonderful rise and terrific color. Your depression are just right too - I just pricked mine before and during baking (after I noticed that they puffed up so much).

  7. Your bialys and the pictures look amazing. Yes, the filling does fall off when you slice them. I just froze some and refreshed them in the oven. Had it with cheddar cheese....yum!

  8. Moron that I am, my husband had to explain to me that when you toast them, use the toaster oven, and put both halves flat-side down. This way your toppings won't fall off. Duh.

    If you don't have a TO, its a good excuse to get one. Regardless, your bialys look perfect!

    1. Tammy---this is what I did! LOL!

    2. Great idea Tammy! I don't have a toaster oven - however, I'm sure the oven itself (broiler) would do just fine. :)

  9. I love sautéed onions as well! These were yummy!

  10. Looks wonderful! These were good. I'm so glad I made them. And no doubt will make them again! Next time I will work on my indentations.

  11. These look wonderful and I bet they smelled even better as they baked!

  12. So good, right?! Always more onion….

  13. I finally made these Cathy! Over a year later! Delicious!! Mine puffed up massively too =)

  14. I finally made these Cathy! Over a year later! Delicious!! Mine puffed up massively too =)


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