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?
I'll have the recipe posted in a day or two (or three..).
Until then, you can find the recipe here.