Saturday, July 16, 2016

Onions And Poppy Seeds and Babes

It's the 16th of the month so it's time to gather round the kitchen table and tell tales of the Bread Baking Babes. This month we are baking a delicious, round, chewy, onion filled, poppy seed embellished cross between a bagel and a soft pretzel called a Bialy. Our Kitchen of the Month is the lovely Judy at Judy's Gross Eats and she has given us two recipes for this baked savory personal sized bread.

Here is what she said when she introduced the recipes:
"This month, my friends, you will be baking bialys, a bagel-cousin from Bialystok, Poland.  This is only a one-step process – baking only – and instead of a hole, the bialy has a depression that can be filled with onions, cheese, or whatever you choose."

I chose the one with the poolish that you stir together the night before. It sits at room temperature and you make the dough the next day. Because I wasn't baking until late in the day, I added an additional flour/water mixture in the late morning to feed the yeasties and subtracted that amount of flour and water from the final dough.

I found that one large onion, minced and cooked, was more than enough for filling the bialys. For the salt topping I used a moist gray sea salt and sprayed the bialys with olive oil after adding the onion filling but before putting on the poppy seeds and sea salt. That seemed to work well, helping the seeds and salt stay attached to the little breads.

The only other real change was that I misread the recipe and completely skipped the two hour rise. That probably resulted in less light bialys but they were delicious and chewy like a good bagel, plus this way they were ready for dinner. It has been summer-time hot for the last few days, so I was happy that it cooled down last night (the fog came in) enough to enjoy baking.

These are really yummy and easy to make and fun to bite into since you get a nice crust on the bottom, chewy interior, soft onions, the pop of seeds and savory tang of sea salt.

Bake along with us and become a Buddy, with a badge for your post, by sending Judy an email with a photo of your finished Bialy and a short description of your baking experience for the round-up.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Babes, too. Bet you see some with whole grain flour and/or flax seeds!
Bake My Day - Karen

from Elizabeth Faulkner

Prep Time: 30 mins + 3 hours resting time
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: 16 bialys

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 onion minced, per bialy

17 ounces bread flour
9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces starter or poolish*
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 ounces warm water
14 1/2 ounces cold water

*Make the starter or poolish the night before with 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast. Mix together and leave out at room temperature overnight.

  1. Combine 2 ounces of warm water with the yeast to dissolve. Combine all dough ingredients together except the salt.
  2. When dough comes together, knead for 6 minutes.
  3. Add salt and knead for another 2 minutes. Set aside to rise for 2 hours.
  4. Roll into a log on a flour dusted surface. Scale out dough at 3 ounces a ball (about 16 bialys total) 
  5. Press each out to shape without overworking and leaving 1" lip around edge.
  6. Proof dough balls (allow to rise again) in warm spot covered with a clean dish towel for an hour or until soft and airy.
  7. Sauté onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until light caramel in color but at higher heat. Make center depression in each one and fill with the filling.
  8. Sprinkle bialys lightly with poppy seeds and salt. Bake at 450 degree oven, preferably on a pizza stone, for about 12-15 minutes.


  1. These look great! I found that just one onion was enough too! Weren't they delicious?

  2. Individual breads.... perfect. And bagel-like.... even better!

  3. That's what I love about bread. Even if you miss part of the instruction like forgetting to let them rise for 2 hours, it doesn't matter. Your bialys look perfect!

    I really like that they are a lighter colour (they're the colour I wanted mine to be but I was influenced by the resident expert who wanted them darker...).

  4. Personal size! Yes, they are and it hadn't come to me that way.
    Amazing how even when we miss something, we still get great bread ... well, pretty much except I know it really does change too much if I leave out the salt ;-( but not with these Bialys.

  5. I was wondering about the amount of onion too, 1/2 an onion per bialy.... but my onions are all different sizes, so I just eyeballed it. Beautiful looking bialys you made!

  6. Yes, one large onion was more than ample for my 12 bialys. If I would have made 16, it probably would have been the perfect scant tsp. I like your poppy seed sprinkles around the edges! Glad the weather cooperated!

  7. Your bialys look great! I like the poppy seeds sprinkled over the tops as well.