The bialy is a distant cousin of the bagel. Both were brought to New York City in the early 20th century by Eastern European Jewish immigrants. The bialy specifically comes from Bialystok, Poland. It’s dough is quite different than bagel dough, however, having more water content and no sweeteners or oils. Although this amazing recipe hasn’t caught on as much as the bagel has, it really is one of the world’s great, simple flatbreads.
Philip Gelb of Sound and Savor is a vegan chef, culinary instructor, and cookbook author from Oakland.
For the bialy:
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups white flour
For the filling:
- 2 large onions, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- In a bowl, mix the water, yeast, and tablespoon of salt until thoroughly combined.
- Add flour 1 cup at a time, first mixing with a spoon.
- Put flour mixture into a stand mixture or food processor to knead for about 5 minutes. DO NOT ADD more flour. The dough should remain moist.
- Place kneaded dough into a large bowl and let stand covered for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Combine diced onions with poppyseeds and quarter teaspoon of salt. Divide into 12 parts and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees with baking stone inside of it.
- Oil hands and divide risen dough into 12 parts. Round each piece, then flatten into a small circle with a diameter of about 6 inches.
- Stretch the center of each round until the center is paper-thin, leaving the outside thicker.
- Place some of the onion-poppyseed filling into the center of each round.
- Bake for 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve them up hot or with your favorite fillings.