Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys

Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys

Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys

These soft and chewy cousins of bagels are a stalwart of Polish bakeries, where their hole-less centers are filled with caramelized onions and poppy seeds. Get the recipe »Todd Coleman

These soft and chewy cousins of bagels are a stalwart of Polish bakeries, where their hole-less centers are filled with caramelized onions and poppy seeds. This recipe first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Dana Bowen's story Roots of Flavor.

Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys
These soft and chewy cousins of bagels are a stalwart of Polish bakeries, where their hole-less centers are filled with caramelized onions and poppy seeds.
Yield: makes About 1 1/2 Dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. barley malt syrup (available from iherb.com)
  • 1 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook, stir together syrup, yeast, and 1 ½ cups water heated to 115°; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour and salt, and mix on low speed until dough forms; increase speed to medium, and knead dough until smooth, about 8 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic and onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in poppy seeds and salt and pepper; set aside to cool.
  3. Uncover and punch down dough; cover again and let sit until doubled in size again, about 1 hour. Uncover dough and transfer to a clean work surface; portion and shape into about eighteen 2-oz. balls. Place 6 balls each on 3 parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced evenly apart; cover with plastic wrap and let sit until puffed, about 30 minutes. Uncover balls, and using the palm of your hand, gently flatten each into a disk; cover again and let sit until puffed, about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 450°. Uncover balls, and, using your fingers, press the center of each to indent; continue pressing and stretching center of each dough ball until you're left with a thin center membrane surrounded by a thick ring of dough on the outer edge. Fill centers of each dough round with about 1 tsp. onion-poppy seed filling. Working with one baking sheet at a time, place in oven, and spray bialys with water until completely coated. Bake until lightly browned and still soft, about 16 minutes.