How to Make Brooklyn Style Bialys at Home
A bialy is a type of bagel that originated in Bialystock, Poland and was brought to New York by immigrants from Eastern Europe. Bialys are similar to bagels, but there is a depression in the middle instead of a hole. The depression is filled with onion, garlic, or poppy seeds. Bialys can be made in a range of sizes, from 3 to 4 inches in diameter to the size of a small pizza. Try this recipe for Brooklyn style bialys.
1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons poppy seeds
1/3 cup minced onion
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 cups warm water
7 grams active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 ¾ cups bread flour
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle with a light layer of cornmeal.
To make the onion topping, combine the oil, poppy seeds, onion, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together ½ cup water, yeast, and sugar. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Add the other 1 ½ cups of water, salt, bread flour, and all-purpose flour.
Knead the dough for 8 minutes with your hands or the dough hook of a mixer. If it is too moist, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry, add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Roll the dough into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn it to oil all sides. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 ½ hours, or until it has tripled in size. Punch the dough down in the bowl, turn it over, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for another 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
Punch the dough down on a floured board and roll it into a log. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 8 pieces. Lay the pieces on a lightly floured board and cover them with a towel for 10 minutes.
Gently pat the rounds into circles 3 to 4 inches in diameter. They should be higher in the middle than at the edges. Put the bialys on the baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap, and let them rise for 30 minutes, or until they have increased in size by half.
Use two fingers to make an indentation in the center of each bialy. Press from the center outward and leave a 1-inch rim. Put 1 teaspoon of the onion topping in the center of each bialy. Dust them lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put one baking sheet on the top shelf and the other on the bottom. Bake the bialys for 6 to 7 minutes, then switch the pans and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes, until they are lightly browned.
Remove the bialys from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. After they have cooled, put the bialys in a plastic bag to let the exteriors soften. Eat them fresh or store them in a freezer.