Home Bread-Bakers v006.n063.11

Re: Bialys -- What's the Secret?

Sat, 27 Jan 1996 21:38:25 +0000
> I've made bialys from four different recipes in cookbooks; all looked,
> tasted, smelled wrong and had the wrong texture.  Only one cookbook 
> author (Joan Nathan) had the onion filling right (bread crumbs are 
> mixed in with the onions).  (The ones sold in bagel shops are almost
> universally wrong; they're not just bagels with failed holes and
> an onion filling.)
> OK.  What's the secret?  It appears to be a lost art.  I've heard 
> special high gluten flour.  All the above were straight doughs.  
> I suspect that the real, genuine item may be made with a sourdough 
> or with a poolish (starter).  Anyone know and willing to tell?
> Mark Judman (Mark_Judman@colpal.com)
Here's a recipe from "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" by George 
Greenstein. I used bread flour, which is essential and they came out very
authentic, quite different from a bagel.

2 cups warm water
3 pkg. active dry yeast
4 ts sugar
3 ts salt
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour
Flour for dusting (preferably rye flour for added flavor)
Oil for greasing bowl


3 tb minced onion
2 ts poppy seeds (optional)
1 ts vegetable oil
Pinch of salt

Combine topping ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl sprinkle yeast over the warm water to soften; stir to 
dissolve. Add the sugar, 6 cups of flour, and salt. Mix thoroughly 
until dough forms up and comes away from the sides of the bowl. 

Turn out the dough onto a floured worksurface and knead, adding small 
amounts of flour as needed, for 10 to 12 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball; place in a large oiled bowl and turn to 
coat. Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes. Press out all of the air 
with your fingers and allow to rise until doubled in size (20-30 

Punch down the dough, divide into thirds, roll out under your palms 
into ropes, and cut each rope in 6 equal pieces. Roll into balls. 
Cover and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Rollout each ball into a 3 1/2 inch circle. If the dough becomes too 
stiff or shrinks back, allow it to rest and go on to the next piece. 

Evenly space the circles on 2 floured or cornmeal dusted baking pans. 
Cover with flour rubbed cloths and allow to rise until puffy. Make an 
indentation from the center outward, leaving a 1-inch rim. A shot 
glass with a 1" bottom also works well. Press with a circular motion. 
Dribble bit of the reserved topping into the hole. Dust lightly with 
reserved flour. Cover with cloths and allow to proof until puffed up.

Bake without steam in a preheated 450 deg F oven for 15-20 minutes. 
Make 18 bialys.