Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Kossar's Bialys

I know, they look like bagels, eh? The texture is quite different though. And the flavour? Amazing. I love the little hit of onion built right in there. Brilliant.
From Wiki:
Bialy, a Yiddish word short for bialystoker kuchen, from Białystok, a city in Poland, is a small roll that is a traditional dish in Polish Ashkenazi cuisine. A traditional bialy has a diameter of up to 15 cm (6 inches) and is a chewy yeast roll similar to a bagel. Unlike a bagel, which is boiled before baking, a bialy is simply baked, and instead of a hole in the middle it has a depression. Before baking, this depression is filled with diced onions and other ingredients, including (depending on the recipe) garlic, poppy seeds, or bread crumbs.

In 2002, former New York Times food writer Mimi Sheraton wrote a book dedicated to the bialy, called The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World.
Not only are they delicious, but they are easy to make and make for excellent picnic fare. And we are all about the picnic fare!

Kossar's Bialys
adapted from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking
for BreadBakingDay #43 - Bread with Onions

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
600 grams strong bread flour
1 tsp dry, instant yeast
2¼ tsp salt
390 grams cold water

olive oil
poppy seeds
sesame seeds

  • Grind the chopped onion in your food processor, stopping just short of puréed.
  • Empty out into a bowl, don't clean the food processor. Cover the onions and set aside.
  • In the oniony food processor, add the flour, salt, and yeast. Pulse to combine. Add the water through the feed tube while you have the machine running on lowest setting.
  • Mix in the machine 2-3 minutes. Turn out and knead by hand 1 minute.
  • Repeat 1-2 more times.
  • Let rise in a clean bowl for 2 hours.
  • Divide into 12 equal sized pieces and form into balls.
  • Cover and let rise 2½ hours.
  • Make onions - in a skillet, heat up a glug of olive oil. Add onions and cook on medium/low until soft and showing a small amount of colour. Season with salt and add in some poppy seeds and sesame seeds if desired. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Preheat - stone in oven on rack second position from the top,  475°F
  • Shape bialys - when risen, shape into pizza-like shapes, about 5 inches in diameter. Pick them up with your fingers and form a doughy crust with an almost see-through middle. (Make the middle a bit bigger than you want - it tends to shrink up) Use your fingers to turn them round and round until you have the shape and size you want. Put 6 down on a piece of parchment, evenly spaced. Repeat with the next 6.
  • Divide onion mixture evenly in the bialys. Press down on it lightly.
  • Bake - on the parchment, on the stone, about 8 minutes - turning in the last couple of minutes for even heating.
  • Let cool on racks.
  • Eat one while still hot - glorious!
This bread has been YeastSpotted!
BreadBakingDay #43 - Onion Breads (last day of submission September 1, 2011)