Bialys recipe: better than bagels?
Thanks to the popular Thermomix forum for inspiring this bialys recipe!
Until I read a posting from “GertbySea” (a most entertaining member of Forum Thermomix) I’d never even heard of bialys. Described on Wikipedia as a relative of the bagel (from Bialystock, Poland) these semi-filled “breakfast buns” are even easier to make than their boiled cousins. Baked without boiling, and with the addition of a distinctive onion poppy-seed topping, (plus a bit of cheese tossed in for good fun) the bialy can be even more addictive than the bagel. But that’s really for you to decide.
This bialys recipe borrows its ingredient list from my Thermomix bagels. After that everything changes. The proving, the forming (no holes, just indentations), and baking methods all differ. And then a humble mix of toppings is added. The result is batch of easy peasey snacking buns that can be served with soup, salad, or peanut butter — try them sliced for making sandwiches. Great when gently warmed or toasted the next day, and they keep well too. As if!
- 280 g milk or water (I use diluted milk)
- 1 large tablespoon granulated yeast
- 20 g sugar
- 25 g butter
- 480 g flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 200 g onions, quartered
- 20 g oil (olive or other oil, but pref not coconut oil)
- ½ tsp. salt
- 100 g Parmesan cheese, already grated
- 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds (or more, for sprinkling)
- Put milk (or water), yeast, butter, sugar in TMX. Mix 3 minutes/37°C/speed 1.
- Add flour and salt. Knead for 2 minutes/interval dough speed.
- Remove dough and cover to rise for about 45 minutes. (I use a silicone baking mat to loosely ‘wrap’ my dough during this stage.) After dough has risen 45 minutes we’ll do two things: preheat the oven and begin prep of the topping. See note below recipe about timing.
- After 45 minutes, prepare a pan of water (2-4 cm deep) and place it on a baking tray on a lower rack in the oven. This creates necessary steam to give the bialys a great texture. Set oven to preheat at 250°C/475°F.
- Prepare onion topping: put onion, salt, oil in Thermomix bowl and chop 4 sec/speed4. Do not over-process. (Topping is best when onions have not become mush!) Cook 5 min/Varoma/speed 2, measuring cap off,
- Resist temptation to add cheese, it’s important that the mixture cools while you shape the bialys.
- Divide dough into 12-14 equal balls. Dough should feel soft and doughy and lovely – if sticky, add a dusting of flour. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Squeeze center of each ball while gently pinching and pulling apart with thumbs to create an indentation or shallow ‘nest’ shape. (Like a bagel, but with thin dough stretching across the bottom — no hole! A visitor in my kitchen suggested they resembled “little boats”.) Prepare all bialys as the onion filling cools slightly.
- Add grated Parmesan to onion mix. Mix 4 seconds/REVERSE/speed 3. Use a tablespoon to fill the bialy shapes. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Reduce oven temp to 230°C/450°F. Bake for 10 minutes on a rack above the water pan. Plan your next batch cuz these will go fast!
a note about cheese: it’s easy to substitute other hard or semi-hard cheese if you don’t have Parmesan. or, omit the cheese altogether. Traditional Bialys don’t have cheese, but if we have it on hand, why not? (I like to add cheese to just about everything.)
a note about cooked vs. raw onions: it’s possible skip the step for cooking the onions and just use chopped raw. When testing this recipe I tried it both ways (plus tried caramelizing the onions) and found that by pre-cooking the onions slightly as described above, the final flavor and texture appealed to most people. Feel free to do whatever suits your family best.
- see why I recommend this Thermomix forum
- try the Thermomix bagel recipe and more Thermomix bread recipes