Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys

Apr 1, 2021Recipes0 comments

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

Learn more about the wild allium family.

Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys


  • 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


  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook, stir together syrup, yeast, and 1 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 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.



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