A Frederick Food Garden

Growing (and eating) fruit and veggies in a little downtown garden

Tuesdays With Dorie — Onion Bialys


What is a bialy? Or, to be more specific, how is it different than a bagel. According to Smitten Kitchen, a bagel (which is boiled) has a crisp outer shell; a bialy crust is soft and chewy. Apparently, good bialys used to be found in NYC, but now they are practically extinct. They didn't make a comeback in my kitchen. My bialys weren't that successful. I'm pretty sure it was my fault, not the recipe's. Let's take a look, shall we?

photo 1I've never made bialys, so I wasn't sure what the dough should be like. It was softer than bagel dough, but firmer than a baguette dough. So far, so good. I followed the directions through the rising times and sautéed the onions. I even found poppy seeds in the corner of the spice cupboard (yay for me.) I divided the dough and rolled them into little balls. Using half of the dough, I flattened them into discs and used a fork to mash down the center of the dough. You can see the indents in the picture.

photo 2I put the filling on top and used a peel to load them onto the baking stone in my preheated oven. When they were finished baking they looked more like kaiser rolls. Sorry I didn't get a shot of those. They puffed up in the middle and most of the onion mix either burned or fell off. Clearly, I was being too gentle with them. Luckily, I still had the second half of the dough to experiment on.

This time, I mashed the center down really well, shoveled the onion topping on them, and smashed them down again. The picture below was taken before I smashed them the second time. I loaded them into the oven and baked them as before.

photo 3

This second try was more successful. They stayed flat, but now they looked and chewed more like bagels. They were pretty tasty, but I still don't think I got the hang of it. I might try them again and see what happens. What did you guys think of these? Has anyone out there had bialys before? How did yours stack up?


Author: cathybruce

I'm a graphic designer, cook, gardener, geek, wife, and mom. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. i love bialys, and was pretty pleased to make these at home. need to work on getting them to stay flattened, though!

  2. Mine puffed up as well, even though I too was quite aggressive with them. Maybe this is how they are supposed to be? They tasted good. :)
    Cathleen recently posted..TWD: Onion Bialys

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