Bialy

Bialy Bagel, New York's famous bread known for soft, chewy texture and sweet onion-poppy seed filling. Make Bialy at home with this best Bialy recipe. The home baked version is even better!

A trip to New York's Bagel and Bialy Shop from your kitchen!
Bialy
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

Make Bialy at home with this homemade Bialy recipe. Bialy Bagel is a soft, chewy breakfast bread from New York with sweet onion and poppy seed filling. With this Bialy recipe, bread bakes soft, with signature air-pockets, have perfect balance of salted chewy bread and sweet onion filling. Closest,  even better than Bialy sold in New York's Bagels and Bialys shops. 

Bialy is a breakfast bread which when you try once, would love to try again. A must try for every Bagel lover. 

This Bialy recipe requires no-kneading, no dough machines. Only 5 simple ingredients and little time will help you get the best Bialys ever! The secret to soft and chewy, signature honey-comb texture is letting the dough rest. (read on to know more).

Bialy is also a self-sufficient snack. All bialy need is cup of coffee. You can go fancy with fillings but this post is all about classic Onion Bialy with filling of Sweet-Onion and Poppy Seeds. 

Oh, I'm also including instructions to make overnight bialys. So you can put them in oven while family get ready for breakfast. How good does that sound?

Let's bake Bialy for breakfast today! 

Bialy

Bialys or Bialies were first brought to US by Portuguese. This close cousin of Bagel is very famous in New York but not so much outside. I had it 2-3 times in New York's Bagels and Bialys shops while we visited New York a couple of years ago.

Recently, when I remembered those soft and chewy bagels from New York, I decided to research and bake Bialy at home.

Bialys Bagel for Breakfast

I tested a dozen recipes before I could connect the flavor and texture of homemade Bialy to the one I ate in New York. I have never been to Portugal but this recipe is the best version of New York's Bialys. 

Bagels and Bailys

First, let me share what is the difference between Bagel and Bialy. Both are breakfast breads but flavor, shape, and baking technique are different. Here are a few main differences between Bagels and Bialys:

  1. Bagels have hole in center vs Bialys don't.
  2. Bagels are more chewy vs Bialys are soft and medium chewy with signature honey-comb bread texture. (one of my favorite)
  3. Bialys are filled in center with filling such as onion-poppy seeds (traditional) or cheese etc.
  4. Bialys are also savory with salted bread and sweet onion topping in the center. You can eat Bialy as-is. I seldom need a cream cheese smear on Bialys.

How to Make Bialy?

You can make Bialy Bread i.e. mix, ferment and bake in one day, in about 4.5 hours.  I have also included instructions to make Bialys overnight. (see recipe card notes)

To make Bialys you need following ingredients:

1. Bialy Dough - Baily Dough is super simple and ingredients are easy to find pantry baking staples:

Ingredients for Bialy Bread Dough

  1. All Purpose Flour
  2. Instant Yeast
  3. Salt
  4. Honey
  5. Oil
  6. Water

2. Sweet Onion Poppy Seed Filling

Sweet Onion and Poppy filling is signature classic Bialy topping/filling. I can't imagine eating Bialys without it. If you are trying Bialy for first time? I highly recommend trying with Sweet Onion and Poppy Seed filling.

The ingredients for classic Bialy filling are as follows:

Ingredients for Onion Poppy Filling for Bialy

  1. Yellow Onion
  2. Poppy Seed
  3. Oil
  4. Sugar
  5. Salt

You also will need:

  1. A large mixing bowl
  2. Silicon (preferably) or rubber spatula.
  3. Work Board to work on dough.
  4. 2 Baking Sheets for baking Bialys.

Bialy Dough

Bialy dough fermentation and resting phases is the key to get perfect Bialy texture. There is almost no kneading required to make Bialy dough. Only ferment, stretch, fold and let dough rest a couple of times. This helps develop gluten and hence large air pockets, soft texture. In-short, the labor of time yields perfectly soft and chewy bialy bagels.

Fermentation:

  1. I start by mixing the dough ingredients with a silicon spatula until dough comes together. Mix the dough just until combined then let it rest for 5 minutes. 
  2. Next I mix the rested dough with silicon spatula (with big back and forth strokes) for 1.5 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Next, with oiled hand, stretch the dough, fold it so that it meets in center as if you folding a shirt. Stretch and fold once from the top and bottom side. Fold dough to make a ball. Leave on kitchen counter covered loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Repeat the Step-3 for 3 times. By the end, dough will be elastic, and bounce back when pressed gently. Leave dough on the kitchen counter covered loosely with plastic wrap. Let ferment until dough almost doubles in size.

Shaping:

Shaping dough is an important step to make perfectly looking Bialys. I highly recommend following the steps as shaping makes a big difference in how bialy hold the poppy seed filling. Trust me, I have wasted a couple of batches of dough when the filling will not hold-on while bialy bake in the oven.

  1. Once fermented (i.e. first rise). Gently transfer dough to work surface. Divide into 10-12 equal size pieces. 
  2. Roll reach piece to a tight ball by repeatedly stretching and tucking the loose ends at the bottom. This helps Bialy hold shape while baking and resulting bagels don't spread unevenly and are always perfectly sized.

Bialy Dough Rolled for Second Rise

Secret to perfect looking Bialy: Notice smooth edges on each rolled dough ball, rolled tight. This helps Bialy hold shape while baking and resulting bagels don't spread unevenly.

After the second rise, it is very important to shape the dough to perfect Bialy Shape. Here's how I shape the Bailys:

  1. After second rise, with oiled hand, gently flatten each bialy dough ball to even, about 1 inch thickness. Use gentle hands to avoid de-gasing the risen yeasted dough.
  2. Use a 1 cup flat-bottom measuring cup (oiled) to make a groove in the center of each dough ball. Press firmly almost flattening the center as otherwise bialy will not hold filling while baking. 

Bialy Bread Ready to Bake with Onion Filling

Secret to Perfect Onion Bialy: To make the perfect looking Onion Bialy (with the onion-poppy seed filling staying in-place while baking) don't shy while making the groves for filling. Flatten center almost paper thin. Don't worry it will still bake and rise fine in oven.

Bialy Texture and Serving Suggestion

After shaping, Baking Bialys takes only 10-15 minutes in oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Out of The Oven Warm Bialy Bread

Fresh baked warm Bialys are soft and medium chewy with signature honey-comb texture. These honey combs are what makes Bialy soft like pillows.

Bialys are best served and eaten fresh out of the oven. Even though Bialy will keep fresh on kitchen counter, in an air tight container, for two days. I highly recommend trying these either fresh out of the oven Or baked just the night before.

Bialy Bread with Soft Honey Comb Texture

How to Reheat Baily?

To reheat, preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place Bialy on a baking sheet in a single layer. Heat for 5 minutes intervals until bread is warm to touch. Keep an eye, don't overheat. Baily are ready serve when warm to touch. Serve immediately.

Overnight Bialys

Overnight Bialys means dividing the Bialy dough fermentation and Bake process into two days:

  1. Day 1 (night before breakfast): Mix dough, stretch and fold, and then leave to ferment (first rise). Refrigerate before second rise.
  2. Onion Poppy Seed filling can be made on Day 1. (or up-to 2 days in advance)
  3. Day 2 (morning before breakfast time): Bring dough to room temperature, shape and rise. Bake and serve.

There will slight difference in flavor and texture of Bialy made overnight or on the same day. Dough rested in refrigerator (Point 1 above) develops more chewy crusty crust.. So overnight Baily will be more crusty and chewy. 

Overnight Bialy

NOTE: Picture above shows the Bialys that I baked using overnight method. Pay attention to the rustic crust above vs below. Other than that, the overall flavor is the same. (See Notes in Recipe Card for more details.)

Homemade Bialy Recipe

Friends, this season, serve something different for Holiday breakfast. There is nothing more comforting than fresh homemade bread for breakfast with friends and family. Fresh baked Bialys fill kitchen with aroma of baking bread and delicious breakfast. Try these soft and chewy, sweet and salty Breakfast Bagels. Let me know how your family liked by adding a comment below. 

Happy Baking! -Savita x

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Bialy

5 (5 reviews)
Bialy
Total Time: (Idle Time: 3 hrs 30 mins) Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: American () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 12 Bialys - Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • Bialy Dough
  • 4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 1.5 tbsp Honey
  • 1 and 3/4 Cup Water (lukewarm)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil (for working on dough)
  • 2 tbsp Butter - Salted (optional, melted)
  • Onion Poppy Seed Filling
  • 2 Yellow Onion (small diced)
  • 1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Poppy Seeds
Smart Swap: Skip Butter and replace Honey with 1 tbsp Sugar for Vegan Bialys

Directions

  • 1. Make the Dough In a large bow, add all dough ingredients. Using a silicon spatula, mix until dough comes together. Resist the temptation add extra flour or water. Dough might look sticky. Mix the dough just until combined then let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • 2. Mix the Dough Mix the rested dough with silicon spatula (with big back and forth strokes) for 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. Additional Notes: I used timer on phone to mix for 2 minutes.
  • 3. Stretch and Fold Dough Spread 2 tsp oil on a work surface in a 11-12 inch circle. With oiled hands, transfer dough to the oiled work surface. Hold dough in oiled hands, stretch the dough lengthwise, then fold it so that it meets in center as if you folding a shirt. Now, stretch and fold once from the opposite direction (top to bottom). Bring it together in a ball shape. Place on the work surface, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Leave aside on the kitchen counter to rest for 15 minutes.
  • 4. Repeat Stretch and Fold Repeat stretch and fold, i.e. Step 3 above for 3 more times with a 15 minutes rest after each stretch and fold.
  • 5. First Rise By the end of 4 stretch and folds, dough will be elastic, and bounce back when pressed gently. It will also be less sticky. Transfer dough to oiled large bowl. Oil the surface. Leave dough on the kitchen counter covered loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until dough almost doubles in size. (about 1-1.5 hours)
  • 6. Shape Dough Once fermented (i.e. first rise). Gently transfer dough to work surface. Divide into 10-12 equal size pieces. Spray cooking oil on two baking sheets. Roll reach dough pieces into a tight ball by pulling and folding the loose end at the bottom. Place on the prepared sheet, seam side down. Repeat for all remaining dough pieces.
  • 7. Second Rise Spray or brush oil on the surface of dough balls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Leave baking sheets wit dough aside for second rise until almost double in size (about 1-2 hours)
  • 8. Prepare Onion Poppy Seed Filling Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add diced yellow onion with salt and sugar. Cook (stirring 2-3 times) on medium heat until onions are soft and turn light golden. (about 10-12 minutes). Take off heat. Mix in black pepper and poppy seeds. Remove filling in a plate and set aside to cool completely.
  • 9. Preheat Oven Place 2 oven racks on the top most shelves of oven. Preheat oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 10. Fill Bialys With oiled hands, gently flatten each bialy dough ball to even, 1 inch thickness. Use gentle hands to avoid de-gasing the risen yeasted dough. Use a 1 cup flat-bottom measuring cup (oiled) to make a groove in the center of each dough ball. Press firmly almost flattening the center as otherwise bialys will not hold filling while baking. Fill each bialy with a tablespoon of filling and flatten it with back of spoon.
  • 11. Bake Bialys and Serve Bake Bialys in preheat oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, in top racks, for 10-15 minutes or until bialys are golden. For even baking, turn sheet trays after first 5 minutes. Once baked, take Bialys out of oven. Brush melted butter immediately after Bialys are out of the oven. Serve while still hot. Enjoy!
Savita's Notes:
  1. Equipment: To make Bialys, you will also need:

    a. A large mixing bowl
    b. Silicon (preferably) or rubber spatula.
    c. Work Board to work on the dough.
    d. Non-stick or Oil sprayed Baking Sheet that is 500 degrees Fahrenheit safe.

  2. Onion Poppy Seed filling can be made up-to 2 days in advance.
  3. Overnight Bialys means dividing the Bialy dough fermentation and Bake process to two days:

    Day 1 (night before breakfast): For overnight Bialy, follow steps from recipe card up-to first rise. For second rise, cover dough with plastic wrap and container with plastic wrap and transfer dough to refrigerator. Refrigeration slows down the fermentation process. 
    Day 2 (morning before breakfast time): Next morning, take dough out and let come to room temperature for 1 hour. Proceed to shape and bake Bialys as described in Recipe Card.
  4. Serving Suggestion: Bialys are best served and eaten fresh out of the oven. Even though Bialy will keep fresh on kitchen counter, in an air tight container, for two days. I highly recommend trying these either fresh out of the oven Or baked just the night before.
  5. Reheat: To reheat, preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place Bialys on baking sheet in single layer. Heat for 5 minutes intervals until bread is warm to touch. Serve immediately.
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11 Responses

  1. I used your Bialy recipe for family breakfast on Halloween Sunday. As you said, it sure is labor of love but what a treat! So worth the time! My nephew and aunt ate two. Half of my family had never seen Bialy and asked where to get these lol! Thanks. I love your recipes.
  2. Hurrah, I can now make homemade bialy! Thanks for such a detailed recipe.
    🙌 Homemade bialy for breakfast! I hope you get chance to try soon. :)
  3. I've lived in NY almost my entire life, have seen these everywhere and NEVER tried them. But your recipe made them look irresistible and I just had to make some myself. I think, I like them even better than bagels now!
    Oh, we LOVED Bialy when we were in NY. Being a savory treat lover, I reached for Bialy right away. Plus these were everywhere. Now you can make some at home! Happy Bialy baking!
  4. these bialy bagels are truly amazing for breakfast but also at other times of the day. I will try this recipe
    Thanks Stella. Indeed, Bialy are great for breakfast or brunch. The fresh baked bread plus savory is SO my thing that I even eat these for dinner. :)
  5. WE love the addition of sweetness in the dough. These look so flavorful!
    Thanks. Sweetness is in the onion-poppy filling. Dough is salted and compliments the filling. SO good. A must try!
  6. That poppy seed filling sounds delicious. I have to make this for my boys. They will love this, I'm sure. Thanks!
    Poppy seeds and sweet onion filling is delicious! Plus it's a huge compliment to the salted soft Bialy bread. I'm sure your family will love it. Let me know when you get chance to try. Thanks.