This recipe is adapted from the book "Inside the Jewish Bakery" by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg. The original recipe is a straight dough made with yeast and I changed it up to use a white sourdough starter.
Bialys are mainly a New York kind of thing, and if you have never had one you owe it to yourself to bake some and you will never look back.
Most of the breads I bake need to rest 1 to 2 hours before eating, but with these you can feel free to slather on some butter or cream cheese when they just come out of the oven.
I am able to buy these from the local bagel stores on Long Island and I'm happy to say my version is just as good if not better using the SD starter.
Download BreadStorm .bun file here.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.
Onion Poppy Seed Filling
45 grams Dehydrated Onions
340 grams Boiling Water
14 grams Vegetable Oil
10 grams Black Poppy Seeds
4 grams (1/4 tsp.) Sea Salt
Add the boiling water to the onions and stir and let them sit for around 30 minutes or longer. Next strain them out and spread them on a piece of paper towel. Wring out as much water as you can.
Mix the onions with the remaining ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours with the ice water for about 1 minute. Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour. Next add the starter and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes and speed #2 for another 3 minutes. You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable. Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size. I used my proofer and it took around 5 hours. (Note: I did not make a fresh starter but used part of my mother starter I had refreshed a few days before which is why it probably took so long.)
When the dough is ready, divide into 12 pieces that are 85 grams each and shape them into round rolls shapes. Let them rest on a parchment covered baking sheet and cover with sprayed plastic wrap or a moist lint free towel(s). Let the shaped dough proof until they are doubled in size and the poke test leaves a nice indent. You almost want them to over-proof otherwise they will puff up too much which you don't want.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
Once they are proofed sufficiently take each ball in your hand and place your two thumbs in the middle and stretch the dough so the center is paper thin and the outside has a nice thick rim. It's almost like making a mini pizza.
Next, place a teaspoon of the onion filling in the middle of each shaped bialy and place in your oven. Place the cup of boiling water into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the bialys are nice and brown.