The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ITJB Week 13: Bialys (3/3/12 - 3/10/12)

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Urchina's picture
Urchina

ITJB Week 13: Bialys (3/3/12 - 3/10/12)

I have to admit, I didn't know a bagel from a bialy until I got this book. But when I did I saw immense possiblities -- a bagel with the schmear baked in? How awesome is that? 

This week lets us flex our bialy prowess (or, as in my case lately, pretend to flex it -- one snag after another has kept me from baking for what seems like eternity!) and allows access to something that I can't find anywhere in this town, at least -- a filled, delicious bialy. 

If I actually do end up baking these this time, and I actually manage to take a picture of one before it is devoured, I will actually post a picture. And I will absolutely look forward to everyone else's photos!

hlieboff59's picture
hlieboff59

I'm totally obssessed in making the perfect bialy. I go to all bagel stores in my area to see how different they're made and everybody makes them totally different. Made these over this past weekend. This time I used only high gluten flour, which makes a world of a difference in taste.  Also used New York City water too. very chewy and tasty!!! My daughter loves them.

 

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Those onions look so good. Did you use fresh onions? One of the things that we all like about the onion rolls is the way the onions get all toasty. As I've done with them, I used the Onion Filling I (pg264) using the dehydrated chopped onions. The onion stayed soft and didn't "toast up" . Because it was a thicker mass? As you can see in the photo, I experimented with two different sizes. The first six I started from the center and then pressed and stretched the dough almost into a windowpane and then I thought maybe that was too large a center so for the rest I pressed outward but without stretching the dough much.

They were really good either way.

Since I have never seen one, I would like to know which type of onion filling tastes more traditional and which shape to pursue? I have a feeling that this is one of those things that you can learn in a minute (with a good recipe of course!) but you then spend a lifetime trying to perfect....

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

it looks like a successful bake by everyone. I used the onion filling in the book that called for rehydrating the dried minced onion... makes a lot of filling, that is why I added onion rolls to the menu... took them to a neighbor's for dinner with country-style spare ribs and baked beans, steamed veggies... we all enjoyed them.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Looks like you made New York City water famous! Great looking bake.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

We had great success with these biayls and everyone loved them. The dough reminded me of pretzel dough and I think I might try using it to make some later. Here are the pictures of our collective efforts in WA, and TX.

Aren't these that gmabaking2 made wonderful looking, the family really enjoyed them with cream cheese slathered on them warm. 

My sister's (gmabaking) family enjoyed these in Washington state... and really loved them. They look so perfect!

She really outdid herself on these.  I got a little "creative" for my husband, who isn't as into onions as we are, and made him some blackberry centered biayls, not sure they would still be called that?!

and finished up my left over onion filling with some onion rolls, making it all in all a great combined effort, sisterly baking day.

Had a great time... Thank you for starting this challenge... looking forward to next week and next semester.  Happy baking, everyone.

 

varda's picture
varda

I've never made bialys before - and hardly eaten any.   This is also the first time I've ever put onions into any baked good.   What is the world coming to?   Anyhow, here they are.

Did I say how much I like this challenge?   It's getting me to make things I would never, ever do.     I was trying to somehow match the flour as described - "softer Sondomier winter wheat flours of 19th-century Poland."   I didn't think there was much chance of that, so I mixed King Arthur Italian Style and King Arthur Sir Lancelot.   Does that approximate a 19th century Polish flour?   We'll never know.   Hopefully it will taste good though.  -Varda

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I love the way your onions look like they got crunchy! You do good work.  The challenge is very fun. It looks like those will indeed taste good.  

varda's picture
varda

I think what you are seeing is that I cut up a dry piece of bread and mixed with diced onions, but I didn't get the bread small enough.   Should have thrown it in a food processor.   No worries.   I think my family will like this for dinner tonight with smoked salmon and creamcheese.   Yours look great and like you actually know how to make bialys, as do the others above.   I love the blackberry ones.   If I weren't trying to expand my horizons into oniony breads, I'd have those.   -Varda

hlieboff59's picture
hlieboff59

Came across this video of how to make the perfect New York bialy.I see he loads the middle with onions, instead of pressing down on them. Very very helpful. Chef Mark Straussman guides you along the way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqJLExaX0yc&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1&safe=active

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Very informative... I would have liked the onions to be kinda crispy.  Guess that doesn't happen. They were great though.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Sticking strictly to the Jewish bialy recipe by using onions, I strayed slightly from the rest of the traditional recipe and mixed it up into a Mexican / Japanese fusion sort of breakfast bread pizza thing made with yeast water that anyone would think is completely natural, if a little strange and weird, for the most part.  OK it is real strange and weird!

I also combined a nearly real Polish and a mostly fictitious Russian version of the bread dough with the standard Eastern European one with various modifications too.  But we won’t  talk about that for fear that too much change may not be good for anyone in the long run.  Added a crumb shot.  This yeast water makes for some very nice crumb holes, - soft and moist too. 

 

 

carlene's picture
carlene

 

I had great success with these bilays.  As others have said, I had never had bilays before, nor even heard of them, but then I am California born and raised and have never lived near a good bakery.  My interest in baking started young, as my mother baked all our bread growing up, but she never ventured from her one tried and true whole wheat bread recipe.   I am really enjoying expanding my bread baking skills with this challenge.  I did watch the video that “hlieboff59” posted.  Chef Mark Straussman really shows you how to shape the “rubber wading pool”.   I have never attempted to handle already proofed dough as much as this required and might have been too timid with making the centers thin if I had not watched the video.   I did dip the balls of dough in flour as he suggested, but think I like the shiny look of all of yours better. 

Carlene

hlieboff59's picture
hlieboff59

Hi Carlene, yours came out very well. you should be very proud of yours. I don't like shiny bialys. I'll be making another batch tomorrow and I'll be trying Chef Mark's method. Can't wait. Great job everybody. HL

hlieboff59's picture
hlieboff59

another question for the bialy makers, kind of 2 part.

Do you ues a pizza stone or baking sheet? and where do you cook them in oven?

-lower third, middle or top third of oven??

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

I used a heavy half sheet pan, one pan at a time, in the center of oven. I didn't know if the flatter, shinier ones were traditional or the softer, floured ones. So after watching that great video I floured some and not the others. I think the flour kept them softer which we liked better.  I think this recipe is a good example of how expectations are guided by appearances. Tasters expected the bialys to taste and be the texture of, the mass produced bagels they know best.  Good thing this recipe made enough for them to have a second one, which was more appreciated and enjoyed for itself!

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I used a sideless cookie sheet, slipped the parchment paper onto that... in the middle of the oven.

carlene's picture
carlene

I baked them on my regular sheet pans on parchment paper in the top third of the oven one pan at a time.  I shaped the first pan and put it in the oven and by the time I had finished shaping the second pan the first pan was almost ready to come out of the oven.  I was really worried about the high heat, but it worked just fine.

Carlene

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

no side aluminum cookie sheet.  I them slide them off the cookie sheet onto a baking stone leaving them on the parchment the whole time.  5 min into the 10 min bake at 500 F, I slide the parchment out leaving the bialy's on the stone.

hlieboff59's picture
hlieboff59

I came across this sunday morning video clip of these muslim guys that took over coney island bialys and bagels store.

Go to 3:01 in the video and watch how he forms the bialys. Pretty cool! One fell swoop and it's formed.

Maybe that's the secret so they don't puff up.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7388988n

varda's picture
varda

I teared up watching that little clip.   What a story.   And the shaping?   OMG squared.   I wish I could do that - whatever it was.   Thank you so much for posting.   (And your bialys are beautiful too.)  -Varda