The Fresh Loaf

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Ballooning bialys--I keep trying!

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joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Ballooning bialys--I keep trying!

I've been hard at work, trying to recreate the "classic" bialy (did it once, so why can't I do it again?).  Any insights will be more than welcome.  I think I may have the answer, but let me back up a minute.  I baked two recipes (a dozen each) from ITJB.  The first batch, baked yesterday afternoon, a hot one (95 outside and probably 82-85 in the kitchen), the second baked this morning (set the alarm, very disagreeable, but really no other way).  First attempt, I think the little dough balls overproofed, as they really did collapse when I reamed out the central cavity.  (BTW, I figured it takes 5  hours in all, with a lot of waiting time!)  So here's the result from batch #1, baked on a preheated stone, 475 F, with a little bit of shpritzing the oven before loading.  I used bread flour, not high gluten.  I stretched the centers, even poked them with fork tines before the "shmear" (well hidden, but it's in there!):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next is the result from batch #2, baked in the very early part of what turned out to be another very warm day, so a much more reasonable second proofing (albeit, I thought, a full proof).  I used high-gluten flour.  The result--a little more open, but still pretty "softball-like"!  I didn't shpritz the oven this time and put the stone on the middle rack (where I could watch the centers rise up and nearly close up--again.  Oi!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I remember that, some months ago, I baked some bialys without the "softball effect" and I tried to remember details.  What did I do differently, I wondered.  A flash of insight (if my memory is still working, which is often somewhat iffy):  I don't think I used a stone but put the bialys, resting on the parchment-lined baking sheets after the second proof and shaping and shmearing, directly in the oven--yes, that's right, NO STONE.  So, think I, maybe it's that hot, hot, preheated stone that created a huge oven spring (wish I had taken time-lapse photos this morning!).  

Anyway, here are the bialys of long ago (a first attempt, mind you), using the ITJB recipe (high-gluten flour used).  Any ideas out there?  I've got to get this right!

Joy

hlieboff59's picture
hlieboff59

joy, here's what I do which seems to work, which Stan told me to do.

But, I remembered something very important Stan G had told me from one of his posts...     the bialys have to reach full proof, i.e., just about at the point of collapse, before you "pull" them into their flat-bottomed ring shape. if you don't let them go to near-collapse, you get softballs.

You first make the d0ugh, let it rise for 2 hours....then shape into 3 oz balls and let them double in size for about an hour....then shape in bialys.......then here's the secret.....let them sit/proof for like 4-5 hours until the point of collapse,this way they won't puff into softballs. Works everytime. I also used high gluten flour too. Up to now I've used a stone to cook them on. Next time I'll try without stone and on parchment paper on pan. Hope this helps. just have to be patient. It's gets frustrating. There'e a handfull of places that make HUGE bialys near me and I've weighed them and they're like 6 oz or bigger and here we are making 3 oz! HA. Stay focused...Howard L

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

A full proof- yes, and also, when you're shaping them, think "pizza with a generous rim" not "bialy with a small depression".  In other words, make the flattened, docked and filled center larger in diameter.  Good luck!

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Thanks, Howard and FlourChild, for your comments.  Howard, much of what you say is from ITJB, and, for that first batch, I followed the directions.  It was very hot that afternoon, and the dough balls were actually on the verge of collapse and, after the second rise (already were shaped; first rise was 2 hours), which was close to 1 1/2 hours, when I shaped them (and docked the centers before filling), they actually did collapse.  I really do think the oven spring from that very hot oven w/ stone made for that oven spring.  Oh yes, I did shpritz the oven before and just after loading them, parchment onto stone.  BUT, 4 hours after shaping them is something I never saw or heard before.  Wow, 6-oz bialys.  Now that's really a small pizza.  Yes, FlourChild, I did have small "pizza with a generous rim" in mind when I reamed out the centers.

Onward!

Thanks again,

Joy