The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Bialys with Whole Wheat

isand66's picture

Sourdough Bialys with Whole Wheat

      This is a new version of a recipe I made a while ago.  I replaced around 30% of the high gluten flour with fresh milled and sifted whole wheat flour and used First Clear flour instead of High Gluten flour.  I added some cheese on top of some of them just to make it interesting.  I also added some extra water which the thirsty whole wheat gobbled up.

For the water in the main dough I used ice water.

I was very happy how this one turned out.  They tasted fantastic with an extra flavor boost from the whole wheat flour.  My favorite way to eat these is with a schmeer of whipped cream cheese and toasted.

The original post is here.

I also made a potato pizza a few weeks ago which came out great.  I sliced some Yukon gold potatoes real thin and let them seep in hot water to soften a bit.  I added some white cheddar and smoked Gruyere along with some caramelized onions as well.  Very tasty!

Formula for Bialys

Download BreadStorm .bun file here.

Levain Directions

Step 1

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.



plevee's picture

Those bialys are to die for! Was the basic recipe Norm's from old TFL posts?


isand66's picture

Thanks.  It was adapted from his book Inside The Jewish Baker.  The book version is a yeasted dough.

Happy Baking!


IceDemeter's picture

I had never heard of bialys before, so I just had a wonderful time reading up on these lovely little (or not-so-little!) rolls, and their history.  I have no doubt that I would absolutely adore this version, especially since the sourdough should let them last a wee bit longer, and, of course, EVERYTHING is better with a schmear of cream cheese!

That pizza looks divine, too.  I've never had potato on pizza, but it is now on the list of things to try! 

Please give the fuzz-butts some scritches and snuggles --- and all the best to you and yours for the New Year.

Best, Laurie

isand66's picture

im glad you like them and hope you give them A try some day.  The furries are all well and just came back last night from visiting my Cousins 2 doggies.  There was a lot of barking and romping last night at dinner :).

i live the way this pizza turned ou.  I was meaning to try one for a long time and finally went for it.  A cream sauce would really take it to the next level and or some bacon or pancett.

Hope all is well with you and your family and happy new year.



Dwayne's picture

Very nice job on the Bialys.  You post reminds me that I've not made them in a long time and I will have to correct that error.  I've not made a sourdough version of them so that would be very interesting to try.


Thanks, Dwayne

isand66's picture

Please do give these a try.  I actually changed my timing from the directions above.  I let the dough bulk ferment in the fridge and bakes them the next day.  Either way works.

let me know how yours come out.

Happy Baking.


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Mmmmmm, another thing I've been meaning to try for a while. Maybe you spurred me on to do it sooner rather than later! I do have a recipe for bialys in one of my bread books (maybe Reinhart?), but I doubt it's either sourdough or with nice fresh-milled whole grain flours, so your recipe looks good to me. :)

I also have a nice recipe for bagels (sourdough; using both whole rye and whole wheat flours). Could I use this for bialys too? Pretty much the same thing, only with the onion filling, right?

isand66's picture

Thanks for your comment and I'm glad I've spurred you on to give bialys a try.  The hydration level on bagels tends to be lower than bialys.  I suggest you take a look at my formula or click the link I posted in the beginning of the post which leads to the original bake I did.  The cold water also is different than traditional bagel dough.

Let me know if you give them a try and if you have any questions.

Happy Baking and enjoy the rest of your weekend.



embth's picture

Greetings island66,  It's been a couple of years since I've made bialys.  Thanks to your post, they are at the top of my "must do soon" list.  The whole wheat does sound good....and, a bit of cheese, while not traditional, never hurts.  : )

Thanks for taking the time to share your wonderful recipe and photos.    Embth

isand66's picture

Glad you like the bake. I hope you give them a try again soon.



Yippee's picture

They must taste good, too! 

Question:  Wouldn't it be easier to shape and spoon the filling immediately after bulk, then proceed with final proof (the only downside I can think of is that the "hole" will shrink as the dough expands during proof)?   What's the significance of shaping after final proof?  Does it matter when we shape??? Your insight is greatly appreciated!

Happy Baking, Ian!


isand66's picture

I  you could try your idea but the dough may be harder to shape and the holes may close up.  You want the dough to overproof a bit once it's shaped so they don't puff up too much.

i look forward to hearing how yours come out.

Great to hear from you as always.