The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bialys from Artisan Baking Across America

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

bialys from Artisan Baking Across America

I just made these today.  They're tasty, though I didn't get them right yet.  Two things...


1) the Cuisinart really can't handle this amount of dough.  There was a previous post on here about that, potentially burning out your machine.  I have a Cuisinart brand, I think it's the 11-cup.  It's never caused me any issues, but this dough shut it down.  Smelling smoke, etc...  So just warning y'all, that's an expensive machine to blow out.  I don't make the habit of bread dough in the food processor, but this recipe insisted on it to get the texture right.


If I did it again, I would split the dough in half, and use my old French Cuisinart from the 1970s and see if that worked.  Or take the exercise and knead by hand.  When I searched on this site, someone else reported the same problem, with it being more than the food processor could take.


2)  Can anyone give me any tips for forming the bialys?  Mine oven springed to almost get rid of the thin, membrane center.  I think they needed to be stretched out further than you would want them to appear when baked to plan for the "recoil".  Glezer was also vague at the stage when forming balls to rise (before flattening them out into rings), I think it was an error on my part to use good Boule formation techniques there.  I learned to form boules to get upward spring in the center, and that may have contributed, even after they were later flattened and a thin membrane in the center formed.  Next time when I divide the dough, I'm wondering if I should just roll the balls with no surface tension at all, like when a child rolls playdough balls.


Anyone have advice on bialys?  Anyone else done this recipe?  They were great, they were just a little more like a round bun after baking with a little onion center, rather than like a bagel with a thin membrane in the middle.



breadnerd's picture

I think you're fine with the boule forming. I think the key is letting them proof A LOT before shaping. And as you said, you make the inside whole bigger than you want to allow for the oven spring.


I've made a lot of these (made them at a bakery for a while) and you still sometimes get one that closes up. We loved to look at them (probably 50-80 at a time) and pick which one was the "perfect" bialy! :)


Here's my take on them from a couple of years ago

sycorax's picture

My Boston boyfriend grumbles about the lack of real bagels or biali on the west coast, so I've been making them for about a year. Out here, folk tend to favor a model that is sourdough or rye-sourdough-based and looks far less like a bagel, more like a pizza bianca. We roll the dough out very thinly and add a lot more onion and poppyseed (and the occasional mushroom). I also use a bit of extra virgin to weigh down the center, so if you are only using a tiny bit, maybe opt for a bit more.

Happy experimenting!

nbicomputers's picture

we used to let the balls get about 3/4 to almost full proof and then pick each one up with two hands and press both thumbs into the center and push the center down and pull to strech the dough ball into shape then drop then down right on a floured peel drop the onion mis in the center and peel right in the oven with no more proof.

mkelly27's picture

My favorite, I have been making them for years.  The best advice comes from the same article.  You are almost shaping a pizza, only you aren't touching the outer edge.  My bialys proof almost, but not quite, the size of a tennis ball, then I stretch them to about 5 inches across before I lay the on parchment to proof for about 30 mins before baking them hot and fast.. 


Redundancy is your friend, so is redundancy

mammiesbaker's picture

I love the recipe you speak of from Artisan Baking.  The first time I made these I used the dough paddle thing, but the dough got really hot and worked up inside the center hole.  Then I read in the front of the book where she says to use the blade instead.  That seems to work really good.  I follow all her suggestions about ferment and shaping and baking.  If I can figure out how to do this, I will send pictures.

mammiesbaker's picture

I guess the pictures didn't make it.  Any suggestions on how to make it work?