Lucy isn’t known to be a died in the wool bread traditionalist and I am anything, and everything, a bit strange in an odd and slightly weird way since being born 2nd to my twin and losing the first race I ever ran. Being a born loser can wear on you over time, if you let it, so you might tend to compensate by being a rebel and not give much, if any, respect to the establishment, rules and the status quo.
Rules themselves are not totally bad since they can give some structure to whatever is at hand. No matter how many rules there are, they cannot predict the outcome or success of what you are trying to do any more than the rules of chess can predict what moves, will be made when and who will win the game. The processes and outcomes are virtually, infinite…. regardless of how many rules are observed.
This is the nature of our entire world and the universe for that matter. There are rules for everything but these rules aren’t worth a hoot at predicting what will happen since just about anything and everything is possible...... and does happen.
One thing we do know is that, the more rules there are, the more difficult and less fun whatever you are doing becomes and the less freedom you have to do it....... the way you want to do it. That is the way Lucy and I look at everything we do. It may not be for everyone but it pays to realize that rules don’t predict anything worth knowing or doing.
This is the way Lucy and I look at bread making. We know there are rules established over time by tradition and experience but know that they won’t help us very much to make a success out of the bread we want to make but, they can provide us a framework to work from to create what we do want in bread.
So knowing the rules is good place to start, especially if you are a rebel and don’t expect to follow them exactly in the first place. So what are the bialy rules? Well first off, they aren’t bagels even if they look a bit like them and were brought to this country by polish Jews – just like bagels. They aren’t made from high gluten flour like bagels. They aren’t very low hydration like bagels either. They are made from white flour and they are filled with onions, garlic or poppy seeds or a mix and they might have salt and or sesame seeds sprinkled on top too.
This person says her great, great, great grand pappy might have inveted bialy's and made bialy’s in Bialystok Poland - here is a link to her family story. We know not to believe half of what we see, 3/4th of what we read and none of what we hear. But, people mean well and some stuff just sounds like it might be true - even if handed down by word of mouth and not written down. This story sounds like it has some truth in it - https://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/Bialy.htm
These general rules are a good place to start with bialy’s but they aren’t the kind we want to eat around these desert parts. We did some bialy baking 4 years ago here - http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/29551/herbed-bialys-%E2%80%93-multigrain-caramelized-onion-chorizo-and-4-cheeses and liked them very much. It shows what is possible when the outcome isn’t predicted by the rules.
So we continue down our bialy baking path in much the same way today. Using the rules to start out and then letting loose with whatever suits our fancy. Lucy likes to say that the baker and the bread go their own way. We like that thought. So this was the way we went with this week’s bialy bake. We went with Lucy’s rule for white bread which is - anything less than 50% whole grain is a white bread. This one was 25% sprouted, 8 whole grains. The sprouted grains, were red and white wheat, rye, spelt, oat, emmer, barley and buckwheat.
We love smoked chicken and ribs.
The 100% hydration 2 stage, 18 hour, bran levain was made with 10 g of NMNF long retarded rye starter, 10% pre-fermented flour which included all of the bran sifted from the sprouted 8 grain for the first stage and some of the high extraction sprouted 8 grain for the 2nd stage. The remaining 75% of the flour was Winco bread flour from the bins. The overall hydration was 68% making the dough easy to handle, not sticky and lovely to form the little pizzas.
Hath Greed Chili and Poblano smoked chicken noodle soup.
The filling was made up of Manchego cheese, green and white onion, garlic chives, a very nice Hatch green chili, uncured absinthe salami that was also flavored with paprika, red chili and garlic. We found the salami at the Central Market in Houston while visiting there a couple of weeks ago.
Peach and Parmesan salad is a favorite too.
But that wasn’t enough heat for our sedate and reserved Lucy. She added some extra fresh Hatch and Poblano green chili just like great, great, great granny used to make in the old days:-) The filling mix was sautéed to knock off the raw taste and soften the ingredients. We did our usual 1 hour autolyse with the 2% Pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top. Once the levain hit the mix, we did 30 slap and folds to get everything mixed in. This was followed by 2 more sets of 8 slap and folds to get the gluten moving along. We then did 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds to finish it up – all on 20 minute intervals.
We then let the dough ferment for 1 hour before dividing the dough into (8) 101 g balls. After resting another, 20 minutes we shaped the bialy’s mid-air like we would a pizza pie, stretching the middle thin, like checking for a windowpane, and placed them on parchment on a cookie sheet. Then we docked the middle depression with a fork to keep it from rising so we would have a place to put the filling in 90 minutes or so
Once the little pizzas had proofed well enough we loaded them up with the cheese, onion, herb, fresh chili and absinthe salami filling. Lucy thought that they sure looked cute enough to bake boldly – so we did – at 450 F with Mega Steam, between the top and bottom stones, right on the cookie sheet – No Muss, No Fuss Once they were puffed up properly, about 10 minutes, we removed the steam and continued to bake the little cuties at 425 F convection for another 10 minutes - until they were brown enough to be called bold. Then off to the cooling rack they went. We suspect these will be pretty yummy since they smelled great baking.
How about another salad?
Crusty on the outside, soft and moist on the inside with a killer filling of cheese, onion, peppers and salami. Just plain delicious and healthy with those sprouted 11 whole grains. What is not to like?
10% pre-fermented, 100% hydration sprouted 8 grain 2 stage, 18 hour levain
25% 8 sprouted grain
75% Winco bread flour
68% overall hydration
Filling – Hatch and Poblano chilis, green and white onion, garlic chives and killer absinthe, green chili hard salami.