Back in February when Adam and I went to New York, we had hoped to make it out to Kossar’s for bialys. I’d never had one, but Adam described them to me as “a bagel without a hole… with onions where the hole would be.” Sounded like my kind of thing.

Of course, in Toronto you can’t even find them despite a high Jewish population, which is why we were excited when we came across Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe. Meanwhile, up in the ‘burbs, my mother-in-law stumbled across the same recipe and sent it to me. We decided this would be a great bonding exercise and invited her over on Saturday to make bialys with us. My mother-in-law is a great cook and baker, but it’s rare that she experiments as much with things like homemade bialys (or baguettes… or ice cream… or any of the other silly fun things we like to experiment with). So we invited her over to be a part of the process.

As with most bread products, bialys are fairly time consuming to make – but not really that hard. A good 2 hours between each step, but each step itself is fairly simple. I won’t go into too much detail as I think Smitten Kitchen’s original post did a great job. The only challenges I had:

  • As you see from the photo above, my bialys puffed up too much in the oven. The first in particular looked kind of volcanic:
  • IMG_1371

  • The original post said that this would happen if the dough was under-risen. But even after letting it rise an extra 30-45 minutes, they were still coming out that way. So, I just let it go. They still tasted great.
  • I didn’t have high gluten bread flour, so I used regular bread flour and added a teaspoon per cup of vital wheat gluten. I think it worked well.
  • They were a bit inconsistent when we cut into them. Some were super airy with giant pockets of air, others a bit more dense. I’m not quite sure why that happened. Any suggestions?
  • Oh, and I doubled the recipe. Six just didn’t seem like enough. So I made a full dozen and sent my mother-in-law home with half.

A great breakfast treat for the week. Go make some!

Full recipe.



One Response to “Bialys”

  1. 2010 Food-In-Review « Life at No. 71 Says:

    […] Bialys – Another awesome bread item made without the bread machine.  Bialys are a memory from Adam’s childhood that are extremely hard to come by in Toronto.  We’ve only made these once but will definitely be making them again. […]

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