Yield: Makes 10 Bialys
I spend a lot of time in New York City, selling bread at the Union Square Greenmarket®. Whenever I can, I make the trip a little farther downtown to the Lower East Side. First, I’ll stop at the Doughnut Plant at 379 Grand Street for one of the incredible yeasted doughnuts, and then I’ll move a few doors down, to 367, where Kossar’s Bialys has been producing superior bialys, bagels, bulkas, pletzels, and other kosher bread specialties for more than 65 years.
I enjoy watching Kossar’s bakers expertly pull each tagelach (the Yiddish word for “dough ball”) into the characteristic shape before filling all their indented centers with fresh onions and poppy seeds. Our production schedule at Bread Alone has never allowed me to make bialys, but this hasn’t stopped me from making them at home, attempting every time to achieve the same lightness and flavor that they achieve at Kossar’s. My recipe is pretty faithful to the original. The bialys come out light and bubbly, with a thin but wonderfully crisp crust. When you make them, don’t forget to prick the indented centers with a fork. If you don’t, they will bubble up.
If you want to serve these for breakfast, you can make the dough the night before, let it rise, and then refrigerate the shaped dough balls. While the oven heats the next morning, make the filling and make the wells in the balls. Bake and serve warm, with smoked salmon.
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