Preparation info

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Appears in

New York Cult Recipes

New York Cult Recipes

By Marc Grossman

Published 2013

  • About

While the bagel is boiled and baked, its lesser known cousin, the bialy, is just baked. The other big difference is that the bialy only has a hollow in the middle while the bagel has a hole.

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Resting time: 2½ hours
Cooking time: 15 minutes



  • 400 g (14 oz/2⅔ cups) strong flour
  • teaspoons dried yeast
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) lukewarm water
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil

Cooking Tray

  • 1 small knob of butter
  • 2 pinches fine polenta (cornmeal)


  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 150 g ( oz) onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt


The Dough

Mix together the flour, yeast and salt. In a bowl, beat the lukewarm water and olive oil. Incorporate the first mixture into the second and knead vigorously by hand or using an electric mixer for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form a smooth ball of dough. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for about 1½ hours until the dough has doubled in size.

Shaping the Dough

Divide the dough into six equal portions. Shape into small balls and flatten them between the palms of your hands. Place the rounds of dough on a buttered and floured sheet of baking paper. Fold the opposite edges of each dough portion towards the middle and pinch together to make irregular balls. Sprinkle with flour, then cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let them rise at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the risen balls of dough, then press the middle of each bialy to make a large hollow.

The Filling

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions and poppy seeds over medium heat. Season with the salt. Put a little of the onion–poppy seed mixture in the middle of each bialy and brush the surface of the bialys with more olive oil. Don’t worry if the onion mixture spills out, bialys should be imperfect!


Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Grease a baking tray with the butter and sprinkle with the polenta. Place the bialys in the middle or upper part of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until they’re lightly browned.