What is a bialy? It's a disk of dough with slight depressions in the center and topped with onions. These are as popular as the bagel is in the northeast. They are a great snack which tastes great with some cream cheese.
1 1/2 cups warm water ( 105 to 115 degrees F)
5 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
5 teaspoons granulated sugar
5 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup dehydrated minced onion (or you may substitute
1 cup finely chopped fresh onion, the dehydrated onions
will stick better to the raw dough)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds, optional
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt for sprinkling, optional
1/4 cup cornmeal for baking sheet
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water for wash
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk together warm water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl, stir in one cup of flour and salt. Add most of the remaining flour and stir with a wooden spoon to make a soft mass. To your mixer, attach the dough hook and mix 8 to 10 minutes or you can knead by hand.
Cover the dough and allow to rest for about 45 to 60 minutes. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment paper and lightly sprinkle with cornmeal.
Place dehydrated onions in a bowl and add hot water and allow the onions to soak for 15 minutes. Drain the onions well, place in a bowl and add the oil and poppy seeds if using. Set aside.
Punch down the dough and divide into two. Divide each half of dough into six equal pieces. Allow dough to rest 10 minutes.
Roll of stretch each portion into a 4- or 5-inch oval or circle, being careful not to overwork the dough. Place bialys on prepared baking sheets, with your fingers make indentations in the center( do not go through the dough). Lightly brush the outer perimeter with the egg wash. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of prepared onion topping and a little sprinkle of salt, if using. Cover with a floured tea towel and allow to rise 30 to 40 minutes or until puffy.
Bake until golden brown, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. (If the bialys are browning too fast, reduce heat to 425 degrees F).
If you like a thicker bialy (which is great for sandwiches) let the dough rise longer. For thin bialys, reduce the rising time.