Friday, May 24, 2013

Bialys – Chewy Rolls Topped with Caramelised Onions We Knead to Bake # 5

  This was the challenge for this month – We knead to Bake. This was the easiest bread recipe made in this challenge.
  Bialy , a Yiddish word short for bialystoker kuchen , from Bialystok , a city in Poland , is a small roll that is a traditional dish in polish Ashkenazi cuisine. A traditional bialy has a diameter of up to 15 cm and is a chewy yeast roll similar to a bagel.Unlike a bagel , which is boiled before baking , a bialy is simply baked and instead of a hole in the middle it has a depression. Before baking this depression is filled with the diced onions and other ingredients , including garlic , poppy.

  A good bialy should have a springy soft crumb and a chewy and floury crust. Bialys are best when eaten within 5 to 6 hours of making them.
The name Bialy comes from Bialystocker Kuchenwhich translates as Bread from Bialystok , which is in Poland. In the olden days , when there used to be bialys in Bialystock , it seems the rich Jews ate Bialys with their meals , while the Bialys were the whole meal for the poorer Jews.

   In the early 1900s , many Eastern Europeans , including the Polish , immigrated to the US and settled down in new York. Naturally , they also brought their Bialy making skills with them and that is how the New York Bialy became famous.


  What lends Bialys their signature chewiness is the use of flour that is high in gluten . So to make Bialys , use bread flour if you can find it . otherwise use all purpose flour and add 1 tbs vital wheat gluten ( for the 3 cups ) . If you can’t find neither bread flour nor vital wheat gluten , go ahead and make it with plain flour.
  To make the normal flour Bialys slightly chewier is to refrigerate the dough overnight after the first rise. The next day , take the dough out and keep it at the room temperature for about half an hour . then shape the rolls and proceed with the recipe . These Bialys are on the softer side so do not over bake them or they will dry out and become tough.
Bialys usually have a thin layer of caramelized onions and poppy seeds . In this onions is used along with the garam masala. Crumbled panner can be added along with the caramalised onion.

Requirements :
For dough :
All purpose flour / maida – 3 cup
Active Dry yeast – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbs
Salt – 1 tsp
Milk for brushing
Warm water – 1 cup
For onion filling :
Onion – 2
Oil – 1 tbs
Garam masala – ¾ tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 ½ tsp
Salt to taste

Method :

 Making of dough :

Mix the yeast in the warm water along with the sugar and let it undisturbed for 15 minutes – proofing of yeast.

In a bowl , mix the flour , salt and sugar mix well.

Add in the proofed yeast and knead well for about 10 minutes.
The dough must be soft and smooth , not sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball and keep this in an oiled bowl. Cover and let it double.
As I made the bialys next day , I refrigerated the dough overnight.
On the next day , take the dough out and keep it at the room temperature half an hour before shaping.
Making of filling :
Chop the onion into fine pieces.
Heat oil in a pan , add the cumin seed and let it splutter.
Add in the chopped onion and sauté well till the onion became translucent.

Add in the salt and garam masala.
Stir for few minutes till the raw smell of the masala leaves.
Let it cool.
Making of bialys :
Sprinkle the work surface with flour and place the dough on it. Divide it  into 8 equal pieces and shape each one into a roll by flattening it and then pinching the ends together to form a smooth ball.

Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover them with a towel. Let them rise for about one hour ( 2 hours for refrigerated dough ). To check this press with the finger on the dough which creates a dent which remains unchanged .
Work on a piece at a time , while you keep the others covered so they won’t dry out. When the rolls are ready , pick them up one at a time and using your fingers , form the depression in the middle. Hold the roll like a steering wheel with your thumbs in the middle and your fingers around the edges.
Pinch the dough between your thumb and fingers rotating as you go and gradually making the depression wider without actually poking a hole through.

The shaped bialys must have a depression about 3” in diameter with 1” of pluffy dough around the edge , so the bialy must be in 4” diameter. Prick the centre of the bialy with a fork so the centre doesn’t rise up while baking.
Place the shaped bialys on the baking tray , leaving 2” space between them . place the caramelized onion filling on the depression of each bialy. Brush the outer layer with the milk and sugar mixture or with milk powder mixed with little water- for browning of the bread.

Bake in the preheated oven @ 220*C , convection mode for 20 minutes or till bialys are golden brown in color.
Let it cool and serve.

Serve immediately when the bialys are still warm.

I got 7 Bialys and finished all in the same day.

If storing , store in a airtight container and store in refrigerator.
 Warm the bialys just before serving.

  Linking this to Aparna's We Knead to Bake # 5.


Check out my other recipes for We knead to bake

January - spinach pesto pull apart Bread

Febrauary - Classic croissants

March - Hokkaido Milk Bread 

April - Torcettini di Saint Vincent