Homemade Bialys with Goat Cheese and Onions – Cooking Melangery


Baking sweet or savory breads – its an act of creation. Bread literally grows from your hands. You bring the dormant yeast to life, knead the flour into the dough, nature it, care for it, and shape it into a loaf, rolls, or braid it, then bake it until its golden brown and smooth outside, chewy and tasty inside.

Bread baking is one of the most ancient, most elemental rituals. Before there were molds, loaves were usually round. Before there were ovens, dough was flattened for easier cooking. Today, round and flat loaves are still popular, but bread come in all shapes and sizes, and from all kind of grains. Sardinian bakers make very thin crackling rounds called “fogli di music” (sheets of music); from France we get long, crusty baguettes; in Mexico tortillas are most popular; and the Portuguese are known for their light, puffy sweet bread. 

Every bread has a unique history.

Originally from Poland, traditionally the bialys are made with sauté onions and poppy seeds. But if you like to indulge yourself, add soft goat cheese on a top and fresh scallions in the dough. Bialys are great toasted with butter or a schemer with cream cheese. Add your favorite breakfast/lunch things like eggs, cold cuts, thin slices of red onion and ripe slices of tomato!

Bialys with Goat Cheese and Onions with an egg ans sausage as a breakfast sandwich

Ingredients

  • For the sponge:
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water 105F-110F, divided
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • 3 cups high-gluten flour, bread flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting a work surface
  • 1/2 cup scallions, diced
  • For the topping:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup onions minced
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • soft goat cheese
  • For the dough:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • the sponge above
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cups high-gluten flour, bread flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting a work surface

Instructions

2

Into a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of water, the yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Stir to combine and set aside for five minutes until yeast dissolves and becomes creamy.

3

Add the vegetable oil to a small pan and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and stir until onions are softened about 3 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes. Transfer the onions into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the remaining 2 cups of water, the sugar, scallions, and black pepper. Then add the yeast and mix with the paddle on low speed. Add the flour in a steady stream until the flour is incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat the sponge for about 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let the sponge rise at room temperature for 1 1/4 hours.

5

In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and sauté the onions, poppy seeds together until the onions are soft and translucent about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

7

Brush the inside of a large bowl with a little of the melted butter and set aside – the remaining butter will be used for coating the top of the dough.

8

When the sponge is ready, return the bowl to the stand mixer and fit it with the dough hook. On low speed, beat in the salt and as much flour as needed to make a dough that cleans the sides of the mixing bowl. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Smooth the dough into a round and place it in the buttered bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

9

Meanwhile, position the oven racks on the bottom two levels of the oven. Place a large ovenproof skillet on the bottom rack. (When it’s time to cook the bialys, mix 1/4 cup water and 4 ice cubes and place them in the skillet — this will create steam for the cooking.)

10

Spray a large baking sheet with vegetable spray and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Set aside.

11

Half an hour before you’re ready to bake the bialys, preheat the oven to 500F.

13

Divide the risen dough in half – leave the other half in the bowl, covered with a towel. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the first half of dough into 6 equal balls. Work with one at a time and keep the others covered with a towel. Shape the dough into a round and flatten out the center to create a 1/2″ inch wide rim. Prick the center with the tines of a fork. Spoon a little of goat cheese and onion-poppy seed filling into the center of each bialy. Transfer to the baking sheet and get ready to bake.

14

Add the ice water mixture to the pan inside the oven. Place the sheet pan with the bialys on the rack above the ice-water skillet. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn down the oven to 450F and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven (and turn the oven back to 500) and cool the bialys on a rack.

15

While the first batch is baking, repeat the process of shaping and filling with the remaining dough.



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