|A thing of beauty.|
Bialys ( bee ah lee ) are so often said to be "like a bagel" they are in that they are also round. Bialys are chewy, airy and have a little raft-like cavity which holds whatever you'd like in there. They haven't the girth or time bending density of bagels - They are a kind little thing.
Traditional fillings will be a smattering of garlic, or onions, poppy seeds or any mixture of these. You can make them sweet instead of savory and you can make them cheesy or meaty. They have a short baking time so the only rule to what goes in them is that it should either be somewhat previously cooked or cook within the same time as the bialy. For these I very gently cooked minced onions in olive oil on low until translucent and then added a pinch of salt and poppy seeds to them.
For these little guys I make a dough that goes into the refrigerator and sits at least overnight. This same dough is the base for a lot of delicious things. I'll mention those later. I start the dough just like a quick bread; so flour(s), salt,water, yeast which is spoon blended for a couple minutes. Scraped out onto a floured surface and kneaded for another 4 minutes and then a sealable container with twice the volume of what you are putting into it. Cover the bottom of the container with olive oil and coat the sides and the interior rim of the lid. This will make sure the sough releases from the container when you remove some for rising.
What you need:
2 Cups whole wheat flour
2 Cups unbleached white flour
1 and 3/4 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp yeast
1 heaping tsp sea salt
Mix thoroughly the flours. Sprinkle salt in and mix. Put yeast into the lukewarm water. Combine all to make a dough and if a little wet add some flour or if a little dry sprinkle touches of lukewarm water in until mostly just held together. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth and balled up well.
Your fridge container should have double volume of your dough for expansion. Oil it and the lid and place dough inside container.
Let stand overnight. Or at least 2 hours. Planning ahead always makes it quicker.
After a couple hours in the fridge you'll notice the dough getting softer and happier. The next day the dough will be full of lovely holes. You can leave the dough in the refrigerator up to 3 days before who knows what happens. After that it could turn into running shoes, I don't know. It will gain in a "sour" flavor. Which I LOVE, but isn't for everyone. The first few days wont be an intense flavor, just more like a real bakery's bread rather than the pale versions that quicker breads give. 1-3 days and it is chewy, moist, and steadily becomes more like a sourdough. Now you have enough dough to make 2 batches of bialys. Or 1 batch of bialys and really 2-4 kick ass pizzas, flatbreads, pitas. This dough is amazing. Airy and chewy. Either way you choose to go it is nice to leave at least half the dough for the following day. No matter what if you use up the second half take a small handful of dough from it and leave it in the container. This is your poolish.*
The best thing about this is that you will have bread ready to start anyday you want it by keeping some in the fridge! Every other night I make a batch and put it in the fridge. Each time I take out some for a recipe I make sure I always leave at least a handful of dough to "start" the next batch with. *This is a poolish. The poolish makes a safisticated bread always lending it's wisdom to the next batch making sure to pass on its flavor. This is another thing bread bakers use to make such tasty bread. *
If/when you go straight from the fridge this dough will be approximately halved for the following photos and the remainder put back into the fridge. You'll knead and shape it on a floured surface, let it rest while you work on other things for a few minutes under a towel (15 or so to take the chill out) then pat and shape into a square like below to measure out however many bialy you wish it to make this does 16, 2 inch bialy or 8 monster bialy.
|This tool is for dough cutting and is worth every penny. I recommend them, they also scrape clean your work surface.|
|I bundle the shapes from squares into circles. Watch the video for a more detailed explanation.|
|My monkey mitten working it's magic.|
|Holy crap, I'm a wizard.|
|These will now rise for 30-45 (it likes longer - upto an hour and half but this can be rushed if you need. Longer equals softer) minutes in a warmish kitchen (or place near a warming oven). The dough will crust over a touch, I ignore it but you can sprinkle/mist the tops with a little water or oil to prevent this. A few (10-20) minutes before shaping PREHEAT OVEN TO 480|