Friday 31 May 2013

Bialys- Chewy rolls with caramalaized onions

I was again late for making this months bread for We Knead to Bake. But then as I always say here better late than never :-)

Even though I made the bread late, I am so happy I did them as they are sooooooooo DELICIOUS. We loved it.
These days Hans is trying to less is intake of Carb in the evening and trying to eat lighter food as possible on weekdays.
So I made this bread on a weekday, and as you know my niece come here for having her food, I thought atleast I can bribe her for eating this bialys with her soup.
So I made the bread in the morning and then a uncle from Hans came just to say hello as he had to be in the city so when he went I gave four bialys with him saying have this with soup. ( He rang next morning to say it was yumm)
So niece came in the evneing and ofcourse she said she will eat one and they were so yummy we ate 3 all together, we would have ate the fourth one too but both of us felt guilty , if we eat the fourth one Hans wouldn't have a chance to eat the delicious bialy.
I will try them again as it is not a difficult to make, I think the only think which is a bit tricky to make is the shape.

The bialy (pronounced bee-AH-lee) maybe thought of as a cousin to a Bagel but is quite different from it. For one thing, a Bialy is baked whereas a Bagel is boiled and then baked. A Bialy is round with a depressed middle, not a hole, and typically filled with cooked onions and sometimes poppy seeds. So it is not shiny on the outside with largish puffy bubbles on the inside. A good BIlay should have a springy soft crumb and a chewy and floury crust. A lot of people slather Bialys with butter or cream cheese but the best way (in my opinion) is to eat them as they are. Bialys are best when eaten within 5 to 6 hours of making them.

The name Bialy comes from Bialystocker Kuchen which translates as “bread from Bialystok” which is in Poland. Apparently, Bialys are rarely seen or made in Bialystock these days (I wouldn’t know if this was a fact and I’m going by heresay). In the 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 Eurpoeans, 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 tbsp vital wheat gluten (for the 3 cups). If like me, you can find neither bread flour nor vital wheat gluten, go ahead and make it with plain flour. You’ll still have very nice Bialys that are slightly softer, that’s all.

One way to make them slightly chewier is to refrigerate the dough overnight after the first rise. The next day, take the dough out and keep it at 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 caramelised onions and poppy seeds. (I have written below what layer I have used)

Bialys (Adapted from King Arthur Flour)


For the dough:
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour (use bread flour if you can find it or all-purpose flour + 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten)
1 tsp salt
Milk for brushing the dough

Make the dough first. If you are using bread flour or vital wheat gluten, then your dough will be tougher to knead so if you have a machine you can use, I would say go ahead and use it. Me, I always take the easier way out provided I get good results. If you’re doing this by hand, just adapt the instructions to that.
Put the yeast, sugar, salt and flour in the food processor bowl. Pulse a couple of times to mix and then add the warm water in a steady stream. Knead until the dough comes together as a mass and then let the dough rest for 10 minutes. This will help the dough absorb water. Knead again, adding a little more water or flour (not too much) if you need it, until your dough is smooth and elastic but not sticky.
Shape it into a ball and put it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough till it is well coated. Cover and let it rise till about double. This should take about 2 hours. If you’re not making the Bialys right away, you can refrigerate the dough overnight at this point. When ready to make them, keep the dough at room temperature for about half an hour and then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

In the meanwhile, make the filling.
3 tablespoon of olive oil
600 gm red onions thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves finley chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme and few leaves for decorating
1 tso of dark brown sugar
1 tsp of sherry vingear

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions stir and cover with a lid and cook in a low heat stirring now and then.
After the 20 minutes add the onions and thyme. Fry everything for another 10 minutes stirring now and then.
Add the sugar and vingear and fry everything in a high heat for futher 7 to 8 minutes stirring and taking care that the onion mixture doesn't burn at this stage.
Add the mixture in to a bowl and leave it to cool before you use it.

Sprinkle your work surface lightly 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 (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for refrigerated dough) till pressing with a finger on the top leaves a dent.
Work on one piece at a time, while you keep the others covered so they don’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.
Remember not to press on the edges, or they will flatten out. Once shaped, you should have a depression about 3” in diameter with 1” of puffy dough around the edge, so your Bialy should be about 4” in diameter. Prick the centre of the Bialy with a fork so the centre doesn’t rise when baking.

Place the shaped dough on a parchment lined (or greased) baking tray leaving about 2 inches space between them. Place the caramelised onion filling in the depressions of each Bialy. Brush the outer dough circle with milk. If you’re using crumbled paneer, add it to the Bialys in the last 5 minutes of baking or it will get burnt.
Bake the Bialys at 230C (450F) for about 15 minutes till they’re golden brown in colour. Cool them on a rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
 This recipe makes 8 largish Bialys.
I also sprinkled a bit of feta cheese in half of the bialys.



Angie's Recipes said...

These savoury buns with caramelized onions look fascinating!

Shree said...

yum yum.... great clicks, as usual :)

Vineetha Sush said... u r tempting me with the feed back from ur family..sounds super delicous :)

Gloria Baker said...

I love these Finla and what beauty look these rolls I love the pictures!

indosungod said...

They do look like bagels but on the softer side. Certainly looks delicious and with the onion filling definitely so.

sra said...

I liked reading this post. I've been seeing this on the blogs and thought it would be sweet but I see in your recipe it's just 1 tbsp for 3 cups of flour.

Raksha said...

wow these are yummy, nice clicks too

Bombay-Bruxelles said...

You did Bialys too - we were introduced to it when we had a New York meal like we do with the other bloggers here :-)