Sourdough Bialys

17 Oct

Main1    This recipe is adapted from the book “Inside the Jewish Bakery” by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg.  The original recipe is a straight dough made with yeast and I changed it up to use a white sourdough starter.

Bialys are mainly a New York kind of thing, and if you have never had one you owe it to yourself to bake some and you will never look back.

Most of the breads I bake need to rest 1 to 2 hours before eating, but with these you can feel free to slather on some butter or cream cheese when they just come out of the oven.

I am able to buy these from the local bagel stores on Long Island and I’m happy to say my version is just as good if not better using the SD starter.


Sourdough Bialys (%)

Sourdough Bialys (weights)

Download BreadStorm .bun file here.


Levain Directions

Step 1

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.

Onion Poppy Seed Filling

45 grams Dehydrated Onions

340 grams Boiling Water

14 grams Vegetable Oil

10 grams Black Poppy Seeds

4 grams (1/4 tsp.) Sea Salt

Add the boiling water to the onions and stir and let them sit for around 30 minutes or longer.  Next strain them out and spread them on a piece of paper towel.  Wring out as much water as you can.

Mix the onions with the remaining ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours with the ice water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the starter and  salt and mix on low for 5 minutes and speed #2 for another 3 minutes.   You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size.  I used my proofer and it took around 5 hours.  (Note: I did not make a fresh starter but used part of my mother starter I had refreshed a few days before which is why it probably took so long.)

When the dough is ready, divide into 12 pieces that are 85 grams each and shape them into round rolls shapes.  Let them rest on a parchment covered baking sheet and cover with sprayed plastic wrap or a moist lint free towel(s).  Let the shaped dough proof until they are doubled in size and the poke test leaves a nice indent.  You almost want them to over-proof otherwise they will puff up too much which you don’t want.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Once they are proofed sufficiently take each ball in your hand and place your two thumbs in the middle and stretch the dough so the center is paper thin and the outside has a nice thick rim.  It’s almost like making a mini pizza.



Next, place a teaspoon of the onion filling in the middle of each shaped bialy and place in your oven.   Place the cup of boiling water into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the bialys are nice and brown.


This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:

10 Responses to “Sourdough Bialys”

  1. Karin Anderson October 17, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    They look great! You should submit them to World Bread Day, today is the cut-off date:

    • mookielovesbread October 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      Thanks Will try to do that if I can.

      Sent from my iPhone


  2. Veronika October 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Oh my god! What are you doing?! I am back on LCHF diet trying to lose a bit of weight, and that looks so, so drool-inducing! Arrrgh!

    Those look great. When I am done bum-shrinking, I’ll have to try them out!

    • mookielovesbread October 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      Sorry! I’m on the E.A.I.S diet…(eat anything I see diet 😉). Good luck with your dieting but be sure to try these when you are ready. Thanks for your comment.

      • Veronika October 20, 2014 at 2:58 am #

        My bf is more or less on that diet, too – the forever-slim Scandinavian type. Me, with my tendency to load up the barge by just looking at food? I have to drop a few kilos occasionally, just for the sake of my relationship with mirror… and so I can eat things like this for a while later! 😀

        I definitely will! I used to live near a Jewish deli in the States and they had those fresh a few times a week… om nom nom nom nom!

  3. Maria November 5, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    Thank you for your lovely blog and inspiring recipes. I made bialys last night and they were absolutely delicious!! I caramelised the onion first, but will try them your way next time. Hubby was very happy and the only gripe was that I made only one per person. I often make a quick flat bread to go with soup in the evening, but bialys take it to a new level- this recipe is definitely a keeper.

    • mookielovesbread November 5, 2014 at 7:30 am #

      Thanks Maria.
      I’m so happy that you made these and liked them. I love caramelized onions and will use them the next time I make these but do let me know how you like the other topping.
      Thanks again for your comment.

      Happy Baking,


  1. Sourdough Bialys with Whole Wheat | mookielovesbread - September 20, 2017

    […] The original post is here. […]

  2. Sourdough Spelt Bialys with Caramelized Onions | mookielovesbread - September 3, 2018

    […]   It’s been too long since I made some bialys.  Bialys seem to be the forgotten stepchild of bagels it seems :).  My original formula and procedure is here. […]

  3. Sourdough Spelt Bialys with Caramelized Onions - The Healthy Cooking Source - September 4, 2018

    […]   It’s been too long since I made some bialys.  Bialys seem to be the forgotten stepchild of bagels it seems :).  My original formula and procedure is here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: