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+ servings
NY Bialys


A good New York Bialys is hard to find unless you live in or around NYC…so, make your own. These crisp little breads are full of onion and poppyseed goodness. Add cheese and it tastes like a French onion soup. Absolutely amazing!
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
To Make the Pre-Fermented Dough (Pate Fermentee) 8 hours
Total Time 11 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 235kcal
Author Marie


  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper or baking spray is helpful


To Make the Pate Fermentee

  • ½ cup water plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 ⅓ cup bread flour plus 1 tablespoon
  • teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

For Poppyseed Onion Topping

  • 3 cups onion finely chopped (about 2 medium onions)
  • 2.5 tsp poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt

To Make the Bialys Dough

  • 1 ⅓ cups water
  • 3.5 cups bread flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup pate fermentee, plus 2 tablespoons (recipe follows or to omit, see notes section below)
  • ¾ tsp instant dried yeast
  • 1.5 tsp salt updated 8/2022 (was 1 TB per 1X batch)


  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • cornmeal enough for dusting baking trays


To Make the Pate Fermentee (pre-fermented dough)

  • Add water and yeast to a bowl and then add flour and salt; knead until a soft dough is formed. Cover and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours or a maximum of 24 hours. (you can also freeze for up to 3 months.)

To Make the Onion Poppyseed Topping

  • Add onion and oil to a medium sized pan and heat over medium heat for about 20 minutes until onions are reduced by about ⅓.
  • Transfer to a bowl and add breadcrumbs and poppyseeds and salt. Set aside until needed.

To Make the Bialys Dough

  • Add water and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for 2 minutes, then let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • Add the pâte fermentée (not all is needed; only ½ cup), yeast, and salt and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are completely combined.
  • Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (about 5 to 7 minutes). Do the windowpane test to see if dough is finished.
    pulling a windowpane showing dough is mixed adequately
  • Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a very slightly damp towel and let rise for about 1 to 1.5 hours until doubled in size.
  • After it has risen, punch down dough and then divide into 12 equal pieces (about 80 grams each). Shape the pieces into balls and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, flatten the balls with palm of hand or a rolling pin until they are about 4 inches in width and then place then on cornmeal-lined baking sheets (or you can simply use parchment paper or baking spray).
    flattened bialys on baking sheet
  • Cover the trays loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour.
  • After the bialys have puffed up, make an indent in center of each bialys with thumb or spoon and place 2 tablespoons of filling (also top with cheese if using).
    risen bialys dough filled with poppyseed onion filling

To Bake the Bialys

  • Preheat the oven at 500F for at least 30 minutes. If you have a pizza stone or steel, it is helpful to use one.
  • Bake the bialys in the center (I didn't bake my directly on the stone or steel, but rather placed my baking tray directly on top of my pizza steel - this helps to prevent burning).
  • Bake until lightly browned, about 12 to 14 minutes.


Storage: Baked bialys can be kept in airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for 2 days. 
Calorie estimate does not include optional cheese topping
I have not tested the recipe without the use of pate fermentee but I'd estimate increasing the yeast to 2 teaspoons and adding 60 grams of water and 90 grams of flour to compensate for omitting the ½ cup of pate fermentee. 


Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 664mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 1mg