If you’ve never had a bialy before, you’re in for a treat. This flattened filled bagel is hard to find but easy to make.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 40 minutesTotal: 2 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. plus ⅛ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup plus 1 quart water, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1¾ tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1 large egg


  • Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add poppy seeds, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook an additional minute. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup water, sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand for 10 minutes. Add oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine milk and 1 quart water in a large, deep skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with cornmeal. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface. Shape into a rope, about 3" thick. Slice 2" pieces off the rope, then roll each into a tight ball. Leave balls on the floured surface, dust with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 10 minutes. Use floured fingers to press rolls into disks, about ½" thick. Press fingers in the center firmly to make a hollow. Press hard, but do not punch through the dough or make a hole.
  • Drop each formed bialy into simmering milk and water mixture, and poach 30 seconds on each side. Remove, tap off excess liquid, and place on prepared baking sheet. Mix egg with remaining salt and brush lightly onto bialy. Divide onion filling evenly between each roll, filling the center indentation of each. Place a pan of water on the oven floor and bake until brown, 20–25 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.