Rose claims that the world can be divided into bagel lovers and bialy lovers. Well, considering I had to Google “what in the world is a bialy?” we all know where I stand in the world.  Bialys seem to be very popular in New York so that explains why I’d never seen or eaten one before.  I’m a California girl who grew up in the world’s most isolated island chain, NYC is not my style. A bialy is a breakfast bun similar to a bagel, but it has a soft chewy crust  because bailys are not boiled before they are baked.  Also, instead of a hole, a bialy has a crater in the center that is filled with a traditional onion and poppy seed filling.

I got up at four in the morning to make these. It’s not really as bad as it sounds though. At four, I mixed the dough in my stand mixer, then sleep-walked back to bed while the yeast went to work. Bialy dough is so easy to make you can do it in your sleep, I did. At six,  I got up and shaped them into buns. Then I went back to bed because I am not ok with being up that early on a weekend. At eight, I got up, stretched them slightly to make a dent in the middle that I filled with the onion/poppy seed filling and let them proof while I made coffee. Ten minutes in a hot oven later, we had freshly baked bialys for breakfast. I can’t speak from experience, but I hear that they are best fresh and don’t last for more than a day without getting stale.

Since they are similar to bagels, I cut mine in half and spread it with cream cheese.

The verdict? Am I going over to team bialy? I don’t think so. They were good ,no doubt about that, but I missed the crunch of the bagel. I found the onion taste to be very strong, which I didn’t like, but the Mr. loved (he ate an onion raw once, that was a long day…). It’s an excellent recipe, but I think that since I didn’t grow up with bialys, I’ll always be wishing they were bagels.

As you know, I have not been posting recipes from The Bread Bible, but the recipe is posted at Smitten Kitchen if you want to try them for yourself and see if you’re on team bagel or team bialy. Tell me which team you’re on in the comments! Maybe we can make t-shirts 🙂



  1. why did he eat a raw onion?

  2. Hi Jillian! I am really enjoying your blog! Are the Mr.’s hands famous now? 🙂 Are you enjoying yourt baking extravaganzas?

  3. cute 🙂 love it! these look adorable…

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