Absolutely great tasting Onion bialys–
The recipe for these rolls is in the book Inside the Jewish Bakery, page 123. I’ve been baking along with the challenge for this book on The Fresh Loaf (except for the last three weeks). I had never even heard of bialys before getting this book. They were really quite easy to make, you just need a long period of time at home because of the long fermentation (rise) that they need. After a three hour first rise, they were shaped into balls to rise for another hour and a half. Once the balls of dough have proofed, you pick up the ball in both hands and press your thumbs in the middle while rotating and stretching the dough into a 4 inch circle. The recipe said, “rubber wading pool” shape.
Then the centers are filled with onion-poppy seed filling. The centers need to be very thin so as not to rise up and push the filling out. One of the bakers on The Fresh Loaf challenge posted the link to this YouTube video of Chef Mark Straussman showing the technique. I found the video very helpful, as I would never have thought you could handle proofed dough like that. I did dip the balls in flour as Chef Mark showed in the video, but don’t think I would do that again. I think I would prefer the shiny look the other bakes in the challenge achieved. All in all — success — and they taste great.