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The Hirshon Modern Jewish Bialy - Bialystoker Kuchen

The Hirshon Modern Jewish Bialy – ביאליסטאקער קוכען

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 packages active dry yeast
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups bread flour
  • Flour for dusting (preferably rye flour for added flavor)
  • Oil for greasing bowl ***
  • Topping:
  • 3 Tbsp. minced onion
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground charnushka (TFD addition – replace with poppy seeds for original)
  • 1 tsp. sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. schmaltz (TFD addition – use sunflower oil for original)
  • 1 pinch smoked salt (preferred) or Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes (TFD addition, omit if you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground dehydrated wild ramps (TFD addition, omit if you prefer)


  1. Combine topping ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl sprinkle yeast over the warm water to soften; stir to dissolve. Add the sugar, 6 cups of flour, and salt. Mix thoroughly until dough forms up and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead, adding small amounts of flour as needed, for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball; place in a large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes.
  4. Press out all of the air with your fingers and allow to rise until doubled in size (20 to 30 minutes).
  5. Punch down the dough, divide into thirds, roll out under your palms into ropes, and cut each rope in 6 equal pieces. Roll into balls. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Roll out each ball into a 3-½” circle. If the dough becomes too stiff or shrinks back, allow it to rest and go on to the next piece.
  7. Evenly space the circles on 2 floured or cornmeal-dusted baking pans. Cover with flour rubbed cloths and allow to rise until puffy.
  8. Make an indentation from the center outward, leaving a 1″ rim. A shot glass with a 1″ bottom also works well. Press with a circular motion. Dribble bit of the reserved topping into the hole. Dust lightly with reserved flour.
  9. Cover with cloths and allow to proof until puffed up. Bake without steam in a preheated 450°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately (they’re best this way) or allow to cool, then freeze.