- 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 ***
- 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)
- Combine topping ingredients and set aside.
- 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.
- Shape the dough into a ball; place in a large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes.
- Press out all of the air with your fingers and allow to rise until doubled in size (20 to 30 minutes).
- 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.
- 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.
- Evenly space the circles on 2 floured or cornmeal-dusted baking pans. Cover with flour rubbed cloths and allow to rise until puffy.
- 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.
- 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.