Nope. Dinner rolls with a pile of onions on top is not what I was shooting for. Part of the problem is that the slits in the bottoms weren’t big enough, but more than that the hydration is still too high. Also the dough didn’t proof long enough. These need to overproof, at least by conventional bread standards, before they bake. A longer resting of the shaped bialys before baking would also have helped the dough relax. We’ll try again tomorrow!

29 thoughts on “Bialysfail”

  1. Well, none the less, those onions look delicious! Maybe not be a traditional bialy but I bet it tastes good!

    1. Thanks, Saragl! Other than not being what I wanted they were a success!


      – Joe

  2. Send them over my way, I’m sure they taste fantastic anyway 🙂 Good luck on Bialys version 2.0


    1. Thanks, Claire! Actually they were a hit with the family. I may do them again!

      – Joe

  3. A great chef once said “Chefs don’t make mistakes, they just create new dishes.” I think this can be said of bakers too. They look amazing. You’ve created a new dish, all you need is a name for it. Anything with caramelized onions on it can’t be that bad.

    1. Great idea! Perhaps some sort of contest is in order here. What should we give away for the winning name?

      – Joe

  4. On the bright side, the onions look like they’re getting their best night’s sleep ever. What sleep # is that?
    This is such a great topic, with the history & science & tips from the comments. Can’t wait for more.

    1. Yes they are sleeping in individual comfort, no question. But thanks! More soon.

      – Joe

  5. Are they hollow? They look a little like pita, which also puffs up like that. The onions look great! Looks like a lot more onion than what is usually on a bialy, but I say bring it on!

    1. No, not hollow. Quite fluffy in fact. But yes, I’m shooting for something not quite New York. I’m not sure what but I’ll know it when I see it!

      – Joe

  6. When you posted something about “bialys” I did not know what do you exactly mean, because I have never heard that name. But now I see the photo – maybe are they “cebularze”? Cebularze (cebula in polish means onion) are known from eastern Poland.

    1. I’d love to see a picture of those, Ilona. I’ll see if anything turns up on a Google search. Thanks so much for the comment.

      – Joe

  7. Ahhh, so Joe Pastry is a mere mortal just like the rest of us, eh? Who would have thought such? “Accidents” like that have happened to me too. Too often, sometimes. But despite not looking like a bialy, I’d eat them and enjoy… they look very yummy!

    1. Just ask my wife, Brian. You might have a hard time extricating yourself from the conversation.

      Anyway, they were good, but mostly a crunchy onion roll. On to Bialy Mark II.

      – Joe

  8. On the bright side they look beautiful and delicious. How’d they taste?

    1. Very good! They were very fluffy with a crunchy crust. Not really what I was going for. I need something a little more bagel-like at least in the crumb. Hopefully the next version will be closer.

      – J

  9. The wonderful thing about using good ingredients is that those “failed” bialys probably tasted pretty good even though they weren’t bialys! I would eat them in a second – laughing all the way, of course.

    1. Yeah they weren’t bad, actually. Not bialys, but pretty decent onion rolls. They went great with flank steak!


      – Joe

  10. Well, nothing you can build a business around can be that simple, I guess, otherwise, who’d buy’em? Forge on, Joe. Crack the code!

  11. Joe, did you get my email sent late last month regarding the bialy recipe in the Cook’s Country issue for Feb/March? There might be a clue in there.


    1. I did and found it very useful. Thank you, Linda…I should have mentioned it before.


      – Joe

  12. May I suggest rather than picking them up to shape them after they have risen, press them very firmly with the bottom of a small measuring cup to create an indentation. Then fill with the onions, I usually give them a light dusting with white rye prior to filling. I also flatten them somewhat with another baking sheet placed on top of the dough balls to help prevent the dinner roll shape before they start to rise. Happy eating!

  13. That looks like what happens whenever I try to make kolaches. I think my grandma may have forgotten to pass to me a few tricks. I’ll have to try the cutting slits in the bottom technique, that sounds effective. Have you made kolaches before?

    Also, I’ve never posted on your website before and I wanted to say thank you for providing such a wonderful and comprehensive baking resource. I just made Esterhazy Torte last night (with several prior days of component making) and it turned out great! I just need to remember to only make fondant from white sugar… unless I need gray fondant.

    1. Hey Matt!

      So glad to hear about your (mostly) good experience with the Esterházy torte. That sucker isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort. You may have noticed it took me a few tries to work the kinks out.

      And indeed I have made kolaches: there are two different kinds on the blog, just look under “Pastry”. Though now that you say it, a couple of the ones in the picture look puffier than they ought to be! I should redo them based on what I’ve learned from making bialys!

      Cheers and good luck — send me pictures!

      – Joe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *