My Mom’s Bialys

mom’s bialysWhen Jeff and I started to write Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day I sent the “master” recipe to my mom. It was, in my mind the ultimate test. Not because my mom has been baking for years and would be hyper critical, quite the opposite. You see my mother has many, many talents, but baking is not one of them. Or I should say it wasn’t until now. I sent her the recipe and waited. A couple of days later I got a hysterical call from her and she was slathering butter all over her first loaf of bread. She had just taken it out of the oven and despite our recommendation to let it cool she cut into it when it was still warm. She was talking to me between bites and was so proud of herself.

At that moment I knew that Jeff and I had written a book that could turn anyone into a bread baker. My mother now bakes bread nearly every day using our method and has shared her loaves with most of central Vermont. Her favorite recipe is for bialys, which she has always had a fondness for but can’t get in Vermont. They are often called the cousin of the bagel but instead a hole in the center they are filled with sauteed onion and poppy seeds. I write about her love for bialys and how she now makes her own in the book on page 125. What is missing from that page is the picture of her creations, so here they are in all of their glory!!!

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7 thoughts to “My Mom’s Bialys”

  1. I think your book has changed my life! I grew up with an Italian babysitter that made fresh bread 3 times a week. There was never Wonder Bread in my house. As a result, I’m a bit of a bread snob. With two small kids and a full-time job, I never imagined I’d have the time to make bread. Since receiving your book, I’ve made bialys (I’m a Chicago native and hadn’t had one in the 12 years I’ve lived in Minnesota) and six loaves of bread. Even better, my husband’s in on it and has fresh bread ready for dinner when the kids and I arrive home.

    I worked with Graham at R&B, please say “hello” to him!

  2. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for sharing your bread story with me. I love to hear that your whole family is in on the baking.

    I never knew there were so many people in Minnesota who were desperate for a good bialy. We really thought twice about including that recipe because we figured no one would know what they are. It turns out there is a very passionate bialy loving group out there!

    Graham says Hi!

    Thanks, Zoë

  3. Hi Zoe,
    Thanks for the fantastic book! It has truly changed my life. I’ve made bread for years but with 7 young children it always seemed to take TOO long. Your method is marvelous and my kids love doing the mixing, shaping and baking. They feel like little artisan chefs, and they are!

    I was wondering if you could comment on the bagel recipe. I’ve had great success with everything else but my bagels came out dimply and crusty rather than chewy.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks again for the wonderful book!

  4. Hi Rebecca,

    How exciting that you have your kids in the kitchen with you to make the bread. I love baking with my boys, and they love eating the fruits of their labor.

    As for the bagels the first thing that comes to mind is that they are boiling for too long? About 30 seconds on each side is all they need. I’m not sure if you have printed out a copy of the errata sheet, but there is a note on there about the baking temperature for the bagels. They should be baked at 450 and not 400 degrees.

    Let me know if that helps? I’ll keep thinking about it and let you know if I can think of anything else.

    Thanks, Zoë

  5. I love your book. On a couple of recipes they call for mashed potato. Could you expand? Actual mashed potatoes or just a mashed cooked potato (no water, no milk, no butter?)


  6. Hi John,

    You could go either way. I literally used left over mashed potatoes with the cream, butter seasoning and all. But I’ve also do it sans all the fixings, just make sure you add a touch of salt if you find it is a bit flat tasting.

    I’m glad you are enjoying the book. We are currently working on another one focusing on whole grain breads.

    Happy baking! Zoë

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