1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the yeast. Add the warm water and mix using the dough hook attachment on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is well developed and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
2. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Gently pull the edges of each piece together to make a ball. Flatten, with smooth side up, and shape into a round disc about 4 inches in diameter. Place the discs on a cutting board dusted with flour or cornmeal, cover, and let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in height.
3. While the dough is rising, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 500° F.
4. To make the filling, sauté the diced onions in the oil over medium-low heat until they reach a deep, caramel color. In a separate bowl, mix the onions with the breadcrumbs, poppy seeds, and remaining teaspoon salt and let cool.
5. To fill the bialys, use the pads of both index and middle fingertips to make a depression in the center of each disc. Using fingertips, press about 2 tablespoons of the onion filling (use more or less as desired) into the center of each bialy.
6. Use a spatula or bench knife to transfer the bialys directly to the pizza stone. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until they reach a golden brown.
Makes 6 bialys
Photograph by Albert Elbilia
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, April/May 2014