Bialy with cheese + onion

Bialy with cheese + onion

A bialy is what I have gorged on much in the past (I’m talking over a decade ago, during college in numerous rendezvous with New York city)! This is where I discovered the beauty of a bialy, the famous bagel’s cousin.

The bialy is similar in texture, a bread item, but instead of a hole going all the way through, there is a dent for filling in with flavour. This means, no cutting across and spreading cream cheese, and hence adding a few steps towards achieving a snack.

The bialy, much like the focaccia, is to be had on its own, without any fuss, for breakfast, a snack, with soup or salad!

The baking method does not require boiling in water like the bagel, but just like any other bread roll – proofed only once and then straight into the oven after shaping.

A bialy does not last many days as like the focaccia, it is to be eaten the same day, fresh and warm. If you do want it to be eaten the next day, I recommend storing at room temperature, and then reheating the oven for a few minutes.

The filling or topping – whatever you may call it, for me is onions cooked in butter, and a bit of cheese. I have eaten more exotic ones like peaches + blue cheese, caramelized onions and gruyere – but for the sake safety from covid and venturing out to stores, I chose simple reliable pyaaz, some garlic powder and Amul dabba cheese. But the options are aplenty!

Go ahead, try these fail-proof bialy’s and enjoy a little piece of heaven with every bite!

Instant Dry Yeast that I use: shop here

The Recipe
Serves 10 pieces


  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water + some extra if needed
  • Topping:
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese


  • Whisk the flour and instant dry yeast
  • Then whisk in the salt
  • Slowly pour the warm water into the mixture and combine to bring into a dough. Knead within the bowl to incorporate and make a dough
  • Tip over the dough onto a clean surface and knead for 5 minutes to smooth – dough will be sticky, but do not add more flour
  • Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a cloth to rest for 1-2 hours or until double in volume
  • In the meantime, cook the topping – heat butter in a small pan, add the onions and cook. After a few minutes, add the salt and garlic powder and cook for a few minutes
  • Set aside to cool
  • Once the dough has doubled, set the oven to preheat at 200C and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper
  • Gently punch down and give a few kneads and divide into 10 equal pieces
  • Apply oil to your hands and gently make balls of each part and place onto the tray
  • With the back of a small bowl, gently indent each ball for a small hole
  • Fill a teaspoon or so of the filling into the dent, sprinkle cheese on top
  • Brush some milk or olive oil around the tops of the bread
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on the rack
  • Serve while warm

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.