Cheesy Bialys with Golden Onions & Cheddar Filling
photo: Jennifer May

Cheesy Bialys with Golden Onions & Cheddar Filling

We love cheesecake and rich dairy kugels as much as anyone. And we heartily support your serving them on your holiday table for Shavuot, the festival of all things cheese.

But this year, we’ve decided to add bialys, with a generous puddle of golden sautéed onions, sharp cheddar cheese and poppy seeds, to our buffet.

Why bialys?

First, they’re the leaner cousins of bagels and we can still dream about lean,right?

Second, and more to the point, they provide a generous indentation for your favorite fillings and we’ll take golden onions any day, especially when folded into a soft dough that doesn’t fill you up like those oversized bagels do.

So we’re doing bialys this year. It’s final!

Want to find more bread recipes like this one? Check out The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, a collection of recipes of ethnic breads from all over the world. You’ll be amazed at the range of recipes in this beautiful volume.

Yes, there’s challah. Yes, there’s babke.

Hot Bread Kitchen cookbook
photo: Jennifer May

Check our post here to see why we love Hot Bread Kitchen and their mission. We discovered that there is a Jewish backstory!

For a selection of slightly less than traditional dairy kugels we’ve loved and posted, click here.

For more on the holiday of Shavuot and why we turn exclusively to dairy get the whole story here.

Shavuot starts at sundown on May 30 and ends after sunset on June 1, 2017.

What will you be eating/cooking? Are you kugel traditionalists? Blintz or cheesecake lovers? Up for a change and ready to make cheesy bialys?

cheesy bialys hot bread kitchen nyc
photo courtesy of Hot Bread Kitchen

All photos and recipe re-printed with permission from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julia Turshen, 2015.


Pâte Fermentée


 From the authors:

“Pâte fermentée is an ingredient in many recipes in the lean and enriched doughs chapters. You need to make it eight to twenty-four hours before you bake your bread. This extra step extends fermentation time and allows you to achieve a light, flavorful loaf with less yeast. Pâte fermentée contains the ingredients of simple French bread dough—flour, water, yeast, and salt—so, in a pinch, you could bake and eat it. Unlike other types of pre-ferments, such as levain, pâte fermentée does not impart a sour flavor to the bread. Instead it adds depth of flavor and extends the shelf life of your bread. If you make bread often, you can save the trimmings from lean doughs to use in your pâte fermentée. More likely, if you are making a Rustic Batard (page 128), Traditional Challah (page 175), or any number of the breads in this book, you will mix a batch of the pâte fermentée the day before, then refrigerate it until you are ready to bake.”


½ cup plus 1 teaspoon/120 g LUKEWARM WATER


1⅓ cups plus 1 tablespoon/180 g BREAD FLOUR

1 teaspoon KOSHER SALT


1. Put the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes until combined into a shaggy dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Refrigerate the mixture for a minimum of 8 hours and a maximum of 24. (There is no need to return it to room temperature before using.)

3. If you’re measuring the pâte fermentée rather than weighing it, be sure to deflate it with a wooden spoon or with floured fingertips before measuring.


  1. This recipe looks intriguing–good project for a rainy day! Could you just explain ‘windowpane test’ at the end of step 2. I’m not familiar with the term. Thanks!

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