Bialystock Kuchen

In food on 12/22/2009 at 12:01 pm

Kossar’s is the king of bialys and QQ, there’s no disputing it. Reading Mimi Sheraton’s The Bialy Eaters only confirmed that fact. I agree with her that they are baked too pale these days though. If you wanted to eat a soft bagel, then you should’ve bought a bagel!

Our Christmas wishlist has a breadmaker machine on it. If we receive it, then our dough proofing problems would be over (The only thing I miss from the previous abode was the surface warmer on the electric oven). Unfortunately, so would our street cred. But at least we’ll be eating homemade bread!

Days of shivering from being a heat cheapskate has gifted me with a cold. I’m playing hooky and wondering if our flight to the midwest will be cancelled as well, what with the forecasted blizzard on Christmas eve. Thank goodness for the new FAA guideline for holding passengers hostage on the tarmac for only 3 hours. I’ll be holding my flight crew accountable…

If we are stranded in the ‘pit this weekend, I might take this bialy project on. Now, where’s my leopard print Snuggie?

yield: 70-80 dozen bialys; 72 dozen/10 = ~6 dozen/2 = 3 dozen

My conversion:
100lb high-gluten unbleached wheat bread flour
7 gallon ice water
2 lb kosher coarse uniodized salt
1 lb baker’s cake yeast
10 lb flour
.7 gallon water
.2 lb salt
.1 lb yeast
5 lb flour = 20 cups
.35 gallon water = 6 cups
.1 lb salt = 1/3 cup = 6 Tbsp
.05 lb yeast = 3.2 Tbsp

The other half’s conversion:
100 lb flour –> 10 lb flour –> 5 lb flour = 18.14 cup if all-purpose unbleached, enriched flour or 80 oz; 16.55 cups if white bread flour or 80 oz.
7 gallon h2o –> .7 gallon h2o –> .35 gallon h2o = 5.6 cups, or 44.8 fluid oz.
2 lb salt –> .2 lb salt –> .1 lb salt = 2.52 Tbsp or 1.6 oz
1 lb yeast –> .1 lb yeast –> .05 lb yeast = 3.24 packages, .8 oz, 22.68 grams or 1.89 Tbsp.

1 chopped onion per dozen bialy (3-5 hrs before use)
poppy seeds (store in fridge to delay rancid-ity)
coarse toasted bread crumbs (preferably dried bialys)

For topping:
Mix 1 Tbsp crumbs into chopped onions. Check after 3 hours, texture should be loose wet sand. If not, add more crumbs 1/2 tsp every 10 minutes until desired consistency.

1. Mash yeast into 1/2 cup cold water. When dissolved, stir in remaining water. Combine salt and flour in bowl. Add yeast water. Let rise 2-3 hrs with damp towel until dough comes together but is still sticky, and doubled in size.
2. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and shiny. Divide in half if dough too large to handle
3. Divide dough into balls about 3oz each to get a 4″ product, or bigger if you want traditional kuchen.
4. Rise one hour, lightly roll between floured palms and gently flatten with heel of hand.
5. Preheat oven 500 deg F with baking sheets inside. Shape center indentation by placing both thumbs on top of the center of each rough of dough, with index and middle fingers underneath. Press and stretch dough to form well. (or invest in tiny rolling pin to get a harder, crustier center, also can use bottom of small jar)
6. Top with fresh chopped onions and poppy seeds (brush top with water to stick).
7. Bake for ~20 minutes, to the color/darkness you prefer. Start bialys on lower third of oven, then put on upper third after 10 minutes.

To test yeast: Mash 1oz yeast into 1/2 cup warm water, stir in 1/2 tsp sugar. If yeast froths up in 10 minutes, it is active. Discard.

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