Marc Grossman's beautiful 'New York Cult Recipes' book has really captured my imagination and I've loved cooking with the recipes as well as looking through all the amazing photographs. How you're supposed to pronounce these 'bialys' is still a total mystery to me, but they are healthy and delicious, and that's all that's important. That and the fact that they go really, really well with smoked mackerel. Enjoy.

The Bread

  • 400g Strong Flour
  • 1 and a half tsp Dried Yeast
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 250ml Warm Water
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil

The Filling

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 150 Onion very finely chopped
  • 1tsp Poppy Seeds
  • Salt

Mix together the Flour, Yeast and Salt

Add the Warm Water and Olive Oil (mixed together if you remember, not if you don’t)

Mix together and knead for 10 minutes or so until the Dough is lovely and elastic and smooth…

Leave to rise (somewhere warm-ish, covered with cling film or a tea towel) for a hour, or a few hours

Once the Dough has doubled in size – knock it back, give it a quick knead and then divide into 6 ball shaped portions.  Flatten them (!)

Arrange the flattened Dough portions evenly on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and with each one, pull their opposite ‘corners’ towards the centre and pinch together to form irregular round shapes

Leave them to rise again for another hour or so before flattening them slightly and squashing a big indent into the centre of each one (into which you can put your filling….)

To make the filling, gently fry a tablespoon of Olive Oil with the chopped Onion and Poppy Seeds for 5 – 10 minutes until golden and smelling delicious.  Season slightly with Salt

To bake the Bialys… pre-heat the oven to 200˚c and fill the indents in the Rolls with a spoonful of the Onion and Poppy Seed mixture

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until they’re lightly browned

Cool on a rack before serving…. They’re great with smoked mackerel and fennel, or with some tuna salad

This recipe is just one of a myriad of lovely recipes in the very special book ‘New York Cult Recipes’ by Marc Grossman, published by Murdoch Books

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