This Bialy Bagels recipe is a mashup between a bialy and a bagel, and can be adapted to lean more heavily one way or the other. This easy bread dough is formed into a bialy shape, covered in everything seasoning, baked to perfection and topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream cheese.
They're much smaller than a traditional bagel, and make the perfect addition to any breakfast spread!
These Bialy Bagels with Everything Seasoning may become one of my new favorite go-to breakfasts for a weekend or small gathering! It's the best parts of a bagel and a bialy combined. Soft, slightly chewy, packed with flavor from the everything seasoning...
And let's not forget that perfect dollop of whipped cream cheese that graces the center indent! Top it with fresh chives or scallions, and grab a cozy spot to enjoy it.
This recipe is deceptively easy, and you'll be surprised by how quickly it comes together start to finish!
The Difference Between a Bagel and Bialy
First, let's start by discussing the characteristics between a bagel and a bialy. This recipe is a mashup between the two, but they are NOT actually one in the same. I'm going to explain a few similarities and differences here.
- Round, chewy, and bread based.
- Can be served with toppings or plain.
- Jewish delicatessen staples.
- Both get baked in an oven.
- A bagel has a full hole, while a bialy is only indented (and traditionally filled).
- Bagels are more round and raised, while a bialy is flatter.
- Bagels are boiled, then baked. Bialy's skip the boiling and just get baked.
- Because of the above, bagels are typically shiny (also due to egg wash for some) and bialy's are more bread-like and matte.
- Bagels are chewier and toothsome, bialy's are softer and airier.
Read more in depth about the differences between bialys and bagels. Additionally, you can find my tips on how to adapt the recipe more towards one or the other (or keep it just as is!).
Bialys are typically filled with a cooked down onion mixture and sometimes also poppy seeds. Pizza ingredients are also occasionally added (sauce, cheese, pepperoni) for another version!
Often, they're just spread with butter or cream cheese. But just like a bagel, you can really eat it how you enjoy it.
- Active dry yeast. I always like to use active dry yeast to be sure it's alive and well before diving into the recipe.
- Sugar and salt. Just a ½ tablespoon of brown sugar is needed. Regular granulated sugar could also be used.
- Bread flour. All-purpose flour will not produce the same results, but can be used in a pinch.
- Onion powder. This is optional, but gives the bialy bagels a bit of extra flavor.
- Cream cheese. Use full fat, Philadelphia brand cream cheese blocks. This has the best flavor and texture!
- Heavy whipping cream. This gets added to the cream cheese to produce a light and fluffy whipped cream cheese.
- Everything seasoning. You can now find "Everything But the Bagel Seasoning" in most grocery stores. However, the recipe card includes how to make your own.
- Digital thermometer (not required, but helpful)
- Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
- Large mixing bowl
- Knife or bench scraper
- Large baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Pastry brush (for the egg wash)
How to make the Bialy Bagels with Everything Seasoning
STEP 1: Begin by activating the active dry yeast in a stand mixer bowl (warm water - 110℉, brown sugar, yeast). Once frothy, add the bread flour, onion powder and salt and mix with the dough hook attachment for about two minutes until the dough just forms and pulls off of the sides.
STEP 2: Transfer the dough to a floured surface, set a timer, and knead for five full minutes. The dough will turn soft, supple, and pliable.
Form it into a ball and place it in a greased bowl (roll it around to coat) and cover with plastic wrap to rise until doubled in size.
Pro tip: take a picture of the dough so you have something to reference to see when it has risen and doubled!
Assemble the Dough
STEP 3: Punch down the dough, then cut it into six even pieces. Pull and fold the sides down to the bottom and pinch to seal. Then, using open fingers, roll the dough in a clockwise (or counter clockwise) motion to finish sealing.
Transfer all of the dough to a large parchment lined baking sheet.
STEP 4: Flatten each piece of dough with your palm or fingers, then use your fingers to press the center of the dough down and outwards, leaving a ½" border around the bialy.
Bake and Assemble
STEP 5: Brush the bialy with egg wash, then liberally sprinkle on the everything seasoning. Alternatively, you can lightly spray them with water, then add the seasoning. Option 1 is more akin to a bagel, option 2 is akin to a bialy - choose your path!
STEP 6: Add the bialy bagels to the preheated oven and immediately pour in ¼ cup (60ml) of water into the bottom of the oven and close the door. This step provides more of a bagel texture, and can absolutely be omitted to go for the bialy route.
STEP 7: While the bagels are baking, make the whipped cream cheese. Add the cold cream cheese to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed, scraping the sides and whisk a few times, until airier in texture.
Then, add the heavy cream and whip for another minute or so until light, fluffy, and easily scoop-able.
STEP 8: Using a 1.5 inch cookie scoop, scoop a dollop of the whipped cream cheese into the center of each bialy bagel. Top with sliced chives, green onions, or sprinkle with more everything seasoning or flaky salt.
Storing and Freezing
Store the bialy bagels in a covered container for two days, though they are best eaten within about 5 hours. The whipped cream cheese can be stored in a sealed container for one week. Re-whip prior to serving if it's been stored.
After baking and cooling, the bialy bagels can be stored tightly sealed in the freezer for one month. Thaw at room temperature.
Reheat the bialy bagels in a 350℉/177℃ oven for about 5 minutes. Only add the scoop of whipped cream cheese prior to serving.
FAQs & Tips
This is totally a personal preference! While there are similarities between the two, they are typically enjoyed in different manners and are considered to be different products entirely.
They taste like a mix between and bagel and an English muffin! Depending on what the centers are filled with, this can also have an affect on the final flavor.
Bread flour should be used, as it has higher protein content, leading to that classic chewy texture you get in a bagel.
All purpose flour can be used in a pinch, but the textural result will not be as intended.
This could be for two reasons. First, the yeast is expired or dead. Second, the temperature was either too hot and killed the yeast, or it was not warm enough to start the activation process.
It's best to use a digital kitchen thermometer to check for a 110℉ temperature. It should feel very warm, but not overly hot.
More Breakfast Recipes
- Ham and Swiss Quiche (with Frozen or Homemade Crust)
- Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
- Banana Nut Muffins
- Lemon Filled Donuts (with Meringue Topping)
Bialy Bagels with Everything Seasoning
- Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
- Digital thermometer
- ¾ cup warm water 110℉ (180ml)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2¼ cups bread flour 270g
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg for egg wash
- Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
- 12 oz full-fat cream cheese cold
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (60ml)
- Fresh chives or scallions finely chopped, for garnish
- Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Give it a stir and allow it to sit for 5 minutes while the yeast starts to activate and get foamy.
- Add the flour, onion powder, and salt and mix on medium low speed for 2 minutes. It will be rather lumpy at this point.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface, then knead the dough by hand for a full 5 minutes until the dough becomes soft and smooth.
- Add the ball of dough to a greased bowl and roll it to coat, cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel, and allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. About 1-1.5 hours.
- Once the dough has doubled, turn the oven to 425℉/218℃ and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Punch down the dough and separate it into 6 even pieces using a knife or bench scraper. Then, form the dough into a ball by pulling and pinching down the sides to the bottom, then rolling it seam side down (using only your fingers and keeping them spread apart) in a clockwise/counter clockwise motion to seal.
- Transfer the dough balls to a large cookie sheet and cover lightly with plastic wrap and rest for about 5 - 10 minutes.
- Press the dough ball flat with the palm of a hand, then create a wide well by pushing down into the dough using your fingers. There should be about ½ inch rim around the edge. Repeat with all 6 pieces.
- Whisk the egg together with a splash of water, then brush the edges of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle the edges liberally with the everything seasoning.
- Add the bialy bagels to the center rack of the oven, and immediately pour in ¼ cup of water to the bottom of the oven (quickly, as it will steam up) and close the oven door.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the bialy bagels are lightly golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool and make the whipped cream cheese (or start on it while they're baking).
Whipped Cream Cheese
- Add the cream cheese to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a handheld mixer) and whip on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the whisk and sides a few times during the whisking process.
- Drizzle in the heavy cream and continue whipping on high speed until it becomes slightly more airy. The cream cheese should be easily scoop-able when done.
- Use a 1.5-inch cookie scoop to scoop a mound of cream cheese into the center of each bialy bagel.
- Sprinkle with finely chopped chives or green onions (optional).
- Spray the indented dough with water and add the seasoning (rather than egg washing).
- Don't add the water to the bottom of the oven.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes.