Sourdough Bialy Recipe, Polish Bread

Bialys are a traditional Polish bread.

They kind of look like bagels, but instead of a hole you get a delicious filling. You can find a recipe for the regular yeasted version here. This recipe makes 5 good sized bialys. You can double the ingredients to make more.

Watch the video down below to see detailed instructions.


For the levain –

100g (3.5oz) strong white bread flour

100g (3.5oz) room temperature water at around 20 – 22C (68 – 71F).

10g (0.35oz) active sourdough starter


For the main dough

150g (5.3oz) strong white bread flour

50g (1.75oz) room temperature water at around 20-22C (68-71F).

5g (0.2oz) salt

To learn more about dough temperature control when using a preferment click here.


For the toppings –

1 egg

Seasame seeds

Ham and caramelised onions

Cheddar cheese

But use whatever you fancy!


  1. Make the levain by mixing the flour, water and the starter and ferment for 12 – 16 hours.
  2. Add the remaining water to your bowl, add the salt and mix to dissolve.
  3. Add the levain, mix and then add the flour and mix until no dry flour left.
  4. Tip the dough out on your work surface and knead for 5 – 7 minutes.
  5. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  6. Fold.
  7. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  8. Divide into 5 pieces and pre-shape into round balls.
  9. Rest for 15 minutes.
  10. Shape into tight balls. Pre-heat your oven at this point to 240C (460F) no fan.
  11. Final proof 45 minutes.
  12. Shape the bialys, brush with egg, sprinkle with seeds and fill them.
  13. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes. If you want to add cheese like I did, then add it halfway through the bake.

Let cool down slightly and enjoy!

Watch the video here

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