CourseBreakfast, Brunch
Place of originPoland
Region or stateCentral Europe
Created byPolish Jews
Main ingredientsFlour

Bialy (Yiddish: ביאלי), a Yiddish word short for bialystoker kuchen (Yiddish: ביאליסטאקער קוכען), from the city of Białystok in Poland,[1] is a traditional bread roll in Polish Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine.


Bialys (without holes) and bagels (with)
Bialys (without holes) and bagels (with)

A chewy yeast roll bearing similarity to the bagel, the bialy has a diameter of up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in). Unlike a bagel, which is boiled before baking, a bialy is simply baked, and instead of a hole in the middle it has a depression. Before baking, the depression is filled with diced onion and other ingredients, sometimes including garlic, poppy seeds, or bread crumbs.[2]


The bialy was brought to the United States by Polish Jewish immigrants in the late 1800s, and became a staple of Jewish bakeries in the Northeastern United States. Bialys became a popular breakfast bread in New York City and its suburbs, especially among American Jews. Bialys are often made by bagel bakeries, but the bialy has failed to reach mainstream popularity. Preparing bialys in the traditional manner is time-consuming, so many bakeries now use dough mixers, as is common in bagel making. Bialys are considered an iconic New York City food, and can be difficult to find outside that area.[3] However, bialys are sold frozen by a number of brands, such as Ray’s New York, in supermarkets across the US.

In popular culture

In 2000, former New York Times food writer Mimi Sheraton wrote a book dedicated to the bialy and its role as a symbol of the Jewish heritage of Białystok, entitled The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World.[4][5]

See also


  1. ^ "Bialys, cousins to the bagel, but without a hole". The Boston Globe. August 7, 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Bialy". Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About the Bialy (Including a Recipe)".
  4. ^ Sheraton, Mimi (2000). The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 9780767905022. OCLC 44039265. Bialy (bread) at Google Books (searchable).
  5. ^ Parsons, Russ (December 17, 2000). "A Dimpled Bread". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-01-06.