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Bialystoker Rolls

Bialys are almost as popular as bagels; I think the bialys sold in London's East End are the most delicious. The name comes from the city of Bialystok, once in Poland, now part of the Soviet Union.

ingredients

makes 20
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water
2 onions

method

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the sugar. Let rise in a warm place, lightly covered, until it foams, about 20 minutes.

2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and work into a dough. Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

3. Punch dough down and divide into 20 pieces. On a floured board, shape each into a round roll, then transfer the rolls to 2 floured cookie sheets. Cover lightly with a cloth and let rise for 45 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F.

5. Chop the onions. Press your thumb into the center of each roll to make a shallow depression. Brush depression with the beaten egg mixture, and sprinkle with some chopped onion.

6. Sprinkle very lightly with flour. Bake rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on wire racks. Serve split and buttered.

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