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Onion bialys with sugar-cured trout and green peppercorn cream

Lisa Featherby recipe for onion bialys with sugar-cured trout and green peppercorn cream.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus proving
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Onion bialys with sugar-cured trout and green peppercorn cream
Bialys are similar to bagels, but they're just baked, not blanched, and they don't have a hole in the centre. To achieve their characteristic dense, chewy texture, use good strong bread flour and only a little yeast, and prove them for a long time. Start this recipe two days ahead to cure the trout and prove the bialys. Makes about 12.


  • To serve: dill leaves
Sugar-cured trout
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 100 gm fine sea salt
  • To taste: crushed black peppercorns
  • 1.25 kg side of skinless ocean trout, pin-boned
Onion bialys
  • ¾ tsp dried yeast
  • 600 gm (6 cups) bread flour
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 15 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ tsp poppy seeds
Beetroot-stained onion
  • 1 Tuscan red onion, or small Spanish onion, cut into 4 crossways
  • Juice of 1 small beetroot
Green peppercorn cream
  • 250 gm crème fraîche
  • 1½ tbsp coarsely chopped green peppercorns


  • 1
    For sugar-cured trout, combine sugar, salt and peppercorns in a bowl, spread over trout, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, turning once, for 18 hours. Brush excess cure from trout with a damp pastry brush, pat dry with a damp clean cloth and refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    For onion bialys, whisk yeast and 270ml lukewarm water in a small bowl and stand until foamy (5 minutes). Combine flour and 1 tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add yeast mixture and mix on medium speed until until a smooth, elastic and slightly tacky dough forms (5 minutes). Cover and set aside in a draught-free place until doubled in size (1 hour). Meanwhile, stir onion, oil and butter in a frying pan over low-medium heat until onions start to caramelise (15-18 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool, then stir in poppy seeds. Knock back dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll into balls and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper about 4cm apart. Press the centre of each, turning it as you press, to form a disc with a doughnut-like rim and a flatter centre. Place a spoonful of onion mixture in the centre of each, cover with a damp tea towel and plastic wrap, and refrigerate to prove (at least 6 hours or overnight). Remove from fridge an hour before baking.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 220C. Spray oven with water, then reduce temperature to 200C and bake bialys, swapping trays after 10 minutes, until golden and cooked through (15-20 minutes).
  • 4
    For beetroot-stained onion, combine onion and beetroot juice in a container that holds mixture snugly and set aside for an hour. Remove onion, pat dry with paper towels, thinly slice and separate rings.
  • 5
    For green peppercorn cream, blend ingredients in a blender until thick and creamy.
  • 6
    To serve, halve bialys and arrange thinly sliced trout, beetroot-stained onion rings and green peppercorn crème over bases. Scatter with dill and sandwich with bialy tops.


Drink Suggestion: Sparkling rosé. Drink suggestion by Max Allen