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You’ve GOT TO try a bialy . . . even if you don’t know what that is

I’ve heard of a bialy but never had one – until today. My impression was that it was some kind of bagel-y thing (it’s not, really), but beyond that, I knew nothing. 

I am apparently not alone in my ignorance.  Bialys are not exactly prolific in the Midwest.  New York, Miami, Chicago, areas with a large Jewish or Polish population, more so.  Just like people from the east coast bemoan our big, fat, sometimes tasteless bagels, most have learned to live with the absence of a bialy. Until now.

There’s a newish place on 39th street where you can get both a great bagel and a bialy.  It’s called Meshuggah Bagels and they live up to their tag line: “Bringing New York to Kansas City, one bagel at a time.” 

What that means is a bagel with a chewy crust but not one that tears your teeth out.  It should include a just slightly firm interior – but not doughy or too soft but still forgiving. These are kosher bagels and there are several kinds – sesame, cinnamon, poppy, onion, garlic, everything . . .  you get the idea.  They have sandwiches, schmears, coffee and a darling little room to sit in if you’re staying in these cold, cold days.

But about that bialy.  Bialy is Polish for white, originating in Bialystok, Poland, and this unboiled roll has a  lighter color and texture than a bagel. And there’s no hole – instead there’s an indentation traditionally with a cooked onion concoction.  It’s a potent little devil and boy, is it delish!   

Which works for this bagel shop – Meshuggah means crazy in Yiddish – as in crazy good.

Meshuggah Bagels
1208 W 39th Street 
Kansas City, MO 64111 
Ph. (816) 330-6016 

P.S.  If you’re a recipe reader, I found this recipe from pastry chef Elizabeth Falkner in Brooklyn from  It will help you visualize this delicacy.

16 Bialys
Prep Time: 30 mins + 3 hours resting time
Cook Time: 15 minutes

·         Rice flour for dusting on parchment lined pan
·         1 tablespoon olive oil
·         1 teaspoon poppy seeds
·         1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
·         1/2 onion minced, per bialy
·         17 ounces bread flour
·         9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
·         1 tablespoon kosher salt
·         2 teaspoons sugar
·         4 ounces starter or poolish*
·         1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
·         2 ounces warm water
·         14 1/2 ounces cold water

*Make the starter or poolish the night before with 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast. Mix together and leave out at room temperature overnight.
1.       Combine 2 ounces of warm water with the yeast to dissolve. Combine all dough ingredients together except the salt.
2.       When dough comes together, knead for 6 minutes.
3.       Add salt and knead for another 2 minutes. Set aside to rise for 2 hours.
4.       Roll into a log on a flour dusted surface. Scale out dough at 3 ounces a ball (about 16 bialys total) 
5.       Press each out to shape without overworking and leaving 1" lip around edge.
6.       Proof dough balls (allow to rise again) in warm spot covered with a clean dish towel for an hour or until soft and airy.
7.       Sauté onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until light caramel in color but at higher heat. Make center depression in each one and fill with the filling.
8.       Sprinkle bialys lightly with poppy seeds and salt.
9.       Bake at 450 degree oven, preferably on a pizza stone, for about 12-15 minutes.

Meshuggah Bagels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to try the recipe

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