Onion Pastry (Cebularze)

Living in New York, you come across bialys in many supermarkets. Now, as you may know, bialys are essentially baked flat bagels with an onion center, and they originate in Białystok, Poland (hence the name). I have a problem with many of these 2017 “bialys” because most of them barely have any onion ARGHHH! There is a similar regional pastry from Lublin called lubelskie cebularze. These have a slightly more yeasty and airy dough, and are topped with onion and poppy seeds. This recipe is more similar to that of lubelskie cebularze but differs in that the onions are caramelized before they top the dough and are baked. Anyway, if you like bialys, you will probably like this recipe. These buns have A LOT of onion toppings, but you can tone it down with less…I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Gonna be honest, poppy seeds are not easy to find in stores, so if you can’t find them, no need to fret (buuuuuuuut, if you happen to buy a poppy seed bagel is the grocery store, scrape as many poppy seeds from the bottom on the bin into your bag and use those! Be prepared for stares from the guy behind the bakery counter :D)

*Makes approximately 9 onion buns



  • 2 2/3 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 oz. or 2 1/4 tsp)


  • 2 large or 3 medium yellow onions
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)


Warm milk, sugar, and butter on very low heat, until butter has melted. Remove from heat and add yeast. Let the yeast sit on top for about 10 minutes, or until it begins to bubble.

In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Add egg and milk mixture and mix everything together for about 5 minutes by hand. Once the dough is very well combined, it should only be a little bit sticky and should hold shape well. Cover the bowl with a cloth or small towel and let it rest for at least an hour and a half in a warm place.

Meanwhile, thinly slice onions. Heat oil on a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and salt. Stir occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are very soft and golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Once dough has risen, take a small handful of dough and form into a ball. Place on a non-stick sheet pan (or pan with parchment paper) and gently press down to flatted dough. Leave about an inch between each.

Use the back of a spoon (with a little bit of butter or oil to prevent sticking) to press down in center of dough to create concave shape. Top the dough with onion mix. Be as generous or sparse as you want. If you have poppy seeds, sprinkle them on top of the pastries.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Add pan(s) and bake for 30 minutes. The bottoms and edges should be slightly golden.

These can be served hot and fresh or cooled. Smacznego!


Street scene in Lublin, home of lubelskie cebularze


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