In these cold winter months in New England, I venture out on an occasional Saturday to the local Winter Farmers' Market in New Haven run by CitySeed, the organization I have been working with for the past couple years. There are still a good amount of root vegetables and greens and so much more at the market, which is wonderful. I must admit though, that my primary reason for making the journey to the market is to eat yet another of the fabulous treats made by the Sono Baking Co. Yes, they are that good.
During the many years I lived in Brooklyn, my primary motivation for leaving my apartment each day was all the fabulous food that awaited me outside my doors. While there is a lot of great food in New Haven, there was not a perfect croissant to be found, and not many sweets as good as those from the Sono baking co, (in South Norwalk, CT). When my birthday rolled around in November the first year we moved back here, I actually took the day off from work and drove 45 minutes to the bakery just to eat their delicious food and buy a whole box of pastries and breakfast sweets to bring home. I also took a walk on the docks in the chilly fall air...and then ate some more pastry.
But, back to the point of this post. Bialy's. I have always loved them. As a kid we bought them from this Jewish deli on Whalley ave and Dayton street which is now a package store. As an adult I used to buy them on the upper west side on my way to shop at Fairway before a day of cooking and catering. Sliced, toasted and slathered with butter, oozing out into the foil it was wrapped in, delicious and special. These bialys were usually from Kossar's on the lower east side, one of the few remaining jewish outposts in that neighborhood. (now next door to Donut Plant(fabulous!), across the street from the Pickle Guys, and around the corner from Sweet Life candy store and a chinatown noodle shop on the corner of Hester and Ludlow. A fabulous 2 block walk at Essex and Grand that is seriously worth a nyc visit). Now as much as I liked these bialys with their browned onions and soft chewy interiors, I always savored the few onions inthe middle and wished for more in each bite.
The bialy's from Sono, certainly don't suffer from lack of onions as can be seen in these pictures, and the onions have not been caramelized before being baked with the dough. These onions are tossed with poppyseeds, and a little oil and cooked right with the dough as it bakes. The Sono bialys are slightly larger than average and a little softer too. None of this should be taken to mean they are inferior, different for sure, but fabulous! I haven't been able to leave the market without one since they started making them some time last summer. I have loved these spilt, toasted and eaten with avocado and a fried egg. A wonderful weekend breakfast or lunch.
Some of my other favorites from Sono: Kouign amann, conchas, fruit foccacia, and lemon briocche, and they make one of the best almond croissants around.
If you love bialys as much as I do, or just want to read about them, check out the book The Bialy Eaters by Mimi Sheraton