These old-school bagel-like rolls are nice as a savoury treat in the morning, and they make an amazing brunch option when entertaining. Serve bialys at room temperature, either on their own or with cream cheese, smoked fish and/or eggs.
Onion topping: Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook, stirring every minute, for 6 to 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Set aside to cool. Stir in the poppy seeds and refrigerate. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Yeasted dough: Lightly grease a large bowl with butter. Have ready a piece of plastic wrap large enough to cover the top of the bowl.
Warm 3/4 cup + 2 tsp of the water in a small pot over medium heat until it is warm to the touch, not hot. Stir in the honey and yeast and mix well. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, and add the rest of the water and all of the flour on top. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes until incorporated, then increase the speed to high and mix for 4 minutes until the dough has come together and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour in a warm room, away from any drafts.
With your fist, punch down the dough in the bowl, cover it again and allow it to rest in a warm place for 1 more hour.
Have ready a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and, using your hands, form them into balls. Cover and allow them to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using your fingers, make a well in the centre of each bun, about 2 inches in diameter. (This is like making a miniature pizza with a fat crust.) Scoop a tablespoonful of the onion mixture into each well. Bake the bialys for 10 to 14 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from the oven and, while hot, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.