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Sep 16, 2022

Pletzel (Jewish Onion Board)

This delicious bread is pletzel. It's an Ashkenazi Jewish flatbread and is sometimes called Onion Board. 

Pletzel on a wooden board cut into pieces.

Pletzel is topped with onions and poppy seeds, just like bialys. It's kind of a cross between focaccia and and a bialy. Typically it is shaped either in a board or a disk (called an onion disk). 

It used to be very popular in days gone by, but is not very well known or easy to find these days, even in Jewish bakeries, just like bialys. Probably the most well-know bakery that mades them is Kossar's, in the lower east side of New York City. 

It is believed pletzel was originally made with either leftover challah or bialy dough. 

Pletzel on a cooling rack.

This recipe uses a lean, bialys-style dough, fairly high in hydration (about 78%). It's easy to make but requires an overnight rise in the refrigerator. Otherwise, this recipe requires very little hands on time and is very forgiving. You'll spend the most time preparing the onions. 

How to Make This Pletzel:

First, you quickly mix the dough ingredients with a dough whisk or spoon and then place it in the refrigerator, covered, overnight. 

The next day, sauté the onions for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are slightly browned, but not yet fully caramelized. They will continue to caramelize in the oven on top of the pletzel to become super sweet and delicious. 

onions caramelizing in a pan.

After cooking the onions, spread the dough out onto a parchment-lined and oiled rimmed baking sheet. If the dough is resistant, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing to stretch the dough. 

In the meantime, heat your oven with a baking stone on the middle rack. 

Pletzel dough in a sheet pan with olive oil.

Finally, spread the onions over the dough and sprinkle the onions with poppy seeds and bake the bread for about 25 to 30 minutes. 

Use a pizza wheel to cut this pletzel into pieces and serve. 

Pletzel on a wooden board cut into pieces.

If you have leftovers, you can store them, wrapped in foil, in the refrigerator. Reheat them in the oven or toaster oven at about 325 degrees F just as you would leftover pizza slices. 

Recommended Equipment:

Pizza Stone: Using a pizza stone (or pizza steel), while not necessary, really helps to crisp the crust as your pletzel is baking. 

Pizza wheel: For cutting the pletzel. It's so much easier than using a knife. 

Pletzel pieces stacked on top of each other.

This month, the Bread Baking Babes are making pletzel and I am the host kitchen. After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Babe's versions of this delicious bread. 

Pletzel pieces stacked on a plate.

Pletzel (Jewish Onion Board)

Pletzel (Jewish Onion Board)
Yield: 9 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 30 MinInactive time: 12 HourTotal time: 13 H & 15 M
This delicious bread is pletzel. It's an Ashkenazi Jewish flatbread and is sometimes called Onion Board.


For the Dough
  • 375 grams (3 cups) all purpose flour
  • 7 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 7 grams (2 teaspoons) kosher salt (I used Diamond Crystal)
  • 2 tablespoons, olive oil
  • 294 grams (1 1/4 cups) warm water (about 110 degrees F)
  • Spray oil
For the Topping
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for stretching
  • 3 large yellow or brown onions, about 3/8 inch dice
  • 1 3/4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (plus more if desired) poppy seeds
  • Flake sea salt (optional)


  1. Mix the dough ingredients with a dough whisk until all of the flour is absorbed.
  2. Spray a large bowl or dough rising bucket with spray oil and scrape it into the bowl. Spray the top lightly with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise overnight, about 10 to 15 hours. It should double.
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator while you heat the oven and prepare the onions.
  4. If you have a baking stone or baking steel, set it on a rack in the middle or slightly below. Heat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is translucent and slightly browned about the edges, about 20 to 30 minutes. When they are almost done, stir in the salt. Remove the onions from the pan and let cool in a bowl.
  6. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spread with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the paper. Scrape the dough onto the parchment and spread it by dimpling it with your oiled fingertipss while pushing to the edges. If the dough is resistant, let it rest for 10 minutes, and start spreading it again (until you have about a 10 inch by 14 inch rectangle).
  7. Brush the edges of the dough lightly with olive oil. Spread the onion mixture over the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border. Sprinkle the onions with the poppy seeds. Lightly sprinkle with the optional sea salt. Let rest, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Place the baking sheet on top of the baking stone and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Cut with a pizza wheel. It's best fresh from the oven, but can be reheated, just like pizza.

Nutrition Facts



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Did you make this recipe?
Tag on instagram and hashtag it # karenskitchenstories

This recipe was adapted from two sources, The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook by Beth Corman Lee, and The Savory Baker by America's Test Kitchen. The first recipe is featured in a cookbook review by Mother Would Know) the second is featured in a cookbook review by Zabar's).  

The Bread Baking Babes' Pletzels:

Bread Experience

Feeding My Enthusiasms

A Messy Kitchen

Blog from Our Kitchen

Judy's Gross Eats

Would you like to comment?

  1. Your flatbread has a lovely color. I like the effect of the poppy seeds.

  2. It's like an "evolved" bialy and I am totally okay with that! YUM

  3. Great choice, Karen. It was delicious!

  4. I must say: Your pletzel looks so perfect.

    Many thanks for choosing it for us to make, Karen. As Judy says, it was delicious!

  5. What a fun bake! And your look wonderful!

  6. My love for caramelized onions knows no bounds. This is on my bake list!


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