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Caramelized Onion Sourdough Bread

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caramelized-onion-sourdough

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If at once you don't succeed, try try again

A few years ago, I decided I'd bake some onion-flavored sourdough just for the heck of it.

I diced up a lovely white onion and added it to my standard recipe.

The result, alas, was disappointing. No flavor. Zilch, zip, nada.

A year later, I tried some onion-flavored dinner rolls a friend had baked -- they had a wonderful onion flavor. When I inquired, he said he'd simply added some onion powder to the dough. That really surprised me, because I was certain fresh onion would do a great job, and I was wrong.

I HATE being wrong, so fresh onions and sourdough rattled around in my head for another year or two, until I ran into a suggestion: use caramelized onions.

The result? The bread this recipe produced was terrific, although the onion flavor is just a tad stronger than what I'm looking for. (We're talking onions here, so your mileage may vary.)

Onions, onions, I love onions

"I don't like snails, or toads, or frogs, Or strange things living under logs, But, mmm, I love onions." (Susan Christie - "I Love Onions," 1966)


Fresh out of the oven!

Caramelized Onion Sourdough

Caramelized Onion Sourdough

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

16 hours

45 min

16 hours 45 min

860 gram loaf (Approx. 1.9 pounds)

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Flour, Unbleached White
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt, Kosher
  • 1 Vidalia Onion
  • 1/4 Cup Active Sourdough Culture

Instructions

  1. Slice and dice white onion as you see fit, and put it in saucepan with a bit of butter or olive oil. (I diced mine up into medium-sized pieces and cooked it in olive oil)
  2. Cook under low heat, turning regularly, until the onion turns brown. Remove from saucepan and set the caramelized result aside. My yield was about a 1/4 cup.
  3. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, add water and allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes while the flour absorbs the water.
  4. Add the active sourdough culture and mix thoroughly.
  5. Move the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough proof (rise) overnight for 12 hours.
  6. Place the dough on a lightly floured bread board and knead for 5 minutes, adding flour if needed - i.e. if the dough is too wet and sticky.
  7. Shape the dough into the rough shape of your proofing pan...I used a round, linen-lined proofing basket. Cover the dough with a light towel and let it proof for another four hours.
  8. About 20 minutes before your dough has finished proofing, fire up your oven to 475 degrees. Your stoneware or cast iron baker should be in the oven when it's turned on.
  9. Remove the lid from the baker (I use La Cloche stoneware), carefully turn the dough over, place it in the baker and replace the lid. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.

All you need now is butter!

Wait at least 30 minutes before slicing your sourdough!

Wait at least 30 minutes before slicing your sourdough!

La Cloche Stoneware

I Love Onions!

Snapshots

Onions in olive oil

Onions in olive oil

1/4 cup carmelized from a medium-sized Vidalia onion.

1/4 cup carmelized from a medium-sized Vidalia onion.

After mixing all the ingredients, the dough is left to proof for 12 hours (room temperature)

After mixing all the ingredients, the dough is left to proof for 12 hours (room temperature)

The Lodge Dutch Oven

Photographic Trivia

Dough shaped into a ball after kneading

Dough shaped into a ball after kneading

Kneaded dough in floured proofing basket

Kneaded dough in floured proofing basket

After 4 hours' proofing, the dough is ready for the oven...ignore the dent caused by my partner's elbow...

After 4 hours' proofing, the dough is ready for the oven...ignore the dent caused by my partner's elbow...

My La Cloche stoneware baker

My La Cloche stoneware baker

After baking for 30 minutes, the lid is removed to allow the sourdough to brown.

After baking for 30 minutes, the lid is removed to allow the sourdough to brown.

Just out of the oven...smells a bit like French Onion Soup!

Just out of the oven...smells a bit like French Onion Soup!

Lovely crumb, thick, chewy sourdough crust!

Lovely crumb, thick, chewy sourdough crust!

La Cloche Stoneware

Some terrific baking sites (A work in progress!)

  • Sourdoughs International | Sourdough Starters, Recipes, & Baker's Handbook
    San Francisco sourdough culture and many other authentic sourdough cultures from around the world, recipes, and the only scientific book on sourdough baking. (This is where I obtained all of my cultures - this recipe uses the San Francisco strain.)
  • Home Artisanal Bread Baking | Breadtopia
    With four ingredients, a couple pieces of basic baking equipment, and ten minutes of work, you can bake amazingly delicious loaves of oven-fresh bread in your kitchen at home. Whenever you want. They’ll show you how.This site has great videos!