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Caramelized Onion Sourdough Bread

Updated on September 25, 2015

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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 time: 16 hours
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 16 hours 45 min
Yields: 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

Sassafras Superstone® La Cloche Bread Maker and Dome Roasting Baking Dish
Sassafras Superstone® La Cloche Bread Maker and Dome Roasting Baking Dish

My son, another home baker, received two La Cloche Sassafras bakers for Christmas last year, and he has been raving about them ever since. What's a father to do? I bought this one and the rectangular model featured further down the page, and I love them! They produce the marvelous, chewy crust that defines sourdough, and since I've begun using them, I've been recommending them to anyone who'll listen. These are the best.

 

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

Lodge 5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Pre-Seasoned Pot with Lid and Dual Loop Handle
Lodge 5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Pre-Seasoned Pot with Lid and Dual Loop Handle

I purchased this 5-quart Dutch oven three years ago - you'll see it featured in several of my other sourdough pages. It does an amazing job, and provides a somewhat less expensive alternative to stoneware bakers. Highly recommended!

 

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

SuperStone /Covered Baker
SuperStone /Covered Baker

I use both La Cloche bakers for my sourdough...it's pretty much a matter of personal taste as to which one I use for any specific loaf.

 

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