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Caramelized Onion Sourdough Bread
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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!
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, add water and allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes while the flour absorbs the water.
- Add the active sourdough culture and mix thoroughly.
- Move the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough proof (rise) overnight for 12 hours.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
La Cloche Stoneware
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!
The Lodge Dutch Oven
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!
La Cloche Stoneware
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.
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!