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isand66's picture

Ciabatta with Carmelized Onions, Rye & Spelt Flours

The last time I made Ciabatta I made a sourdough version that came out quite good.  In my never-ending quest to try to create something new and hopefully great tasting I came up with the concoction below.

I decided to go with a straight forward yeasted version of Ciabatta but I wanted to get more flavor in the final product.  I happen to love onions, so I figured why not add some carmelized onions and to get some stronger wheat and nuttiness flavor in the bread I decided to use some spelt and rye flour along with a low protein French style flour from KAF.  This combination resulted in by far the best Ciabatta bread I have ever made or tasted in my not so humble opinion :).

I followed the standard operating procedures from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday for the Pain a L'Ancienne Rustic Bread and modified the ingredients as mentioned above.  The only thing I would change maybe is to add some cheddar cheese next time which would really put this one over the top.

You can really taste the onions and the rye-spelt mixture and the open crumb was nice and moist.

If you give this one a try I would love to hear what you think.

Here are the ingredients and procedure I followed:


13 oz. KAF French Style  Flour (you can use All Purpose if you don't have French Style)

4 oz. Medium Rye Flour

3 oz. Spelt Flour

16 oz. Ice Cold Water (55 degrees F.)

0.4 oz. Salt  (1 3/4 Tsp.)

.14 oz. Instant Yeast (1 1/4 Tsp.)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

17.5 oz. Carmelized Onions


Cut up half of a medium size sweet onion and saute for 5-8 minutes on medium low in a frying pan or bake on a sheet pan in your oven.  Let the onions cool before adding them to the dough.

Add all the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer except the onions and stir for 1 minute on the lowest speed. The dough should be rather sticky and rough at this point. Let it rest for 5 minutes in the mixer bowl.

Add the cooled onions and mix on medium low using your paddle attachment for one minute. In my case I have a Bosch which only has one mixing/kneading attachment. The dough will still be very sticky but should very soft and much smoother. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl using a dough scraper or spatula. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface. Make sure you oil your hands and do a stretch and fold on all sides of the dough and flip it over and form it into a ball. Put the dough back in the bowl and let it rest for another 10 minutes at room temperature. Do this stretch and fold process three more times over the next 30 to 40 minutes. You can do the stretch and fold in the bowl itself if you prefer. I personally like to do it on the counter.

After you do the last stretch and fold put it back in the bowl and cover it tightly and refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days. The dough should rise to almost 1 1/2 its size in the refrigerator.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator at least 3 hours before you plan to bake and let it sit at room temperature.  Around 1 hour after taking the dough out of the refrigerator, place a large piece of parchment paper either on your work area or the back of a baking pan and dust with flour to cover it completely. Using an oiled or wet dough scraper gently remove the dough to the work surface. You want to be very careful so you don't degas the dough and kill the big air holes you want to achieve.

Flour your hands and lightly dust the top of the dough. Use your hands and a metal dough scraper and form the dough into a 9" square and be very careful again not to manhandle the dough and degas it.

Next, cut the dough into either 3 small ciabatta or 2 larger size loaves. I opted to go with the 3 smaller size ones.

Gently fold the individual dough pieces into thirds like an envelope. Make sure to be very careful and not to apply any pressure. Roll the folded dough in the flour to coat it and lift it onto the parchment paper and roll it in the flour again. Rest the dough seam side down and repeat with the other piece(s) of dough.

Spray the tops of the dough with oil (I use a baking spray) and cover the pan with plastic wrap very loosely. You can also use a clean lint free kitchen towel.

After 1 hour of resting, roll the dough pieces very gently so the seam side is now facing up and lift them with your floured hands to coax them into either a 7" rectangle if making the larger size or 5" rectangle. Try to get them to be as close to a rectangle shape as you can when you put them back down on the parchment paper.

Let them rest covered loosely again for 1 hour.

About 45 minutes before baking, pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 550 degrees F.

Place an empty pan in bottom shelf of your oven or a cast iron skillet.

Pour 1 cup of boiling water into pan and place loaves into oven. I also spray the side walls of the oven with water 2 to 3 times for added steam.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 12 minutes and rotate the bread and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until bread has a nice golden brown crust and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. The bread should have puffed up a little and should be hard when you tap it.

Let it cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes (good luck waiting that long!) and enjoy!

The bread should have nice large irregular holes and should be soft after cooling.

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:

dabrownman's picture

teketeke Bread

In gratitude for all of her help in my yeast water bread quest, I created a YW bread named for Akiko,  that would be fitting for her graciousness, generosity and skill.  I made this bread today and it is everything I would want in a YW bread if it were to be named after me but, she is the one stuck with it now  :-)  Thanks again to Akiko also known as teketeke at TFL.  A great YW bread named after a great lady.

teketeke Bread - Japanese White Whole Wheat, Orange, Apple, Turmeric, Seeded YW Bread


 KA bread flour - 75g

KA White WW flour – 75g

Yeast water 115g

 Total levain build 265g – at 80 F

 First build - 25g of both flours and 50g yeast water.   Second build 4 hours later - 25g each flour and 65g YW.  Third build 25g of both flours = stiff levain.  Let sit 4 more hours.

 I use Mandarin, Minneola Apple Yeast Water 2 days after refreshing from the refrigerator and reserve the apple and orange solids for the bread.

 Final Dough

 KA bread flour - 200g

KA White Whole Wheat - 100g

Water - 75g

Orange Juice - 80g

Egg yolk - 1

Whipping Cream - 60g

Sugar - 6g

Honey -6 g

Butter - 29g

Salt - 6g

2 tsp each Nigella, chia and basil seeds (hanseata’s contribution)

¼ tsp turmeric – for color

Apple and orange solids, patted dry with paper towel,  from the previous YW refresh 2 days before levain build began.

The entire levain


 Make the levain - for 12 hours at80 F

 In stand mixer - mix the final ingredients, except the salt and reserved YW solids, with paddle at #2 - Autolyze for 30 minutes.

 Add the salt-- knead with dough hook starting on #2 and moving to #3 and #4  until the gluten develops to window pane stage for about 8-10 minutes.  Flatten, do S& F while incorporating the reserved YW solids into the dough.  Shape into ball and transfer to an oiled bowel and cover with oiled plastic wrap.

 Bulk ferment: 3 hours at 80 –82 Funtil the dough at least doubles.  Do one S &F at 30 and another at 60 minutes.

 Pre-shape fermented dough into ball and let rest 10 minutes.  Shape into loaf and place in oil sprayed 4 ½ x 8 ½ x 3 Pyrex loaf pan.  Cover pan with oiled plastic wrap.

 Proof:  2-6 hours at82 Funtil the dough at least rises up to the top of the pan.

 Preheat oven to450Fwith a loaf pan half filled with water and a12”cast iron skillet in the bottom of the oven and a stone on the next rack level above for 45 minutes.

 Decrease temperature to400F, throw a ½ cup of water into the cast iron skillet place bread into oven and bake for 12 minutes.

 Take out steaming apparatus, rotate loaf 180 degrees and bake for another 12 minutes.

 Place probe into the middle of the nearly finished loaf from the side and bake until the loaf hits205 Fturning 180 degrees every 4 minutes.  The loaf should be done in 28 minutes or so.  Turn off oven, take loaf out of pan, crack oven door open, place loaf back on stone and let the loaf sit in oven for 10 minutes more to crisp the crust.

 Remove loaf from oven and let cool to room temperature, about one hour, on a wire rack.




sonia101's picture

My first attempt at a gluten free sourdough loaf

It was a stunning day in Melbourne yesterday so I decided to bake my first gluten free sourdough loaf by the pool, I figured my day was going to end in disappointment with my bread so I might as well enjoy the sun while baking. lol

I pretty much played around (probably my downfall) and didn't really follow a recipe, I used flax seed oil and whey (from my homemade cottage cheese) instead of water. As you can see from the photos my loaf doubled in size so my starter must be doing it's job, so I'm really pleased with that part. The crust was good but I got zero oven spring, I baked the loaf in my dutch time I might try lowering the cooking temperature at the beginning and then turn it up???? Could also be my slashing??  The crumb was definitely bread like and not cake like and had a nice sour flavour, tho it was really dense, more like a rye bread.

All in all not a great loaf of bread but a great starting point.


Cheers Sonia


isand66's picture

Sourdough Cornbread

  • This ain't your Momma's traditional cornbread, but if you want to try  a great tasting bread with a nice sourdough twang, and corn flavor then read on.

    I just returned from my trip to North Carolina to celebrate my Father-in-law's 80th birthday.  My wife and myself cooked up a storm but unfortunately I didn't have time to make any bread for the occasion so I'm itching to get back to my bread making.

    I decided to try adapting a recipe I found on the  from Steve B. at for a Corn Bread made with a poolish starter.  I used my sourdough starter in place of the poolish and also eliminated the yeast from the recipe.  I used my usual baking method borrowed from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday and the results were excellent if I do say so myself!

    Corn flour is used along with All Purpose flour and since the corn flour does not have the ability to form gluten the resulting bread has a pretty tight crumb.  I tried my best to copy the stenciling design done by Steve B. and I think it came out pretty close.

    Final Dough

    15.80 ounces Refreshed White Starter, 68% hydration  (approximately 6.8 oz. water, 10.5 oz. All Purpose Flour, 3.7 ounces starter)

    14 oz. Water (90 degrees F)

    16 ounces All-Purpose Flour (I used King Arthur's)

    8.95 ounces Corn Flour

    3 Tsp. Salt (sea salt or table salt)

    3 Tbs. Olive Oil


    For the final dough, using your stand mixer or by hand, mix the water with the refreshed starter to break it up.

    Add the flours, salt, and olive oil and mix on the lowest speed for 2 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

    Mix for 4 minutes more on medium speed, adding more flour if necessary to produce a slightly sticky ball of dough.

    Remove dough to your lightly floured work surface and need for 1 minute and form into a ball.

    Leave uncovered for 10 minutes.

    Do a stretch and fold and form into a ball again and cover with a clean moist cloth or oiled plastic wrap.

    After another 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and let it rest again for another 10 minutes.  Do one last stretch and fold and then put it  into a lightly oiled bowl that has enough room so the dough can double overnight.

    Let the dough sit in your bowl for 2 hours at room temperature.  It should only rise slightly at this point.  After the 2 hours are up put it in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days.

    When ready to bake the bread take your bowl out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for around 2 hours.  After 2 hours shape the dough as desired being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don't de-gas it.

    Place it in your bowl, banneton or shape into baguettes.

    Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a moist cloth.

    Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

    If you want to make the fancy "Corn Stalk" design, cut a strip of paper and place it on the middle of the round dough and sift a light dusting of flour over the dough.  Next make 3 slashes on both sides of the "stalk" and then  place an empty pan in bottom shelf of your oven.

    Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.  I also prefer to use a water bottle and spray the sides of the oven 2 times at 3 minute intervals to add some additional steam.

    Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 - 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

    Shut the oven off and leave the bread inside with the door slightly open for 10 minutes.  This will help dry the loaves out and keep the crust crunchy.

    Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

    As you can see the crumb is very tight which is mainly due to the corn flour.  When I make this bread again I would try to add some fresh roasted corn to give it an added boost of corn flavor.

    This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:

  • Please visit my other blog at for some of my older posts and be sure to let me know if you try this recipe.

alpenrose's picture


I have to admit it--I am not comfortable with the idea of using yeast made in Mexic0. I have just travelled down there enough to see the condition of water, workers, etc. However, I did try --purchased at two different times 2 of the large bulk packages of SAF (red). It does not seem to me that I ever get as good a lift off of that as I do from the much more expensive Fleischman's in the jar (made in Canada). I have also read about SAF (gold), but have not tried it. I know, I know, they are all owned by the same French company!  I just want to get a very nice and reliable lift every time and to know that my yeast is really clean.  What are your thoughts?  Have you tried the SAF Gold?  Do you use the made in Canada in the bottle? How does the SAF red bulk work for you?  Am I just a klutz not handling my dough correctly?


dabrownman's picture

Pips Vollkornbrot - Nearly 100% Rye with A Tiny Bit of Spelt

I pretty much followed Phil's post, except my pan was 4 x 2 3/8 x 8 and much smaller in height, so I baked it less time at 2 higher temp and added a lower setting that Phil didnlt use.  I did 45 min at 375 F, 45 min at 300 F and 30 min at 225 F. When I checked the middle of this small loaf was 210 F so I called it done and let it sit in the oven with door ajar oven off for 10 minutes.  205 F would have been a better internal temperature for sure but you can't get everything you want.  It smelled great right out of the oven, not as dark as Phil's due in part to to my rye berries not being very dark ones at all.

When it rose and inch in 30 min starting at the 2 hour mark of final proofing and started to crack, like Phil said it would as a signal to bake it off, I put it in the oven.  I did wait 2 days to cut and try a slice as Phil recommended, but I'm sure 1 day wouldn't make that much difference would it?.  The crust was firm but not hard.  The loaf was easy to cut in 1/4" slices - no worry.  The crumb was actually airy with small holes throughout.  It was also soft yet still chewy, moist and just plain delicious.  Buttered and lightly toasted was also exactly what i expected.  After marketing, selling and delivering Rubschlager Rye Breads for 20 years, I have a taste for fine rye breads and this one reminds me of Rubschlager Rye Breads only more rustic and chewy.  It also looks more rustic than Phil's crumb too.  Maybe I had a larger granules in the soak and scald? It is a keeper for sure.

Here is a lonk to Rubschlager

I am very happy with Phil's Rye as a first try at a 100% rye (if you discount the spelt) for me - thanks for all of your help Phil and Jay (longhorn). It was really not bad at all as long as you are ready and can handle the wetter mass of the dough.  I just floured up my hands and board and shaped on it, plopped it in the oil sprayed pan seam side down and smoothed out the top.  I am glad I was only doing small loaf :-)   Since no high temps required I baked it in my mini oven on a sheet pan, with a larger loaf pan over the top of the aluminum foil covered smaller pan that had the bread in it.  When I bake this again I am going to double the baking time and reduce the heat even further following Phil's advise again.  I think I might try one of Andy's rye breads next if I can find one not too difficult.  Here are some pix's.


frenchcreek baker's picture
frenchcreek baker






MARCH 10-15, 2012

Günter Franz 

Guest Instructor European Master Baker

                              Small Class Size         Hands-On         Wood Fired Oven 


Learn the inside secrets to making European baked goods and specialty German breads. 

Master creating superb artisan breads baked in a Mugnani wood-fired oven.

Discover the art to producing fine European pastry in a home kitchen.

Artisan Breads:

Sourdough; Rye; Whole Wheat; White; Multigrain; Root; Rolls & Bread Sticks; & German Pretzels


European Pastries:

Croissants, Danish Pastry, Stollen, & Other Assorted Pastries

Option 1 Cost: $1200   (10% discount Fresh Loaf Members)

5-Days hands-on instruction, course

recipes, all meals, & B&B lodging

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Without accommodation

To Register:

Contact:  PAT HAINS   360-791-8928

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Instructor Bio:

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Weinheim, Germany

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Günter is currently training students from around the world in the art of baking. Join us for this unique opportunity in German baking at its very finest!  


cranbo's picture

Salt survey

Inspired by a recent thread on TFL, I wonder how many bakers here feel that salt is important to the flavor of bread. 

So I set up a little informal survey here:

With only 2 questions:

  • Do you use salt in your dough when you bake bread?
  • Does baked bread taste good if no salt is used in the dough?

Please take 10 seconds to fill out & submit this survey (one entry per person please :) ) You'll be able to view the results when you submit the survey.

sonia101's picture

Gluten Free Black Forest Gateau

I made a gluten free Black Forest Gateau  for a friends birthday. It was a challenge for me  since the recipe was written in German . I actually doubled the recipe and replaced the 100 grams of flour with GF flour and the cake turned out perfect. I thought I'd share the recipe in case there are any GF bakers interested, the recipe can be found here

Guess I should have cleaned the bench before taking this photo! lol

Mebake's picture

Hamelman's 5 Grain sourdough Bread

Once more, reminded by Karin's blog, i bake another recipe out of Hamelman's "BREAD". The recipe, cast away behind Volkornbrot with flaxseeds in Sourdough Breads section, was unintentionally overlooked. Karin (hanseata)has Praised the bread, and i had to bake a mutigrain SD sourdough sometime, so i did.

The Recipe is 75% Bread flour, and 25% Whole rye flour. The hydration was 99% with all the grains, but i felt it needed 100g more water to the final dough. The dough was sticky, as noted by Hamelman. I slaped and folded the dough in 5 minutes intervals for 30 minutes, in order for the dough to have enough strength. At the end of the slap and fold, the dough was finally coherent and held shape. i suspect that such moderately intensive kneading did leach out much flavor from the Bread flour. How could it be avoided?

I adhered to Hamelman's instructions to the word, including final yeast addition. The fermentation with this dough is very fast, with bulk fermentation of 1 hour, and final fermentation of 1 hour. No folding was required.

The crumb was delightfully open, and was soft, not chewy. The crust was crunchy, and full of wholegrain flavor.

However, i would say that i was somewhat disappointed with the flavor, initially. The flavor will develop in time, but i believe that this bread lacked the intense SD flavor associated with the removal of yeast from final dough. God willing, I'll try this next without the yeast. However, i believe this bread excells when toasted!

Added by Edit:

This is a photo of  tweaked steaming method i used for this bread: