The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First sourdough onion bread

md_massimino's picture

First sourdough onion bread

Thought I'd share this one, because it was simple and came out really good.  I'm sure it can be improved on but I can normally tell by how fast the fam digs in to the warm loaves which outcomes are keepers.

I have a sourdough starter that was made from organic grapes ( I did this in two phases, to kind of work around my schedule so maybe it will work the same way for you.

Stage 1 (night before):

  • 1/2 cup active sourdough starter
  • 255 g warm water
  • 310 g all purpose flour

Stir the water into the starter, then stir in the flour.  I covered with a dish towel and left it on the counter overnight because the kitchen has a corner that stays around 58 degrees at night in the winter.  I didn't want a super slow ferment from the fridge so I figured this would be fine.  The dough spent about 8 hours in this stage.

Stage 2 (morning of baking):

  • 125 g warm water
  • 250 g flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 sauted onion

Stir the water into the starter, then stir in the flour.  It was really hard to incorporate the water into the existing intermediate starter, might add less flour during that stage in the future.  This is a wet dough so the stretch and fold is in effect.  Fold in the onions, then stretch and fold once every 20 minutes for an hour.  The onions were left over from another dish, so they were already sauted and cold from the fridge.  Let rise until double.  I let it go for about 8 hours.

After 8 hours I tried forming batards, but gave up and just left them a little like ciabatta.  Surface tension and dough consistency are my main problems these days, still working on my technique.   Cooked in a hot, steamed oven for about 25 minutes.

I don't think the shape mattered much because these loaves came out awesome.  This recipe made two decent sized loaves.  I took one to the neighbor's house that I wish I had back.  They should have gotten a loaf of the pain de campagne I made earlier in the day ;)

In the future I'm going to add a little more flour, perhaps whole wheat or rye.  Comments on anything are appreciated as I'm new to the bread world, though I'm trying to catch up quickly.


ivy b's picture
ivy b

Looks wonderful to me!  As I read this (took off from work today, we are in an icestorm!) it appears to me that it took all day? 8 hrs. overnight, eight hrs. proofing?  And, please,how hot is "hot" for 25 minutes?  450? 500?  I would love to try this bread, even though my sourdough starter is not a "true" starter, but an Amish Friendship.  Or, maybe I should just make a poolish, do you think that would work? I am an impatient soul when it comes to my kitchen, and I don't care to wait for a new starter...>g<

I am going to make my co-workers a sourdough carrot cake for tomorrow's lunch - along with trying my hand at making mozzerella cheese. Nice way to use a "sick day", wouldn't you all agree? :-D

Thanks, and - again, it looks wonderful, I can't wait to try it myself!





md_massimino's picture

Sorry about the vague instructions, I was just kind of winging it.  Preheat oven to 500, steam it good with a spray bottle or throw some ice cubes in a pan on another rack.  Lower to 480 and cook for 5-8 miunutes, then lower to 450 for another 15 minutes or so.  Check for browning as you go so it doesn't sneak up on you. 

I've made amish friendship bread before, I wouldn't use that starter for this application.  A poolish would add to the flavor but it wouldn't raise the bread, so if you go that route I would add maybe 1 teaspoons yeast at the beginning of the second stage.  Things will happen a lot faster with commercial yeast, not sure how it would turn out, maybe you punch it down once and flip itr during the second stage.

I hear you on the starter maintenance.  My wife is really doing her best to put up with my latest obsession.  That said I just made a rye starter last night so I can start making some whole grain sourdough ;)  It only gets worse, now I'm maintaining three different starters.

ivy b's picture
ivy b

............sounds like it should work.  Thanks for the input on the temp, etc... and the idea of using the amish starter.  The mozzarella did NOT work out, but, I guess I will have to try again; maybe browse the internet for more ideas.  I tried the recipe from Gourmet magazine.... don't ask..

Your wife must be wonderful; I now have 2 different starters going, but, as I am the boss of my kitchen, I don't have to worry....


Zigs's picture

I really want to make a Po-Boy with that loaf.

The onions.... I've done experiments w/onion powder before and that doesn't work out very well.  Do you just sautee the onions in some butter or oil until brown?

Do you find it easier to fold in the onions before all the stretch and folds or after?

md_massimino's picture

I sauteed the onions in canola but I think if I had known that I was going to make this bread at that time I would have sauteed in butter.  It was also a very light quick sautee, which I would also change to be longer to get better color and caramalization.

Definitely fold the onions in at the beginning of the folding.  As the dough develops it gets gloppy and thicker, so they'll get distributed better if you do it at the beginning.