The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ITJB Week 8: Onion Rolls

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joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

ITJB Week 8: Onion Rolls

I love this recipe!  I followed the recipe pretty closely, just made 3/4 the amount of dough and 1/2 the amount of onion filling (used filling no. 1), which turned out to be just the right amount, resulting in 9 3-oz rolls, just the right size.  The recipe in the book called for 5 tsp. of instant yeast, but I only used 2 1/2 tsp, and it worked just fine.  I mixed the malt in the water mixture (saved the onion soaking water--thanks to Eric's earlier post!).  I photographed just the end results, with no crumb shot, as I made them late in the evening and we were eating dinner and watching the 49'er/Giant game while they were baking.  (Not recommended!  Can't believe we resisted!  But wait til tomorrow's lunch!)  The dried onion flakes worked very well; I have the Safeway brand, and they are cut quite fine.  I had tried using them as a bagel topping but never knew how to handle them.  Leaving them in boiling water for 30 minutes was the secret, then mixing in the poppy seeds, oil and salt.   I baked the rolls on the preheated stone at 400 with light steam (spritzed twice), raised the temp to 425 after 10 minutes as they looked a bit pale; at 12 minutes decided to turn the oven to convection (375 being equivalent of 400), and left it that way for another 5 minutes, so 17 minutes total.  They browned up quickly once I set the oven to convection (I probably missed an important play retrieving them, but first things first!).   I found the directions clear enough, which suggested putting the onion mixture on waxed paper to press the boules to 1/2" after they rested for 15-20 minutes.  I did forget to press the middle down with my thumb before loading them, so I did a little push at half bake (no burns encountered, done quickly).  It worked well enough.  I have luscious memories of onion pletzels from my Brooklyn childhood, so I think I'll try that variation next time.  And I love this smooth, silky
dough; it mixed up easily at speeds 1 and 2 in my K/A Pro 6.  Next on the list will be Kaiser rolls.

Very Joyful!


Urchina's picture
Urchina

I made these as a test-baker and they were delicious then. I'm looking forward to my bake later this week. Circumstances have conspired against me yet again this week -- a nasty cold knocked me down the for the weekend, so I'll be baking (and posting) about the Danish pastry at a later date. 

 

Looking forward to seeing all the onion rolls!

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

ummm time for some hot chicken soup... and comfy healing balms... best wishes for a speedy recovery!

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Hope you feel well soon.  This has been a nasty winter out our way (SF Bay Area), I think because we didn't get a cold snap until well into the season (to get rid of all those little virus bugs).  I've been down with bronchitis and stomach flu (those darling grandkids are little petri dishes, but, hey they're worth it!), so haven't been baking much other than the necessaries.  So hope you're feeling fit soon!  Those onion rolls are such a good choice for us!  And it's nice to be able to make up lessons from previous weeks.  Thanks for organizing us!

Joy

loydb's picture
loydb

This is copied from my blog. There seems to be some missing information in the Onion Rolls recipe on p. 114.

  • In Step 2, you spread out 1/4 of the onion filling, and push out the discs of dough. This is the last mention made of the onion filling, leaving me with 3/4 of the recipe unused. 
  • In Step 3, do you put them onion-y side up or onion-y side down to proof? 
  • In Step 4, we poke down a hole in the center. Is this when we add the rest of the filling? If so, I assume we leave the onion-y side down during the proof?

 

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

 These are gmabaking2's (Helen's) Great rolls....

Loved this recipe too. Gmabaking (Barb in WA) made them and her grandchildren loved them so much she had none to take pictures of!!! It was a great Football Sunday to have fresh onion rolls to go with brisket here in Texas... My sister Helen (gmabaking2) made a feast for game day, brisket and those great rolls... the recipe was so easy and tasty and there was so much onion filling left that I whipped up another batch of the medium enriched dough and made 2 loaves of onion bread by putting all that great filling into the dough... Great, Great, Great... we will all definitely be using ITJBs enriched dough recipe again and again.

Another successful baking day in Washington state in the great state of Texas!  Next week: Mandelbroyt!

 

 

 

 

 

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

that the toast I made with the onion loaves from the leftover filling is to die for! It is so great tasting, cries for that jalapeno jelly... the taste, not the onions bring tears to my eyes!!! Loving this one, for sure!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Your rolls look perfect! The heavenly aroma while baking and while eating these is addictive. We haven't found them to be very good the next day as they seem to stale rather quickly. However a brief run by the toaster and they come back nicely. Glad you liked them.

Eric

Nici's picture
Nici

I made these almost as per the recipe, like Joy I cut down on the yeast.  I mixed by hand with some S & Fs.  Then found I had no yellow onions, so half of these are made with shallots ( am not sure what you call these in the US ) and half with spring onions, which I think you call scallions.  I had not thought about adding breadcrumbs and salt, but it worked a treat.  I was really pleased with the way they turned out, and yet again this is something I would not have tried without the challenge.  cheers Nici  ( from Edinburgh)

Urchina's picture
Urchina

I'm going to have to try the green onion (scallion) idea. Those look good!

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

I replied to your blog, but a few more comments here.  You're right, the instructions aren't specific, esp. in #2.  It doesn't say that you can use one-quarter of the onion filling for about three rolls (the recipe makes 12), then another one-quarter for the next three rolls, etc.  I found that was about how it worked on the waxed paper (or parchment, which would be a little hardier).  And it doesn't say onion side up in #3, but that would be understood, wouldn't it?  And, in #4, there's no reason to add filling, is there?  So technically, maybe some more specifics would be helpful.  Then, there's always the photograph in the middle of the batch of them that immediately follows the recipe.

Joy

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Next time I'll get started earlier in the day and have these ready for dinner!  But the two I didn't freeze (hope they freeze well)--it's just the two of us most of the time but the kids & grandkids are coming next weekend--will go into the toaster for lunch!

Joy

loydb's picture
loydb

It's week 8 in the Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge - Semester 1. This week is Onion Rolls. Sadly, I'll be sitting out the next few dessert-heavy weeks.

Once my confusion over how to deal with the onion mix was clarified (thanks all) this proved to be an easy, fast bake (in terms of actual prep). My notes follow:

  • I used 1 oz of the onion water and 9 oz plain water
  • My egg was almost a full ounce heavier than called for
  • I used 100% milled wheat, a 50/50 mix of hard red and hard white.
  • My cooking time ended up being around 25 minutes.

These are tasty and the outside is crunchy. They aren't overpoweringly onion-y, which I'd been concerned about. I think the flavor would be improved if I make a soaker with the whole wheat next time and let it sit in the fridge overnight prior to adding yeast. I'll make them again for sure.

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Glad you moved forward with these.  The rolls are beautiful, and sounds like you have plans for tweaking the dough for flavor.  Keep us posted!

Joy

Urchina's picture
Urchina

Finally! I'm back on my feet and had time to bake these for dinner tonight. Hooray!

We're onion freaks in this house (we go through 5-10lbs of onions a week just in our regular cooking) so I used all the onion water from rehydrating the dried flakes in the dough for the rolls. I let mine bulk ferment for 2 hours (partly due to the vagaries of my schedule today, partly because I was interested in a slightly leaner dough than I normally have) and then scaled and topped and did the final proof. The final proof ended up being about 1.5 hours due to my forgetting to turn the oven on in time to preheat (duh!) and I think they overproofed a little -- they were tall and puffy when I pulled them from the proof box (our microwave) but deflated terrifyingly when I punched the hole down the middle. I crossed my fingers and...

They did fine. Big oven spring. I ended up with nearly spherical rolls -- you can't even tell I dimpled the middle. They're really tasty, and the onion water gives a good onion-y flavor throughout. I didn't use poppyseeds on the filling (I used Onion Filling I) and would like to add them next time, provided I can get fresh poppyseeds for baking (see: Mohn Bar note on rancid poppyseeds -- ick!). 

I ended up using a full 1/2 of the filling, as I topped ours generously. The rest of the filling I added to the meatballs I made for dinner tonight -- we had Italian meatball sandwiches with these rolls as the bread. They were perfect. Next time I make them I'm going to shape them like hot dog buns and use them for bratwurst. That would be awesome. Maybe for the Super Bowl....

As for crumb -- mine was very uniform, springy, even-textured. I use KA bread flour and think it can make the dough a little tough for my preference. Next time I'll probably sub in about 1/4 whole wheat flour and see if that makes the dough a little more tender. But the flavor is fantastic and my family requested that we put these into the regular rotation. 

I'll post pics on Friday -- hopefully. If we don't eat them all first. 

carlene's picture
carlene

These rolls are so tasty, but then I love onion bread in any form.   I made the dough in my bread machine (Zojirushi) on the dough cycle.   I put all the liquid ingredients in first then the dry ingredients with the yeast on top.   The only change I made was to reduce the yeast to 2 ½ teaspoons as Joy suggested.   I made these after work because my weekend was too busy to bake this time.  They were so easy.  I used Onion filling I, with the dehydrated onions, which made it so simple.  I baked them on my stone in the upper third of the oven and they browned nicely.  The only problem was that they came out of the oven smelling wonderful and it was time to go to bed!   We toasted them and put avocado on them and they were wonderful.  We have an avocado tree that’s producing lots of ripe avocados at the moment.   This is a recipe that I will certainly make again.

Carlene

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

All of these onion rolls are making my mouth water...

One question, from the OP:

 Leaving them in boiling water for 30 minutes was the secret

I haven't read the recipe, but did you mean 30 seconds? I think they'd be pretty strange after 30 minutes! 

carlene's picture
carlene

No, I did 30 minutes.  You are rehydrating the onions flakes, 30 seconds would not be enough.  They are delicious and easy to make.  Do try them.

Carlene

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Oops, I misread Carlene :) Sorry. You're absolutely right, 30 seconds wouldn't be enough for the onion flakes.

cheesehappens's picture
cheesehappens

I carmelized a big chopped sweet onion in a little olive oil, then blotted it between paper towels. I made twelve little onion piles, into which I squished each 3.1 oz dough ball. Really delicious. Next time, I'll add a little fresh chopped rosemary and a bissel of balsamic vinegar. Yes, not something out of a traditional Jewish bakery, but for me part of the fun here is sometimes taking the original recipe, mixing it up, and sharing the results.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I just want to go on record as saying this was the BEST we have baked so far in the challenge... although the closed pockets were a great hit!!! But what enthusiasm I have seen here... what JOY... it is truly refreshing... I was a little concerned from the lack of responses on previous weeks.... Either the "challenge bakers" are just warming up to the challenge... OR... everyone, as myself, LOVED these rolls. Great to see such a diverse group of people coming together to "break bread". Amen!

carlene's picture
carlene

I didn't get to do the closed pockets yet, because we gone for the long MLK weekend.   I am going to get to them, but it will have to be when I have a Sunday free so I can take them to work immeadiatly so that my husband and I don't eat them all ourselves :)!

Carlene

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I would normally never buy, or bake, onion bread. That's because I like a bread that goes with both, savory and sweet toppings. (The only exemption from this savory/sweet rule is my olive bread).

But that is the good thing about a challenge - you have to overcome your preconceived notions (or prejudices) and do something out of the ordinary.

At first I wondered whether I shouldn't make only half of the recipe (who should eat a dozen onion rolls?), but dividing the one egg seemed too much of a hassle. I did the bulk fermentation in the refrigerator overnight, since even an enriched Vienna dough can benefit from longer fermentation (see BBA). I, also, wondered about the amount of instant yeast, but the dough didn't seem to overproof in the fridge. Next time I would probably make a pre-ferment (paté fermentée), though.

I made the onion filling with fresh onions, and added the poppy seed. The amount of filling would have been sufficient for 3 times as many rolls, I used only a third of it.

Other than that everything seemed to be pretty straightforward. The baking time (about 18 minutes) was quite a bit longer than the 10 - 12 minutes given in the recipe.

The rolls looked very nice, when they came out of the oven, and the taste was a pleasant surprise. I really liked them, (toasted because I don't care for soft crusts). And the good thing: since the lower half has no onions I can have the upper half with a savory toppings, and the lower with jam!

Karin

 

 

 

loydb's picture
loydb

Those look great. Try an entire one with some butter and jam -- you'll be surprised how well the onion bit goes with sweet. I've been eating them with some Cranberry-Orange-Habenero jelly I made, they're great.

 

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

love this!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Karin,

I did do these with a soaker and a leaven and I used the reserved onion water in the final mix.  They turned out great!  You had a great idea!

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Thanks, Loyd - and you are right, the onions, though regular yellow kitchen onions, are not at all pungent, but rather sweet.

I thought the rolls would go well with the 3-Fruit Marmalade that Dan Lepard just posted in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/27/marmalade-recipes-preserves-dan-lepard. It's the easiest way to make it that I've ever seen. I will add some Grand Marnier or Triple Sec.

Karin

carlene's picture
carlene

Karin, thanks for the post on the Marmalade.  I made a batch and we have eaten two jars of it already.  It looks like I am going to have to make more!  It was soooo simple and is so delicious.

Carlene

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Carlene, I made it, but thought at first I had screwed it up. I didn't realize I had to keep the pulp after cooking, and discarded it with the pith. And then the marmalade didn't set. I tweeted with Dan Lepard and he told me the pulp would retain the little bit of pectin that citrus has. He also said adding an apple would help. In the meantime I had re-cooked the marmalade, upped the sugar by 100 g and added some pectin. It set - after 3 days.

Licking the wooden spoon I also thought it was too bitter. But when the marmalade had set, and I tasted it, it was wonderful, very intensive flavor, hard core marmalade lover's paradise.

Karin

carlene's picture
carlene

Karin,

Mine set just fine and I did discard the pulp with the pith and I didn't add pectin.  I did cook the rinds and the sugar for more than  30 minutes to get them up to 104C /219F.  Don't know if that would make a difference.  Mine was still not too sweet, but I think that's what my husband liked best about it.  He said he didn't generally like marmalade because it was too sweet.  I also weighted the fruit and made sure I had the number of oranges he said, and didn't add as much lemon. 

Carlene

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

After the complete disaster w/ the cheese filling last week, these were a refreshing & easy bake.

loydb's picture
loydb

Great bread, and excellent photos!

 

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

for the compliment. Coming from an experienced fellow baker, that means a lot! :)

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

... and then we ate them too fast to take a picture.  I think this means they are TOO good, don't you?  ;-)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

A friend asked me to bake those onion rolls for her - I had given her some when I made them first, and she doesn't bake herself. So I decided to make a double batch for sale, too.

This time I substituted 10% of the white flour with whole wheat, to make them a bit more healthy and prevent them from staling too soon. They tasted really good, and could even do with more whole wheat.

Joy wrote in the her first post that she reduced the instant yeast, and, with overnight bulk retardation, this time I noticed that 20 g was really way too much. The dough tripled! Next time I would use what always works for me, ca. 1.17 % of the flour weight, in this case 7 0r 8 g.

Though my rolls had proofed enough, and I really pressed down deep to dimple them before they went into the oven, they came out  the same as the first time: perfectly round, without any indentation. Obviously most of us had the same dimple-losing experience - I wonder why it doesn't stay.

For those who, like me, use fresh onions for the topping, one more suggestions. To save time I had chopped them up the evening before, and didn't bother to drain them. The excess moisture interfered with the browning of the rolls - next time I would take care to drain the onions or dry them with paper towels. The taste of the fresh onion topping is slightly sweet, and very nice.

I made only a third of the filling, and that was absolutely sufficient. Like last time the baking time was quite a bit longer, 20 minutes (convection.)

I will defintely make them again.

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Karin,

Maybe you have to have dimples to make these stay dimpled :-.)

I love making these but I alter it too and use my sd leaven and I roll the onion topping into the dough like a cinnamon roll and bake as a full loaf or cut into individual 'rolls' like cinnamon buns too.  I have also coiled it up like a snake and baked it. I did this because the onion topping always ended up falling off and making a mess and I was afraid my dogs would get into it and eat it and get sick....didn't want huge vet bills....Anyway this recipe gets baked it turns out to be a favorite for anyone I give it to.  I love baking it because the dough is so nice to handle and it smells heavenly as it bakes :-).

I will have t remember your suggestion about the onions if I use fresh.  So far I have only used dried cuz it is easier....

Take Care,

Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I learned today that my Onion Rolls had sold out within a very short time! Because of the appetizing onion smell that pervaded the store, people were automatically drawn to my bread basket. Everybody raved about them, and the owner of the store implored me to make them again soon.

Is the a better compliment for a good recipe?

Karin

 

 

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

You will soon be "a household name".  What a great feeling that must be! Congratulations!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

As Mini would say 'Go girl, Go'.  :-)

Nice to hear the news.  I am sure they will now be in high demand up in Maine and we may one day read about them in your local news if you continue to supply the store with them - and I can't see why your wouldn't .....

I don't imagine anyone commented on the lack of a dimple in their roll either.   Dimples add a nice touch but as you always say, 'flavor rules'.

Congratulations and thanks for sharing your good news :-)

Take Care,

Janet

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I wonder if a floured finger or wooden spoon handle would work poked clear through.    I've got to try these yet myself.   I think I'll cut up the fresh onions the night before but leave them out on parchment to dry a little overnight.  What do ya think?