The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Onion rolls

sam's picture

Onion rolls


I decided to try making onion rolls, and of course the first thing I usually do when trying something new, is search TFL.   This isn't an exact replica but there are several wonderful onion roll recipes and ideas here

All the flour I used was king arthur high gluten flour.  I did not have any malt syrup, I only had diatastic malt powder, so I used that instead.  I paid attention to the recommendation by others to re-use the infused onion water in the final dough.  I soaked the dried minced onions with an assortment of various types of seeds which I got from king arthur as well.  It has flax, toasted sesame, black caraway, midget sunflower, poppy, and anise.


Flour Weight: 177 grams
Water Weight: 177 grams
Yeast Weight: 0.35 grams

Final Dough:

All Poolish
Flour Weight: 529 grams
Water Weight: 273 grams (use the leftover onion-infused water)
Eggs Weight: 35 grams
Sugar Weight: 35 grams
Vegetable Oil Weight: 35 grams
Salt Weight: 14 grams
Malt Powder Weight: 7 grams (I only had diatastic malt on hand)
Yeast Weight: 14 grams


The night before the bake, mix poolish, and soak the dried minced onions + seed mixture.

Next morning, when the poolish is ripened,  drain the excess water from the onion-seed mixture but save the water and use it for the final dough.  

Bulk ferment 2 hrs, with stretch + fold half-way through.

Shape into little balls scaled to appx 100 grams. Let rest a few minutes to relax. To apply the onion-seed mixture, I used a flat clear pyrex plate, and smushed the balls flat into the mixture using the plate.  Using a hard surface to mush the balls into the onion mixture seemed to be effective because you can apply an even solid force.  You may need to grease the plate a bit.  Flip over the dough discs and place onto baking tray or bun-pan.

Bake with steam at 400F for 30 mins or until done.


First, the onion-seed mixture after being rehydrated.  Looks kinda like white rice.



Next, the flattened discs just at the beginning of the final ferment.  I decided to use my burger bun pans:


After a while of final fermenting, I had thought these were fully proved and ready to bake:


But I was wrong, as they did increase in size fairly well in the oven.  I guess I was too impatient.  No blowouts though.  



Happy baking!



Floydm's picture

Those look delicious!


sam's picture


dabrownman's picture

caught them at exactly the right time to get a fine oven spring and have a rich brown color too.  They have to taste great! 

Nice baking!

sam's picture

Thanks dabrownman.   If you like I can take a crumb shot, but it is the typical soft bread roll type of crumb -- light and fluffy, but with the extra gluten of the high-gluten flour, there is a nice chew as well.  I think these will hold up well with a juicy burger without getting soggy.

As for taste -- omg -- clearly these are the best onion rolls I've ever had (not trying to sound arrogant or anything).  I credit the formulas on the Onion Roll thread, and particularly the recommendation for re-using the extra onion water in the final dough.  I think it really brings it up a level.  Many Thanks to everyone on the Onion TFL thread.   Really great stuff.

varda's picture

look awesome.   I'd like one with a burger please. 

I clicked through to your blog and just happened to find what I have been looking for - a 100% whole wheat sandwich bread which I'll try myself and then pass on to a friend who asked me to find her a recipe.  

Nice baking.  -Varda

sam's picture

Long time, thanks.  I've been lurking mostly for a few months but have seen some of your incredible breads you've posted.   

Do you mean my old post about 100% whole wheat from July 12, 2011?   I cringe sometimes looking back on some of my older posts. :)   That is ancient history!   Not to say I am any better now, but these days I would do a 100% whole wheat (for sandwiches) a lot differently than I did back then.   Mainly increasing the hydration, and using milk and butter too.  Especially if I was using a sandwich-pan, I would load up the hydration as much as possible.

For today's onion rolls, I targeted the hydration to be around 70%.  Just a bit on the sticky side (for white flour), intentionally because I wanted the dough balls to get a nice good stick with the onion-seed mix.  In the formula, I counted the hydration of the vegetable oil as 50% water.   I know some people don't count oils as a hydrating agent, and some people do.  I never baked with vegetable oil before, so for my first attempt I estimated it at 50%.   The dough came out perfectly actually -- workable with a minimal amount of bench flour and sticky enough to get a good bind on the topping.  Next time I may take some of the onion-seed mixture and add it to the dough itself instead of just a topping.

Thanks again.

varda's picture

Your March 25, 2012 post.   It does use milk and butter.   You were making rolls.    I was looking for 100% whole wheat and tasty bread for a friend who is good around the kitchen but not a big bread baker.   Yours looks great.    I must try your onion rolls as well!  -Varda

bakingbadly's picture

If you hadn't mentioned it, I would have sworn that was white rice. :)

How was the overall flavour? 


sam's picture


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

The first photo of the onions that looked like white rice came through and the rest of the pictures only showed an icon of a picture which was photo