The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rye Onion Porridge YW SD Combo

isand66's picture

Rye Onion Porridge YW SD Combo

 Onions and rye go together like hot fudge and ice cream.  I haven't made a good rye bread in a while so today's bake was all about creating a flavorful onion rye with a moist open crumb.  I wanted to use my new Yeast Water in this bake but didn't want to only rely on it to leaven the bread so I mixed up a simple AP starter with some spelt bran and added the YW as part of the liquid in the main dough.

The porridge was a combo of rolled oats and rye chops (chopped rye berries) and milk to add some extra creaminess.

I milled the rye flour using my MockMill 200 and sifted out the germ and bran.  I tried something different this time and added about 55 grams of the germ/bran to some of the water from the main dough and let it soften at the same time as the main dough flours were autolysing with the YW and water.  Usually I add it to the main dough after mixing for about 5 minutes.  I'm not sure if this really made a difference, but the combination of the YW and high hydration really gave me a moist and open crumb which tastes amazing (if I do say so myself !).


Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Caramelized Onions

Cut onion into thin rings and cook on low heat in a saute pan with some olive oil for around 30-45 minutes until the onions are nice and brown and full of sweetness.  I added a little balsamic vinegar at the end to make them even sweeter.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the milk called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the milk is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the milk and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, Yeast Water and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Now add the caramelized onions and mix on low for another minute until they are incorporated.    Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1 hour.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 520 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.


Elsie_iu's picture

I loves all your porridge loafs and am especially drawn to your onion rye combo! I baked a rye potato onion SD (not porridge though)  last week taking inspiration from different varieties of your rye loafs and am about to bake a cinnamon oat porridge (I will post both recipes soon). Thanks for helping me in discovering my love for porridge SD!

isand66's picture

I'm glad you like this one and I can inspire you with my bakes.  Feel free to ask any questions you have now or in the future and I will be glad to help you.


Bread1965's picture

These are great looking loaves.. very nice bake. They must have smelled great in the oven!



isand66's picture

Yes, they did smell amazing while baking especially since I love onions.

Happy Baking.


Danni3ll3's picture

Rye and onion, huh? Will have to try this one! It looks great!

isand66's picture

Glad you like it and hope you give it a try when you get a chance.


Cedarmountain's picture

Beautiful looking bread Ian!  The taste and texture must be really incredible with the  rye, oat porridge and caramelized onions.  All I can think about after seeing that crumb shot - pastrami sandwiches!   Well done, another really good bake Ian.

isand66's picture

Pastrami and or corned beef would be perfect for this bread for sure.  Glad you like the bake.


nmygarden's picture

Looks terrific, Ian, and surely tastes every bit, as well. I'm sold on the value of using porridges. They seem to promote a softness to the crumb that is appealing. Caramelized onions... mmm... gonna go start some right now...

Oh! Thanks for sharing your bakes with us!


isand66's picture

I hope you get a chance to try this one.  As you've probably figured by now I love porridge breads 😻.  Beware,  this one was very wet.

Happy Baking!


alfanso's picture

that's a beautiful boule.  With outstanding scoring too.  

On reviewing your ingredients list I think that I spotted about two things way in the back of my pantry that you neglected to include ;-) .  Goes way beyond my comfort zone, where I might, might have used 4 different flours once - maybe.  And then the usual suspects to round it out.  But as you've been doing this for years, it is likely just about second nature to you to figure out combinations that go together.


dabrownman's picture

The only thing about  YW SD combo levain bread is that the sour is muted and we love the sour.  The trade off in sour is that the crumb is more open.  But for folks who don't like sour bread, this is the perfect combination.  The scoring is grand and the bread looks perfect inside and out.

My daughter got back to AZ yesterday and face timed Lucy to me which was a wonderful sight to see after more than a month without seeing her.

Well done Ian and happy baking 

isand66's picture

I'm glad you like this one.  I do think you and Lucy would be very happy making a killer pastrami Sammie on this bread.  I hope you're back home soon with poor Lucy and get back to Baking and cooking.

The first day of spring was a balmy 34F today and we are predicted to get a nice 10-12 inches of cold wet snow starting later tonight into Thursday....👎.

Im ready for some warm weather already!