The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Potato Onion Sourdough "Bagel-Crust" Squares

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

Potato Onion Sourdough "Bagel-Crust" Squares

My first "bagel-crust" squares were a hit; a tad softer and fluffier but with all the loved characteristics of a bagel. We loved them so much that I decided to make them again with a different variation. Ian (isand66) always reminds me of the seeds and other bagel toppings in my past bagel bakes so I made this one with his suggestions in my mind.

I found some dried onions the other day in the supermarket. Norm's onion rolls immediately popped into my mind. Is this the dried onions that are used in them? I really want to know the flavor of dried onions for a long time so I grabbed it immediately and I was able to make a "formula" quickly.



What else goes better with onion other than potato? They're best friends! I bought 250 g of potato (raw weight), scrubbed the skins clean, cut them so they were roughly the same size and cooked them until soft on top of our steaming rice for fuel efficiency. I think it's common for most Asian families take advantage of the steam from cooking rice from a free facial to cooking and reheating food.



I let them cool before I mashed them. They were not as soft as boiled ones so I was not able to mash them as finely with my hands which I kinda like; there were still bits of potato in the finished bread. I soaked the dried onions in hot water for 30 minutes and I saved the soaking water for the dough. They were then seasoned with a bit of salt, sugar, oil and freshly ground black pepper. The dough has bread flour, onion soaking water, salt, sugar, levain, potatoes and 1 tbsp of butter. With the huge amount of potato (almost equal to the flour), I find that it doesn't need fat to be soft, the butter was more for flavor like in mashed potatoes.



I kneaded until gluten was sufficiently developed then I added the onions which added a considerable amount of liquid. I kneaded the dough a bit more just until the extra moisture was absorbed.



Bulk ferment was fast, just over 3 hours. I think potato is also one of the things that my starter loves.



I shaped it into a neat square then to the fridge immediately. I found out next morning that it was way overproofed (my dough was really fast with high activity) so I reshaped it into a square and put it back in the fridge to bake it in the afternoon. Still, it proofed just right despite the short time in the cold; it will be overproofed again if I didn't check it earlier.



I cut it into 4 squares; I did not trim the edges anymore because this is a huge batch of dough so scraps can take precious clay pot space which I did not want.



I boiled them straight from the fridge 1 minute on each side before baking it in the clay pot.



I drained them on a towel and when the surface was just sticky to the touch I rolled one in sesame seeds just to test if they will burn badly in the pot or not. Ian, here are the seeds you've been looking for!

I baked them until golden brown on both sides with live fire all the time. Here they are baking.



Here are the results:









As control, I baked one without boiling just to see if it makes it a difference. Clearly it does as you can see. You already miss the shiny crust that boiling provides. Here are side by side comparisons.








The cut "sides" also did not bake the same. I think that the cuts baked like how "scores" in other breads bake.


 


Although I call them rolls, they are quite hefty. Each is as big as my palm.



The crust of the non-boiled one was thicker, crunchy in a sense that it was drier and was also messier to cut. The crust of the boiled ones were thinner, crisper but more elastic and stretchier and more delicate; the best thing that we love about a bagel (apparently only me loves their chew that's why I came up with a recipe to emulate their signature crust but has a softer fluffier crumb). No wonder that we prefer the boiled ones. The crumb is hands down my best to date. It was the same for both versions; somewhat open, very very moist and soft with the barest hint of chew. A huge amount of potatoes really creates a special texture. My family says this is my best bread and we will earn some money if I will sell them. The black bits in the crumb are bits of black pepper.





The flavor was bomb! The potatoes, onion, pepper and sourdough worked together to create a taste so sublime. Perfect sweetness and tang. It felt like eating a slice of a good pizza even though there's no trace of tomatoes, cheese or meat in here! The sesame version was even more aromatic. It was my favorite in terms of looks and taste. I will make them all with sesame next time for the added flavor and crunch. If there is one thing that I wish I could have done, it is to increase the pepper; a more peppery bite will surely send this over the edge. It is my family's favorite in terms of texture and flavor. Definitely a keeper!

Crumb from different parts and angles of the rolls.


I was surprised by the open crumb / large bubbles in this one. 





Finally, some random photos. :)





"Bagel-crust squares" is a pretty long name so I am thinking of a new name for them. I am planning to call them "Kulo Rolls" from "kulo" which means "boil" in Filipino but I don't think it will sound very nice to the ears of a Spanish speaker. :) Anyhow, I might stick with that name next time. Thanks!

Comments

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Pal:

Your no-oven bakes are getting so good that they look better than some of the breads baked in the oven! The crumb looks perfect!  I would not have guessed this bread was not baked in the oven if I don't know you! Good job, Pal, keep it up!

Happy Baking!

Yippee

 

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

That is so nice to hear. I always look forward hearing from you.

Happy Baking!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How about Rollos instead of rolls...  Kulo Rollos. ...rolls off the tongue when speaking.  

Great looking crumb and Rollos.  Amazing and I think you got the right onions.  You can also dry your own in the dry season, drying improves and intensifies the flavour I believe as compared to fresh onions.  You want a sweet onion, one that you can bite into raw without it biting back.  Might also want to try drying the little purple onions too finely diced or ribbon sliced and dried, the rehydrated.

 

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

Sounds like a nice name. I suddenly remembered your post about marillenknodel with potato dough. Sounds like a very nice treat, I have to try it but I can only find canned peaches and dried apricots here.

I've dried various things here and you gave me an idea to dry onions next summer. Thanks!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

mangoes, mini mangoes, Jambu, leeche, jackfruit, and more!

Purple yam, banana, fig

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

Thanks again!

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Chewy/ crispy crust and moist/ tender crumb! 

Did your baking method impart some smoky charcoal flavour to the rolls? Many traditional bread and pastries are baked using similar method and those made by conventional oven are incomparable taste-wise and texture-wise.  

I love bagels so your rolls appeal to me very much.

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I am craving for them right now; they were so good that if they were not that time consuming to make, I will make them an everyday bread.

My bakes always have that distinct smoky flavor even for pastry and cakes. They have an old world flavor that is nostalgic and comforting. Even the pebbles themselves were imparted with that lovely smoke aroma that adds to the flavor of anything baked in my clay pot.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the cream cheese?  Ian would have some in the dough and an schmear on the toasted squares:-)  You are really getting ths baking in a clay pot on an open fire down pat.  These are really nice.  I'm not sure I get the heat sink pebbles inside the pot though.  Wouldn't they do the same thing in a small metal pan on top of the fire that the clay pot would sit on?  Just a thought.

These have to taste great and be a bit smoky too.  

Happy baking Job!

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

A schmear on the squares would be so nice! I think the pebbles would do the same thing in a metal pan it's just that I don't want to damage our metal pans. Our pans are also pretty shallow and do not seal as good as the clay pot so heat loss is serious. I once tried to bake rolls in one of our pans and they have almost no spring because heat was not enough inside to give its initial burst; after 20 minutes they were still dough, stretchy and raw! I

Ru007's picture
Ru007

The crumb is incredible!! Well done Pal, your bagels look amazing! I wish I could taste them :)

Happy baking

Ru

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

You will surely love it; crumb is almost melty!

hreik's picture
hreik

cease to amaze me.  Truly just shaking my head in awe.  NICELY DONE!!!

hester

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I appreciate your kind words.