The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ricotta Rye Onion Bread

isand66's picture

Ricotta Rye Onion Bread

This is a 45% rye bread made with fresh milled rye sifted so it's close to a medium grind rye flour.  The ricotta cheese resulted in a nice moist crumb and the onions just go perfect with rye of course.  I added a little balsamic vinegar which added a little sweetness.

The flavor was perfect in this one with a nice sour tang perfect for a pastrami or corned beef sandwich.


Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.


This bread came out fantastic.  The crumb was nice and moist and open just enough to make a perfect pastrami sandwich with some melted cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

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.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, grits, potatoes, olive oil, and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  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 1.5 to 2 hours.  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 540 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.

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.


dabrownman's picture

If a bread ever needed pastrami this is it? This is signature Sandman bread for sure.  Lucy hopes the black ones are doing well.  She is recovered from making gyros yesterday.  The original Greek gyros were pork,  In the middle east they are lamb and in America it is beef.  Combine all three like Lucy did and you have the perfect meat for this bread perhaps:-) 

Well done and happy baking Ian

isand66's picture

i wish I could try that fantastic tasting gyro meat Lucy concocted 😁.  This bread screams for any type of smoked meat and also goes well with some nice chopped tuna fish as well!  Have a great weekend and give Lucy a nice belly rub for me.  Max and Lexi were melting in the humidity today and send their well wishes to Lucy and your family.

Happy Baking!

pmccool's picture

And I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks. 


isand66's picture

It was very tasty.

Appreciate your kind words.


Benito's picture

Beautiful bread Ian!


isand66's picture

Glad you like it.  Hope you give it a try yourself if you like rye.



Elsie_iu's picture

Maybe some nice smoked haddock/salmon or cured herring! How about crumbled blue cheese or soft chevre with caramelized stone fruits and prosciutto? Not that pastrami is a bad idea at all :)

That's a nice and soft crumb for 45% rye for sure. Interesting scorings too. Great bake again, Ian! 

isand66's picture

 Always happy to hear your feedback.  Glad you like it and I think your food pairing would go very well :).

I actually had  nice pastrami sandwich for lunch today with melted Munster Cheese....very yummy along with a fresh cucumber and tomato salad from the garden with a little balsamic vinegar.

Happy baking!



Hotbake's picture

Looks really good!

How's rehydrated onions taste compared to fresh caramelized onions?


isand66's picture

They are not as sweet but still work prett good.  I use them all the time when I don't have a chance to make fresh ones.