The Fresh Loaf

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Another one for Norm: onion rolls?

Elagins's picture

Another one for Norm: onion rolls?

Norm, I haven't had a decent onion roll since I left NY about 25 years ago, and I'd kill for one -- you know the kind I'm talking about -- the big ones, 4" in diameter, browned with a crisp crust and flecked with chopped onions and (maybe) poppy seeds ... the kind that needs nothing more than a schmear of cold, unsalted butter ....

Can you help?


nbicomputers's picture

all the places i have worked will use dried minced onions,.  they are easer to store, don't have the strong smell that could be absorbed by other things ( what if that nice pound cake tasted like onion) and do have a taste that is not the same as fresh.

so if you can find some dryed onion get some and if not i could send you some as i have a little here i can spare.

you could use finely chopped fresh onion but they will not have the taste you are looking for.

to prepair the dry onion you would soak them in very hot water to rehydrate them.

when  they have fully soaked up as much water as they can drain them and add little salt, a spoonfull of oil (corn or any other type of veg oil) and some poppy seeds if you want and put the oinon mix in the frdg. for later

the roll dough

sugar 3/4 of an ounce

malt syurp 1/4 of and ounce  (Note if you do have the malt syurp you can use 1 ounce of sugar tr replace the Malt and sugar above)

salt  1/4 ounce

eggs 3/4 ounce (about a little less than two table spoons

oil 3/4 ounce (little less than two table spoons

hi gluten flour 1 pound

water 8 oz

yeast 1/2 ounce (cake) variable

if using dry yeast disolve in the water and use 1/4 ounce again variable

place all in your mixing bowl the yeast water is to be added last if you are using the cake yeast crumble it in to the flour and add the plain water last.

mix this untill it is a smoth dough about 10-15 minutes in a Kitched Aid mixer speed 2 this is stiff so watch the mixer. the times and speed as for a kitcnen aid if you have a diferent mixer or are mixing by hand adjust the time and or speed as needed.

alow to rise once and punch down cut the dough into 2 -4 ounce pieces the biger the piece the biger the roll. make litle dough balls out of the pieces and cover them with plastic os some other cover for about 10  minutes you want then to relax NOT RISE

get the onion mixture and dump it out on to a work surface (wooden board, cookie sheet, counter top whatever you have)

take the relaxed dough balls and turn them over into the onion mix and with the flat of your hand press then flat into the onion (not paper thin just flat 1/4 to 1/2 inch)

put the rolls onion side up on a baking sheet (to be more authtentc sprinkel the baking sheet or tray lighly with corn meal)

heat the oven hot 425- 450 

if you realy want them to look like an old fasion onion roll just before you put them in the oven press down the center of the roll with one finger.

alow them to get full proof and bake them with light steam ( don't need the pan in the oven for these just spray the with a water botle a few times during the first 5 or 6 minutes. abd bake till nice and brown and crisp.

i Hope these are the semi flat onion rolls you were talking about.

Elagins's picture

That sounds like them -- even down to the dimple in the middle -- thanks so much. I'll give them a try and let you know how they work out.

KeyLimeCindy's picture

Question regarding the Oven Temp.... What temp would you set it at for a professional electric convection?  Thanks

thantokak22's picture

nbicomputers thank you for the recipie

mkelly27's picture

Onion roll recipe.  At first I thought we were gonna go into Bialys (my favorite) but then I see it something else.  Great idea about rehyrating the onion.  I spend hours making "schmear" ala Kossar's  Bialy recipe in ABAA


Redundancy is your friend, so is redundancy

Sparkie's picture


 is that milk shake/unhopped beer malt, or diastatic malt.





Sparkie's picture

Sorry I should asked this with other question, for, 4 inch rolls , sandwich size, what is the yield. I realise the bigger the dough ball, the more you get and smaller they are, but, for a NYC sized sanwhich roll, about how many to the batch?





nbicomputers's picture

diastatic malt powder or syrup

between 8 and 9  

4 inch rolls cut the pieces 3 oz

Sparkie's picture

thanks nbi computer!

 I thought it was sweet malt used here becuase the substitution is sugar. I would like mine sweeter, more aged, but th emouth feel was perfect and by really sqishing them down into cornmeal forst them flipping them and flavoring them in nion, the bottom crust is as nice to bit as the top is crisp.  i will adjust this to my taste, for sure, but this is a great starting out place and the recipe was small, but perfect for a first try.

Yumarama's picture

Obviously it's "to taste" but what would be a ballpark amount (weight or volume) on these dehydrated onions, before soaking, to generously coat 6 large or 12 small buns?

nbicomputers's picture

1/4 cup dried will give you a heavy 1/2 cup of onion that should be pleanty.


Yumarama's picture

I'll go measure out what that is in weight...

And that's coming out to about 15 grams or a half ounce, based on dried onions slivers like below:

JPM's picture


I happened on your conversation with Norm Ginsberg re: NY onion rolls.  You posted a picture of the onions that are perfect for the onion rolls you and he were discussing.  Would you please tell me where you sourced the onions?



Jerry -

DanAyo's picture

Jerry, take a look at this link.

Stan Ginsberg is the owner. Call them to make sure it is what you want. They have a lot of specialty items.

Danny Ayo

DeeElle's picture

We just had a wonderful lunch using some of my last batch of Norm's Onion rolls, and Norm, we thank you again!  I've made them several times now, and they've been excellent, every batch.

jellysquare's picture

First of all where do you get that?  I have malt powder, how would I substitute?