Rye Bread with Caramelized Onions

01 Mar

I had this amazing bread at a Super Bowl party this year. The baker, Ravinder, did a much better job than I. I’m not used to making bread and I didn’t have a pizza stone per the instructions (I improvised with an upside-down heavy cookie sheet).

Ravinder’s loaf had such a nice crispy top crust, which mine lacked, and that’s what I want. I suspect the bread’s denseness was at least partially due to the yeast. I just bought it in bulk from Mountain View institution The Milk Pail. Maybe buying little baggies of bulk yeast isn’t the best idea. Though it proofs, it doesn’t seem terribly robust. Maybe next time I try this it will be with packets of yeast from the supermarket. The onion part turned out very delicious though!


  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of rye flour
  • 1-2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2-3 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 medium-large sized onion (caramelized over medium heat for 1/2 hour)
Materials needed:
  • pizza stone
  • shallow metal baking dish
  • oven thermometer
  • parchment paper
  • pizza peel


1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl using a whisk.
2. Make sure the water is warm (it should be around 100-110 degrees, if it’s hotter it will kill the yeast and the bread won’t rise). Add the water slowly and mix with a spoon until you incorporate the flour (the dough won’t be fully ‘wet’ but you shouldn’t have a bunch of dry flour either).
3. Partially cover the bowl (with the lid ajar so gas can escape) and let rise 2-4 hours at room temp.
4. Preheat over to 400 degrees with pizza stone on middle shelf and broiler pan on bottom shelf.
5. Cloak and stretch out the dough on a floured surface.
6. Lay out the caramelized onions and roll up the dough into a loaf.
7. Dust with flour and score with a serrated knife.
8. Place the dough on parchment paper on a pizza peel for 1 hr (it’s ready when the dough has roughly doubled in size).
9.  Slide dough/parchment directly onto pizza stone in oven.
10. quickly and carefully toss 1 cup hot water into broiler pan for steam and quickly close the oven door.
11. Bake 50-60 min, turn around halfway through to ensure even baking.
12. Remove parchment and cool on a wire rack (so bottom crust doesn’t get soggy).
13. Let the bread rest 10-15 minutes before cutting it and eating.

— Recipe courtesy Ravinder Basra,

Something cool I saw when I took the lid off my container of yeast:

Finished loaf:

Cross section:

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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Uncategorized


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