Onion and Bay Loaf #BreadBakers

There are quite a number of allium-centric recipes on this blog.  We love onions, garlic, leeks, scallions and chives and have baked all of them into bread.  And it is very yummy!  This recipe is no exception and the bay brings an extra elevation to the flavor punch.  I must admit to glutting on toasted, buttered  pieces for the first couple days.  

This loaf is a half batch
Since I had this King Arthur recipe pinned for a while, I was quite happy when the BreadBakers theme was bread with onions/alliums.  And it is very delicious!  Now it does make quite a large loaf so yes, the recipe may be halved.  Of course the Dutch oven method yields a beautiful loaf with lovely ears.  I used all purpose instead of bread flour and with the fresh ground flour I did end up adding a fair bit more AP to achieve the proper dough texture.  Somewhere around ¾-1 cup more, 90-120g.  I also mixed all of my dough with a mixer.

Onion and Bay Loaf
makes one large or two medium loaves

2 cups (283g) onions, medium diced (if you end up using more onions, it will take more flour in the dough)
1¼ cups (283g) milk, whole preferred
3 bay leaves

strained milk, from above
¾ cup (170g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter
1 cup (113g) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour (I used fresh ground Edison white wheat)
2¼ to 2½ cups (270g to 300g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
drained onions, from above
1½ tsp (9g) salt
1 tsp instant yeast

For the onions:  Combine the onions, milk, and bay leaves in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain the milk into a glass measure, and cool to room temperature. Discard the bay leaves, and reserve the milk and onions, transferring the onions to a bowl.

For the dough: Put the reserved, cooled milk in a mixing bowl with the starter. Add the whole wheat flour and 1 cup (120g) of the bread flour.  Stir in the onions, salt, yeast, and another 1¼ cups (150g) of bread flour.  Cover and rest for 10 minutes.  If the dough is still sticky, stir in the remaining ¼ cup (30g) of bread flour.

Knead the dough on an oiled surface for 10 seconds, return to the bowl, and cover. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Repeat the brief kneading for 10 seconds more, return to the bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.

Line a deep 8" bowl with a rice flour-rubbed dish towel, or generously flour a banneton with rice flour. Deflate and fold the dough over on itself, then shape it into a ball. Place it, seam-side up, in the prepared bowl or banneton. Cover and let rise until doubled (~1½ hours).

Preheat the oven to 430°F for at least half an hour toward the end of rising.  Place a lidded pot (Dutch oven) in the oven to preheat.

Gently invert the bread onto a piece of baking parchment.

Use a razor or lame to slice the top of the loaf as desired.  Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Gently lower the loaf into the pot, pour 2 tbsp of water into the base of the pot outside the parchment, quickly cover, and bake for 20 minutes.

Reduce the temperature to 375ºF and bake for another 20-30 minutes until golden brown, the center of the bread reads 205°F when measured with a digital thermometer, and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.

Lift the bread out of the pot and allow it to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Be sure to check out the rest of our awesome allium bakes:

 #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 



  1. I bet this smells amazing when baking and toasting a slice Kelly!

  2. A Gorgeous loaf of bread. I love using my dutch oven for baking breads. I am definitely going to try this loaf.

  3. That's a beautiful loaf crusty of bread!

  4. I am loving the flavours in this loaf with onion and bay leaf. The top looks so crusty and the texture awesome

  5. The bread looks amazing and the flavours seem incredible.

  6. This looks perfect! The bread structure is great with amazing flavors. I can't wait to try this recipe.


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