Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Deli Onion Rye

Another side-by-side test in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Continuum, this time a sourdough 'deli' rye, with onions. I won't put in a full formula, because it was many steps, but the basic idea was a rye sourdough starter, with sauteed onions, that fermented in the pot at room temperature for a few hours, then for about 24 hours in the refrigerator.
The final formula added yeast, AP flour and more rye, along with a little bit of sugar, molasses, oil, and caraway seeds. Baked at 400 for about 40 minutes. Both the inside and the outside loaf seemed to do well, although the outside would have been prettier if I'd egg washed it and scored it as directed, but it was late and I was falling asleep between rises.
Taste is outstanding, so if anyone actually wants the full formula, comment and I'll add it. Crumb is soft and gently dense, in a non-pejorative sense. It is as advertised, just a very good deli rye. The onions don't add a discernible onion taste, just a bit of depth. Maybe it's the Jew in me, but rye is just the star of the bread baking universe, it makes everything better. But I used to eat peanut butter and jelly on this kind of deli rye, so I may be an odd judge.

You asked for it, you got it. Here's the formula:

New York Deli Rye
Adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart 

1 cup sourdough starter/levain (any kind would probably do, mine is a stiffish rye mix)
1 cup white rye flour (I used whole rye)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 medium onions, diced
2 Tblsp vegetable oil

Saute onions in oil, cool. Stir all ingredients together and let ferment at room temp until sponge is bubbly (3-4 hours--I left it about 6). Refrigerate overnight, or for 24 hours.

Final dough:
3.5 cups bread flour (used AP)
1 cup white rye flour (I used whole again)
2 Tblsp brown sugar (I used white and added a bit of molasses)
2.5 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 Tblsp vegetable oil (I used one)
1 cup buttermilk or milk (I used buttermilk)
1/4-1/2 cup water, as needed

Mix everything together, knead for a short time, adding flour as needed. Dough won't be as elastic as a wheat dough...don't knead too long or it will get gummy. It should be tacky but not sticky. (I kneaded only lightly, and then did a fold about 40 minutes in). Let rise 1.5-2 hours. Shape as you please and proof for 1.5 hours. Reinhart suggests brushing with egg white, which I didn't do. It'll make it shiny.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then rotate loaves or remove the cover, bake about 20 minutes longer until golden brown.


  1. I would love to see the formula for this one K.

  2. I'd like the recipe also. I agree; p&j on rye is a favorite in this house.

  3. Recipe is up, as requested. Where are all the rest of you? Take advantage of this nice snow day if you're in the area. Judy, where are your breads?

  4. Thanks, Katya. I'm mixing it today. Snow Day from work, so I'm mixing up dough and sewing a quilt :-). Perfection.

  5. Where do i get the sourdough starter? i had an amazing starter but i neglected it and had to throw it out.

  6. Jane, there are three ways to get a sourdough starter--borrow some from a friend, build one yourself...(various instructions at thefreshloaf.com), or order some commercially. King Arthur sells some overpriced levain, or you can get some freeze dried for free here. http://home.att.net/~carlsfriends/source.html

  7. I am too busy making the pots and did not save a bread baker for myself!

  8. I just put a challah dough in to rise. Haven't tried that before.