O is for Onion Sourdough

Sorry, sorry, sorry, I haven’t been around very much lately as there are two jars in my fridge that are beginning to take over my life.  I’ve found sourdough …

I love baking cakes and bread, but have never really understood sourdough.  I can never get the crumb how it should be, but recently I purchased a new book Perfecting Sourdough by Jane Mason.  This book explains very clearly how to make your starter and progress onto making sourdough loaves and also explains what can sometimes go wrong and how to avoid this.

The first sourdough I made was a mixed grain sourdough and if I’m honest I’ve made it a couple of times now, but it still isn’t quite right.  I’ll keep practising and hopefully I’ll get there eventually.   I’ve also been experimenting with natural yeast by adding flowers to water and allowing them to ferment before adding to the flour to make a poolish or starter.  It’s such great fun.

In the meantime, however, I do love onion bread and I came across a recipe in the book for Onion and Olive Sourdough.  One problem, I can’t stand olives, so instead I thought I’d omit them and just make the bread with onions.

It does take a while to make sourdough, you can’t rush it, but it doesn’t actually take up much of your time, you do different stages and then go away and leave it to do its thing, and then come back to it a while later for the next stage.

The loaf itself was delicious, so delicious that my husband and son consumed half the loaf the evening I baked it and my son even had some for breakfast the next morning with bacon.

Here’s how it’s made!


For the Dough

  • 80g wheat sourdough starter
  • 80g white wheat or spelt flour
  • 80g water
  • 100g whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 400g white wheat or spelt flour
  • 300g water
  • 10g salt

For the Filling

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finally sliced


  1. Day One – Measure the sourdough starter into a bowl.
  2. Add 80g flour and 80g water.  Stir and cover with cling film and leave on the worktop for around 8 hours.  (I actually left mine overnight, so it probably sat there for nearly 12 hours).
  3. Day Two – Add the remaining ingredients (not the filling) to the refreshed starter and knead well for 10 minutes.  The dough is wet, so don’t worry.  Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a shower cap or cling film and leave to rest for at least 3-4 hours.
  4. In the meantime, heat the oil in a pan and gently sweat the onions until soft.  Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
  5. Scrape the dough out onto a floury surface and flatten it into a rectangle about 45cm  x 25cm.  Keep lifting the dough up to make sure it isn’t sticking as it will still be quite wet.  Scatter the onion mixture over the surface and brush the edges with water.  Roll the dough up into a tight roll and seal the edges.  Tuck the ends under the loaf.
  6. Place the dough on to a baking sheet (lined with parchment) seam side down.  Brush the top with olive oil, place in a large plastic bag and leave for a couple of hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 230C.  Make several diagonal slashes to the top of the dough and place in the oven.  After 10 minutes turn the oven down to 200C and bake for a further 30 minutes.  If you are using a fan oven you may have to turn your loaf around halfway through cooking to stop it from browning too much on one side.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.



4 thoughts on “O is for Onion Sourdough

  1. Hello, maybe you would like to join our Facebook group. We are working our way through Jane book called Perfecting Sourdough. The book has just been available in the UK for a month, and we are on our second bake. May be you have already joined, if so do say Hi there.

  2. Oh, onion bread. What a lovely idea. I’ve managed to keep my rye sourdough going now for nearly 7 yrs, which is a bit of an achievement, but I tend to pretty much make the same thing with it all the time. I really ought to experiment a bit more.

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