Calling all bread bakers...if I wanted to add chopped onion to my yeast bread, would you recommend cooking them first?
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When I've incorporated onions into no-knead bread and bagels, I have sauteed them first- You can season them more or less (think a dash of balsamic vinegar while sauteeing them etc.). In my world, you can't go wrong with caramelized onions. :) I have had them burn slightly if they are on the outside of the dough when it is baking, so maybe watch out for that.
I would definitely dice them very finely and saute them. Caramelized would be better. I use dehydrated onion pieces all the time, too. Dehydrated onion, garlic and cheddar makes a fantastic loaf.
Here's a link to Peter Reinhart's Wild Rice and Onion bread at the fresh loaf. The fresh onions in this bread are not sauteed
I would definitely saute them until they are softened, as they will not soften much in the bread. But, I hate hot, crunch onions. I like them raw, or completely cooked and nowhere in between.
Thanks, guys for the great ideas. So that's what the Fresh Loaf is. I've heard about it. Thanks for the link, Soozll.
I recently made an onion/cheese loaf and I sautéed them only until they were soft. Hope that helps!
I would not saute, or only very briefly. They'll cook in the bread and could very easily become overcooked. I make onion rye bread everyday (I'm a baker) and we do not pre-cook the onions. We also put the onions on top of the shaped loaf and those turn very dark, so I would advise against cooking.
It's onions and bread--yum. I don't think you can go wrong either way.
I would think it would be very much up to your (and your "eaters") tastes. Although raw onion certainly would cook in a bread dough during the baking process, it would still retain a great deal of the onion's characteristics. Sauteeing it prior to baking would certainly temper that.
That said, if I weren't going to pre-cook, I'd dice very small before kneading into your dough.
THAT said, if I di pre-cook, I'd dice slightly larger, and then cook only briefly, so they didn't disintegrate once baked.
Think what the final effect in the finished product is that you want. Soft and gentle, precook. Small, but noticeable. Small dice, but raw.
I know you can burn an onion, but have it overcook in the bread? What? To cook the onion or not only has to do with the flavor you are going for. Carmalized are going to obviously have a different flavor. Uncooked will release the moisture of the onion into the bread and have a stronger flavor.
We can all be a little braver in the kitchen.
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