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Onion and Bay Loaf

Author: Susan Reid

Onion and Bay Loaf Recipe

This recipe is adapted from Dan Lepard's Handmade Bread, and incorporates the comforting flavors of a well-made béchamel sauce. A great sandwich bread, wonderful as the building block of a first-class panini.

At a glance

1 large loaf, 20 slices
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:


  • 2 cups onions, medium diced
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 bay leaves



  1. To prepare the onions: Place the onions, milk, and bay leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain, and cool to room temperature. Discard the bay leaves, and reserve the milk and onions.
  2. To make the dough: Put the cooled milk in a mixing bowl with the starter. Add the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the bread flour. Stir in the onions, salt, yeast, and another 1 1/4 cups of bread flour. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of bread flour.
  3. 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.
  4. Line a deep 8" bowl with a flour-rubbed dish towel, or generously flour a banneton. 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 (1 1/2 hours).
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F; if you have a baking stone, place it on a shelf in the bottom third of the oven.
  6. Invert the loaf onto a piece of parchment on the back of a baking sheet or peel. Spray the top with water, slash the dough, then slide it into the oven.
  7. Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven's temperature to 375°F and bake for another 30 minutes, until the center of the bread reads 205°F when measured with a digital thermometer; the top is a deep golden brown, and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it. Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a rack before slicing.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 slice, 58g
  • Servings Per Batch 20
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 96
  • Calories from Fat 9
  • Total Fat 1g
  • Saturated Fat 0g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 1mg
  • Sodium 242mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 19g
  • Dietary Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 2g
  • Protein 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.