Onion Rolls

I’d been messing about with potato bread, and found that often it was used as the base for onion rolls. I love a good onion roll, so, after reading several recipes, I came up with my own.


  • two medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium (12 oz. to 1 lb) baking potato, peeled
  • Water
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups rye flour
  • 1-1/2 cups white flour, plus additional as needed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature


Melt the butter over medium heat in a pan large enough to hold all of the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until reduced and brown, but not jammy. 20-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Cut the potato into pieces, cover with water and boil until tender, 20-30 minutes. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the water. Put the potato through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl.

When the water is lukewarm, add the yeast and sugar, stirring to mix. allow to stand for a few minutes, until it looks foamy and smells yeasty. Add the rye and white flour, and salt to the potato, stir to mix, then add the water. Beat one of the eggs and mix with the dough. Stir in the onions until thoroughly combined. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, not tacky. If it feels too wet, add additional white flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough feels soft and silky.

Cover the dough and allow it to rise to double in size, 2-3 hours, depending on the temperature and condition of your yeast. Gently deflate the dough, divide into eight equal portions. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof again, another 45 minutes or so. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the rolls with the egg wash, then slash once with a sharp knife. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rolls have risen and turned a deep golden brown. Remove to a rack and cool.


Rosemary Sweet Potato Rolls

I had one sweet potato kicking around the pantry. I could have simply roasted it and eaten it, but, instead, decided to chase down a sweet potato roll recipe. The original is here, but I made some alterations, cutting out sugar and altering the glaze a bit. These look funny, since I cooked them in a cast iron frying pan. If you want nice looking, even rolls, cook them in a 9 x 13 baking pan.


1/2 cup water (I used the water from boiling the sweet potato) 100-110 degrees
1/4 cup whole milk, 100-110 degrees
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp yeast
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
2-1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, or 1 tbsp dried, minced
1 cup mashed sweet potato (putting it through a potato ricer or food mill will give you better results)
4-1/2 to 5 cups all purpose, unbleached flour.


3 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh rosemary, or 1 tbsp dried rosemary, minced
coarse sea salt

Mix the water, milk, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl let proof until frothy, 10 minutes or so. Add in the eggs and beat, then add the salt, butter, and rosemary, beat again. Add in the sweet potato and beat until well mixed. Add two cups of flour and mix until incorporated. Add two more cups and mix until incorporated. If you’re doing this by hand, you will, at this point, have to abandon your spoon and get your hands dirty, kneading the flour in. If the dough feels slack or sticky, gradually add the remaining flour. Otherwise, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough feels smooth and slightly tacky, about ten minutes. Place in a covered container and let rise until doubled in size, roughly an hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 equal pieces. Shape your rolls and place them in a parchment-lined 9 x 13″ baking pan (you can oil it lightly, but I found this unnecessary). Cover the pan and let the rolls rise again, 45 minutes or so. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the glaze: Stir the butter, honey, and rosemary together. Brush the tops of the rolls with the glaze. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned. Remove from the oven and brush once again with the glaze, scatter coarse sea salt over the rolls. Serve warm.


Easy Artisan Bread

This is, really, the simplest loaf of bread to bake. The only catch? You need a dutch oven that can stand being put in a 450 degree oven. Cooking the bread in a dutch oven traps the moisture, giving the crust that lovely look. This has been my weekly bread all winter. Minimal fuss with a wonderful result.

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast
1-1/2 cups warm (110 degree) water.
Stir together the dry ingredients, add the water and stir until just combined. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise, 12-24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the dutch oven in the oven to preheat as well. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball, dusting your hands with flour (the dough will be sticky. Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper, dust the top with flour, and allow to rest while the oven heats.  When the oven is hot, remove the dutch oven, place the bread and parchment in the dutch oven, put the lid on and cook for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove the lid (I usually just remove the bread and place it on a cookie sheet) and return to the oven to brown the crust, another 15 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool