2000s Recipes + Menus

Onion-Rye Flatbreads

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:3 hr (includes cooling)
November 2004
Onion-rye flatbreads are a delicious cross between focaccia and Jewish pletzel.
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup warm milk (105°–115°F)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • cornmeal for sprinkling
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds

Make dough:

  • Cook onion in oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in an 8- to 9-inch nonstick skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes, then cool.
  • Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
  • Stir together flours, pepper, and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture, onion mixture, and remaining 3/4 cup milk, stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, adding just enough additional flour to prevent sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  • Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, at least 1 hour (see cooks' note, below).

Shape and bake bread:

  • Oil 2 large baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal, shaking off excess.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and roll out 1 half with a floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Transfer round to one of baking sheets and prick all over at 1-inch intervals with a fork, then cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down). Make another round in same manner and transfer to other baking sheet. Let rounds rise slightly in a draft-free place at warm room temperature 30 minutes.
  • While rounds rise, put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Gently brush rounds with some egg wash, being careful not to deflate dough, then sprinkle with caraway seeds.
  • Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are golden and bottoms sound hollow when tapped, 12 to 16 minutes total. Transfer flatbreads to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Ball of dough can be allowed to rise in the refrigerator, bowl covered with plastic wrap (instead of kitchen towel), up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before shaping.
  • Flatbreads can be baked 1 week ahead, cooled completely, and frozen, wrapped in foil. Thaw, then reheat, wrapped in foil, in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.
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