Turmeric sourdough bread is a variation of a traditional sourdough. This bread combines the tangy notes of sourdough with turmeric's warm, earthy flavor and the mild sweetness of caramelized onions.
The result is a deliciously aromatic loaf with a subtle spiciness, perfect for enjoying on its own or as a flavorful base for sandwiches and toasts.
About this recipe
Turmeric sourdough bread with caramelized onions is a delicious variation of traditional sourdough bread. It incorporates turmeric, a vibrant yellow spice known for its health benefits, and caramelized onions, which add a sweet and savory flavor. The combination of tangy sourdough, caramelized onions, and earthy turmeric creates a delightful and unique flavor profile in this bright and flavorful bread.
I have shared earlier how to make the no-knead sourdough bread, and this recipe builds upon that by adding onions and turmeric. As the bread bakes, the caramelized onions and aromatic turmeric infuse the naturally leavened dough, resulting in a truly wonderful taste. Feel free to adjust the amount of turmeric according to your personal preference.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Unique flavor profile: The combination of tangy sourdough, sweet caramelized onions, and earthy turmeric creates a distinct and flavorful bread that stands out from traditional sourdough recipes. It offers a delightful balance of savory and sweet notes.
- Health benefits of turmeric: Turmeric is known for its numerous health benefits, primarily due to its active compound called curcumin.
- Textural contrast: The caramelized onions add a soft and slightly chewy texture to the bread, complementing sourdough's airy and crusty nature. This contrast in textures enhances the overall eating experience.
Flour: I use bread flour to make this bread.
Filtered water: Always use filtered water to make sourdough bread.
Turmeric: The amount of turmeric powder I used in this recipe gives the bread a bright yellow color and a strong turmeric flavor.
Onions: I use red onions to make this bread; however, yellow onions can also be used.
Step 1: Combine the active sourdough starter with water in a large mixing bowl until fully incorporated. You can use a dough whisk or a wooden spoon for this. Slowly add the flour and mix well, ensuring there are no dry bits of flour. Let it rest for 30 minutes (image 1).
Step 2: Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet or pan over medium-low heat and add the cooking oil. Add the chopped onions to the pan, spread them out in an even layer, and simmer them over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the onions reach a deep golden brown color and have a sweet and rich flavor, they are caramelized. Let them cool before using them (image 2).
Step 3: Once the dough has rested, add salt, caramelized onions, and turmeric powder to the dough. Mix well and try to incorporate them as much as possible. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes (images 3 and 4).
Step 4: Once the dough has rested, begin the stretch and fold technique. Gently pull the dough to perform stretch and fold. Gently stretch the edges of the dough and fold it back to the center of the dough (images 5 and 6).
Step 5: Continue to stretch and fold the dough, doing a quarter turn of the bowl after each dough rest. Gently stretch the edges of the dough and fold it back to the center of the dough (images 7 and 8).
Step 6: The dough develops gluten and builds strength and structure with every stretch and fold (images 9 and 10).
Step 7: Let the dough sit for bulk fermentation (image 11). The time taken depends highly on the ambient temperature of your kitchen, so go by the feel of the dough rather than the time. The dough rise is almost doubled after bulk fermentation (image 12).
Step 8: Flip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface after the bread dough rises. Pick one side of the dough and fold it to the center. Pick the other side and fold it to the center. Now hold the dough gently and tuck it to form a log (images 13 and 14).
Step 9: Carefully place the shaped dough seam side up on the banneton or proofing basket. Cover the dough loosely with a damp towel, shower cap, or plastic bag. Place it in the refrigerator overnight for cold fermentation and a second rise (image 15).
Step 10: The next day, set the oven temperature to 450 F (230 C) and preheat it for 45 minutes. Once the oven is preheated, take the dough out of the fridge. Flip it onto a parchment paper or baking sheet. Score the dough using a razor blade or sharp knife (image 16).
Step 11: Carefully take the covered Dutch oven out of the oven. Place the scored dough and baking paper into the hot Dutch oven and immediately close the lid. Place it back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (image 17).
Step 12: Take the lid off the Dutch oven and bake for another 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown (image 18). Cool the sourdough turmeric bread completely on a cooling rack before slicing.
Turmeric: I add two teaspoons of turmeric powder, making this bread bright with an intense turmeric flavor. Add less if you prefer a mild turmeric flavor.
Onions: Either red or yellow onions can be used for this turmeric sourdough bread. Take time to caramelize the onions for a sweet and savory flavor properly. Cook them on low heat, stirring occasionally, until they turn golden brown and soft. When incorporating the caramelized onions into the dough, gently fold and distribute them evenly throughout the dough to ensure an even flavor distribution. See here for more tips on how to handle sourdough with add-ins.
Flour types: I have made this sourdough with bread flour, but you can choose any flour - for example, a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour or multigrain flour.
Ensure the starter is active: The night before you plan to make the dough, take the starter from the fridge and feed it in a 1:1:1 ratio of starter:flour:water. Click here to see how to activate the sourdough starter.
It is important to note that the time taken for the starter to activate depends on many factors. For example, the ambient temperature, the nature of the starter itself, etc. If your starter activates much faster, you can activate it the same day you make the dough. Alternatively, you can use less starter or cold water to slow the activation.
Turmeric sourdough bread with caramelized onions pairs well with various dishes and accompaniments and is enjoyed in multiple ways. Here are a few suggestions to make the most of this delicious bread:
Toasted with butter: Slice the bread and toast it until golden brown. Spread a generous amount of butter on top to enhance the flavors of the turmeric and caramelized onions. It is a simple yet delicious way to enjoy the bread.
Sandwiches: Use sourdough turmeric bread as a base for sandwiches instead of regular or sourdough sandwich bread. It pairs well with various fillings such as roasted vegetables, grilled chicken, turkey, or cheese. The unique flavor profile of the bread adds an interesting twist to your sandwiches.
Soups and stews: Serve a warm soup or stew alongside the bread. Creamy soups like tomato bisque or butternut squash soup work well, as do hearty stews. The bread can be used for dipping or as a side to soak up the flavors.
The Indian Feast: Last but not least, sourdough turmeric bread can be enjoyed with various Indian dishes, adding a unique twist to the traditional flavors. Pair them with curries like butter chicken, chicken vindaloo, or paneer butter masala.
More sourdough recipes
Start by thinly slicing or finely chopping yellow or red onions to caramelize onions. Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet or pan over medium-low heat and add a small amount of cooking oil or butter. Add the sliced onions to the pan, spread them out in an even layer, and cook them slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally. Avoid rushing the process by increasing the heat, leading to uneven browning or burning. Once the onions are caramelized, they will have a deep golden brown color and a sweet flavor. Let them cool before using them.
Yes, you can make this bread without onions if you prefer. Omit the caramelized onions from the recipe. The bread will still have the earthy and vibrant flavor of the turmeric, providing a delightful twist to the traditional sourdough. The bread will have a slightly milder taste without the onions, allowing the turmeric to shine.
While traditional methods involving hand mixing along with stretch and fold (or coil fold) are commonly used for sourdough bread, you can adapt the recipe to use a bread machine or stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Adjust the mixing and kneading times accordingly, following the instructions for the specific equipment.
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Turmeric Sourdough Bread with Caramelized Onions
- Bread lame or razor blade to score the dough
Caramelize the onions:
- Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet or pan over medium-low heat and add the cooking oil.
- Add the sliced onions to the pan, spread them out in an even layer, and cook them slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Once the onions reach a deep golden brown color and have a sweet and rich flavor, they are caramelized. Let them cool before using them.
Make the initial dough:
- Combine the active sourdough starter with water until it is fully incorporated.
- Slowly add the flour and mix well making sure there are no dry bits of flour. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Next, add the salt, onions, and turmeric powder to the dough. Mix well and incorporate them as much as possible.
- Perform six sets of stretch and fold at an interval of 30 minutes. With wet hands, grab a portion of the dough and slowly stretch it taking care not to break it, and fold it towards the center over the dough. Keep turning the bowl and repeat the process until all parts of the dough is covered. Carefully flip the dough and round it up. This completes one set of stretch and fold. Repeat this process six times at an interval of 30 minutes.
- Let the dough sit for bulk fermentation until it is almost double and has bubbles on the top. This may take 3-4 hours depending on the ambient temperature.
Shaping and cold fermentation:
- Dust a round or oval banneton well with rice flour.
- Flip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pick one side of the dough and fold it to the center. Pick the other side and fold it to the center. Now hold the dough gently and tuck it to form a log. Carefully place the dough seam-side up on the banneton.
- Cover the dough loosely and place it in the refrigerator overnight for cold fermentation and final rise.
Bake the turmeric sourdough bread:
- The following morning, place the Dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 450 F (230 C) for 45 minutes.
- Once the oven is preheated, take the dough out of the fridge. Flip it onto a parchment paper or baking sheet.
- Score the dough using a blade or sharp knife.
- Carefully take the Dutch oven out of the oven. Place the scored dough along with the baking paper into the hot Dutch oven and immediately close the lid.
- Place it back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Take the lid off the Dutch oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and keep the door ajar. Let the bread sit in the oven for 15 minutes for curing.
- Cool completely, slice, and serve.