Onion Pletzl

IMG_1976own square. Onion Pletzl as a superannuated onion roll, a  sandwich bread fit for Gulliver the Giant.  Pletzl means square in Yiddish as in town square and this bread is square, albeit imperfectly so. Think of it as Sicilian pizza with the sauce and cheese replaced by raw  onions. According to Arthur Schwartz, the author of Jewish Home Cooking,which inspired this recipe, Onion Pletzl is still produced at  Jewish bakeries in New York where it is called  “Onion Board.” .  I lived in New York for twenty five years and , I never heard of it  until I stumbled upon Schwartz’s recipe .That was my loss because Onion Pletzl is not just delicious, it’s  easy to make.    It’s basically a variation on challah    but instead of braiding the dough you roll it out , dot it with fresh onion pieces and seeds and bake it that way..

During the summer, I serve this loaf  for Seuda Shlishit , the third Shabbat meal together  with salads, dips and cheeses. My family loves it and so do my guests.   Aside from uncorking  a rare vintage, there’s almost nothing that impresses guests more than home made bread It always get eaten, but if there is some left over, it’s also excellent toasted.

Note: your guests make confuse this recipe with it’s close cousin foccacia. This loaf does resemble a foccaccia but it’s sweeter and richer.

Onion Pletzl

1/2 tablespoon of  instant yeast

2 and 1/4 cups of  tepid water

3 tablespoons of sugar

3 tablespoons oil

1 egg yolk

3 and 1/2 cups of flour, unbleached white or whole wheat pastry flour (in Israel Rubinfeld 80 %)

1/2 tablespoon salt

Topping: I medium sized white onion diced , 1 teaspoon olive oil. 1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds, black sesame seeds or a combination and  pinch of kosher salt

Knead  using a stand mixer with a dough hook until it forms a ball. Use a slow speed. It could take up to five minutes.

Oil the ball , that is pour one tablespoon of oil on the surface and rotate so that it forms a thin film over the entire dough ball. This prevents the dough from drying out.

Cover with a kitchen towel and set the down in a warm place to rise

Punch down and roll out into a big circle or oblong–the shape doesnt matter large enough to cover the entire surface of your baking tray. It’s best to roll it out on the tray.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes–it needs to relax after all that kneading and rolling. Then sprinkle on the  topping.

Prick holes in dough with a fork

Bake in preheated oven at 375 F or 180 C until brown on both sides (about 40 minutes, give or take some depending on the strength of your oven)

Freezes well

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