Inclusions are my favorite way to do sourdough, if you know me at all you know I have said this no less than 1,000 times. I even wrote a whole book called “Stuffed Sourdough” so this recipe is made from my happy place.

❤️ Why You’ll Love French Onion Loaf

While sourdough loaves with sweet inclusions are great, there is just something about a savory slice of sourdough. The creaminess of the brie paired with the caramelized onion all tucked in a perfectly soft loaf of sourdough bread is an unmatched flavor that I know you’ll love.

🍲 Ingredients

Sourdough Starter – Active and bubbly sourdough starter that has been fed 6-8 hours before using. This is what will make your bread rise, and every great loaf of sourdough bread starts with a strong sourdough starter.

Water – Filtered water

Flour – All purpose flour + whole wheat flour is my favorite combination for a well rounded loaf of sourdough bread.

Salt – I use pink Himalayan salt, but use whatever you have on hand.

Onion – Caramelized onions that have been cooked for 30-45 minutes. Just like a French Onion soup.

Brie Cheese – I know that French Onion soup typically uses Gruyere cheese, but I wanted something that wouldn’t dissolved into the bread but also get melty while cooking. Brie did exactly what I wanted it to do, but if you want to try another cheese – by all means <3

Dried Thyme – to really bring the flavors of French Onion home.

👩‍🍳 Bakers Schedule

9am- feed your starter. I like a 1:3:3 ratio. (50g of starter, 150g of flour + 150g of water)

5pm – start sautéing your onions

5:30pm – assemble your bread dough.

6:15pm – first “stretch and fold” pull the sides of your dough towards the middle until a semi smooth ball forms.

7pm – second set of stretch and folds

7:45pm – third set of stretch and folds

8:30pm – lamination + adding in your inclusions.

The next morning, 7am – shape your dough and place it in your banneton and into the fridge until you’re ready to bake.

If we’re having a loaf of bread for lunch, I’ll preheat the oven at 10am, so it’s cooled down enough by noon. If we’re having the loaf for dinner, I’ll preheat and start baking the bread between 3 and 4pm.

🪄 Tips and Tricks

  • Sauté your onions low and slow to develop that deep, caramelized flavor without getting burned.
  • When you’re shaping your dough, there will be happy medium between creating tension so it springs up nicely in the oven – and keeping it simple and don’t over work it so the dough doesn’t rip.
  • If the dough is nicely fermented, you shouldn’t need to add a ton of extra flour while shaping.

🗒 Variations

Adding inclusions make the possibility of sourdough endless. There are always ways to add or tweak flavor to your loaf and this is just one of many that I have come up with.


🗒 Substitutions

  • If you don’t have any whole wheat flour on hand, you can substitute for bread flour or use entirely all purpose flour.
  • You can play around with what cheese you like best with this loaf.


🗒 Best served with

  • Dinner
  • Soup
  • Sandwich

👝 How to Store Leftovers

This bread will keep in a Ziplock or brown paper bag on the counter for 2 – 3 days. You can also pre-slice the entire loaf, freeze it in a Ziplock bag and take out the individual pieces to toast when you are ready.

🤔 Common Questions

Can I swap out the cheese?

Yes! Use whatever cheese you want, I was looking for a melty cheese that would still hold its shape inside of the loaf.

Sliced Sourdough stuffed with onions and cheese
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French Onion Sourdough Loaf

Print Recipe
A warm and savory sourdough loaf stuffed with all the flavors of your favorite French Onion soup. It is filled with caramelized onions and pockets of melty brie cheese. It's the perfect loaf for a cozy night in.
Prep Time:3 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Fermention Time:11 hours
Total Time:15 hours 10 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 80 grams bubbly, active sourdough starter
  • 350 grams filtered water
  • 400 grams all – purpose flour
  • 100 grams whole wheat flour
  • 10 grams salt

Inclusions

  • 1 – 2 onions caramelized
  • 4 – 5 oz brie cheese about half a circle of brie cheese
  • 2 tsp dried thyme

Instructions

  • In the morning, feed your sourdough starter
  • In the afternoon when your starter has reached it's peak, assemble the dough by mixing together your active starter and water together until a milky liquid forms.
  • Add in all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt until a shaggy dough forms. Cover with a wet bowl cover or tea towel and let rest for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
    *Start sautéing your onions*
  • After resting, form your dough into a semi – smooth ball by pulling one side of the dough up and towards the middle. Rotating your bowl and repeating on each side. Cover again and let rest for one hour.
  • Perform two more sets of stretch and folds/ coil folds every 30 minutes – one hour.
  • On your fourth and final stretch and fold, laminate your dough by transferring it onto a clean, lightly flour surface. Stretch your dough into a large rectangle as far as it will go without ripping it.
  • Dice your cheese into 1/2 inch pieces. Evenly spread the caramelized onions and brie cheese all over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the dried thyme over everything.
  • Fold each edge of the dough towards the middle and shape it into a ball making sure the inclusions stay tucked away in the middle and the dough doesn't rip. When your dough is in a ball, place it back into your sourdough bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or bowl cover. Let it rest on the counter over night for the bulk fermention.
  • The next morning, transfer your dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape either into the size of your banneton (oval or circle/ batard or boule )
    TIP: When shaping, push the dough up and pull it back down just enough to create tension, but not enough where the surface will rip and the inclusions pop out.
  • Transfer your dough to the banneton seam side up, cover, and place in the fridge for at least two hours.
  • When you're ready to bake, preheat your Dutch Oven to 450 for at least 20 minutes.
  • Turn your dough over onto a piece of parchment paper and score one slash down the middle. (The inclusions might make it harder to do a detailed scoring design).
  • Place the dough into your HOT Dutch oven and return the lid. Bake with the lid on for 23 minutes, remove the lid and bake for additional 23 – 25 minutes depending on how crispy you like the crust.
  • Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Slather with butter and enjoy!
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bread, French Onion, Loaf, Soup, Sourdough
Servings: 5

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