The Fresh Loaf

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Cedar Mountain’s 30% Rye Seeded Onion Sourdough with Sleeping Giant Imperial Brown Ale

Danni3ll3's picture

Cedar Mountain’s 30% Rye Seeded Onion Sourdough with Sleeping Giant Imperial Brown Ale

This recipe from Cedar Mountain was perfect for the new batch of grain berries that I received from Daybreak Mills. It took a bit of work when you consider caramelizing the onions, milling and sifting the bran out of the flour and toasting the seeds, but the one thing I didn’t count on, was how sticky the rye made the dough. Coil folds started off nicely but as the dough warmed up, it became super sticky. I took it out of the warm spot near the end of bulk hoping to make it a bit more manageable. And I preshaped it right after the last coil fold. That part went okay but the dough felt kind of heavy. I might be baking bricks in the morning. 🤦🏼‍♀️





Makes 3 loaves 



180 g caramelized onions

40 g white sesame seeds 

40 g black sesame seeds 

40 g poppy seeds



440 g strong bakers unbleached flour 

320 g freshly milled rye flour, sifted 

320 g freshly milled Selkirk flour, sifted

650g filtered water

180 g Sleeping Giant Imperial Brown Ale

24 g pink Himalayan salt 

250 g levain (procedure in recipe)


A few days before:

  1. Slice several large sweet onions and caramelize either in a large pan or in a slow cooker. I do mine in a slow cooker. Here is the recipe I use: (Note that it took 21 hours for my onions to be the way I wanted them. I used a large crockpot filled to the rim.) Measure out what you need and refrigerate.  Extras can be frozen. 


The night before:

  1. Mill enough Rye and  Selkirk berries to obtain the needed amount of flours. Sift out the bran. Place the required amounts in a tub.
  2. Add the unbleached flour to the tub. 
  3. Toast the sesame seeds and poppy seeds in a dry frying pan. Cool, cover and set aside.
  4. Take 10 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 20 g of filtered water and 20 g wholegrain flour if your choice. Let rise in at room temperature for the night. 

Dough making day:

  1. Early in the morning, feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 50 g each of wholegrain flour and unbleached flour. Let rise 5 hours in a warm spot.
  2. Two hours or so before the levain is ready, put the filtered water and beer in a stand mixer’s bowl and add the flours from the tub.  Mix on the lowest speed until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes a couple of minutes. Autolyse for a couple of hours at room temperature. 
  3. Take out the onions so they warm up to room temperature. 
  4. Once the levain is ready, add the salt, the seeds, the onions, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on the lowest speed for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on the next speed for 9 minutes. 
  5. Remove dough from bowl and place in a covered tub. Let rest 45 minutes in a warm spot. 
  6. Do 2 sets of coil folds at 45 minute intervals and then 2 more set after 30 minute intervals. Since the dough seemed to get stickier with each coil fold, I took the dough out from my warm spot and set it on the counter. I also moved on to the next step immediately after the last coil fold. 
  7. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~830 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. This actually went surprisingly well. I did use a bit extra flour to help with the stickiness but the dough rounded up nicely even though it felt heavy. 
  8. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities or big bubbles. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make as tight boule as you can.
  9. Sprinkle half rice/half AP flour generously in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Cover with plastic bowl cover or shower caps. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 12 hours. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475 F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Then take the loaves out of the fridge. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.


Well, surprisingly, there was some decent oven spring! The house smells incredible of toasted seeds and onions!


Benito's picture

Definitely not bricks and based on the ingredients likely fully worth the efforts Danni.


Danni3ll3's picture

forward to cutting into it as we did keep a loaf for us this time. Cedar Mountain’s breads have always been amazing so I’m sure this one is no different.

It was definitely a stretch for me using that much rye in a bread. But nothing ventured, nothing gained right?

happycat's picture

dark ale and caramelized onion and rye... wow sounds spectacular.

I've been playing a lot with fresh milled rye here and there is lots of sticky dough :)  I try to manage with chilling the dough, flouring the work surface, using damp hands... not easy.

yours turned out way prettier than my efforts!

Edit: my wife wants me to make this one for our Xmas break. What does the ale taste like? lots of options at the beer store here. I've had nut brown ale, as well as something like a festbok.

Danni3ll3's picture

I could really taste the caramel in it. It’s quite strong flavoured. I liked it; hubby did not at all. And I’m not usually a fan of strong beers as I usually prefer a wheat beer. 

I did keep a loaf for ourselves this time so I’ll be cutting i to it later. 

trailrunner's picture

A big bowl of steaming soup with a chunk of buttered bread. Yum . I bet it would make fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches as well. Lovely bread!

Danni3ll3's picture

What a fantastic idea! I was going to have some pâté with it but now, I think I’ll have some of both!  

happycat's picture

Yes, genius.... grilled cheese on that bread. Something tangy.

It's on my list!

HeiHei29er's picture

Those look and sound great Danni!  Love the color in that crust.  Hope they taste as good as it sounds like they smelled!