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Seeking onion roll topping

greygarious May 11, 2009 12:40 PM

I am looking for a source for the type of browned onion bits you see on the tops of storebought onion rolls and bagels, but I don't know what the correct name is. Does anyone know what it's called and where to order it?

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    SQHD RE: greygarious May 11, 2009 12:52 PM

    It would either be dried onion or perhaps even raw onions sprinkled on top of the bread before baking. You would want to brush some kind of "adhesive" on top before sprinkling, like an egg wash.

    Something like this:


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      adamshoe RE: greygarious May 11, 2009 12:55 PM

      gg: Do you have some de-hydrated onion lurking in your pantry? Toast them in a dry pan and watch them carefully. When they're golden, let them cool a little and re-hydrate them w/ a little water. You're good to go. adam

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        amazinc RE: greygarious May 11, 2009 01:34 PM

        Check out the King Arthur Flour web site. They offer all kinds of toppings for rolls and breads. Eventhough I didn't buy my poppyseed there, they told me how to use it to top
        bialys. Thought that good PR!

        1. greygarious RE: greygarious May 11, 2009 02:28 PM

          Thanks for the input, but so far, no cigar. SQHD and adamshoe, it's not as simple as dehydrated onion because this stuff is also INSIDE the onion rye bread sold in the NYC area, where I used to live, and it's also on the inside of what in the Boston area is called a Miami onion roll. It's deep brown, almost black, and I suspect fried or baked with oil. Before I posted, I'd already checked the King Arthur site. They have mixed toppings but no onion.

          12 Replies
          1. re: greygarious
            MMRuth RE: greygarious May 11, 2009 02:29 PM

            This may sound dumb, but why not carmelize onions until they get quite dark, and use those?

            1. re: MMRuth
              adamshoe RE: MMRuth May 11, 2009 05:02 PM

              They'd be too wet. But, then you could slowly dry them out in a low oven. Oy vay; so much tsuris for onions. Where do the bagel bakers of NYC get them? You could probably mince some onions, spread them on a sheet pan w/ a little sugar and olive oil (or Schmalz...mmm....) and bake till dessicated and crispy. Again, lots of tsuris. adam

            2. re: greygarious
              SQHD RE: greygarious May 12, 2009 05:51 AM

              Just curious, but if you're looking for onion on the INSIDE of onion rye bread, why in the world would you describe what you're looking for as being "on the tops of storebought onion rolls and bagels"?

              1. re: SQHD
                greygarious RE: SQHD May 12, 2009 08:17 AM

                Because in some places, like here in the Boston area, there's no such thing as rye bread with swirls of onion inside. Since it's the same onion as is more commonly seen as a topping, I made that reference. (I've tried using dehydrated onion, which is pale in color, in bread-baking and it is not the same thing at all). If I say onion roll, people know what I mean.

                1. re: greygarious
                  smtucker RE: greygarious May 12, 2009 08:40 AM

                  I know exactly what you mean. I always thought the onion bits [for lack of a better word] were caramelized onions that had then been dehydrated. This would account for the dark color and slightly sticky qualities. I suspect that with effort and time, you could recreate these at home, but there might be a fair amount of testing required.

                  If you know a local bakery that sells something with these dark, onion bits that you like, maybe they would sell you a quantity appropriate for home baking?

                  1. re: greygarious
                    SQHD RE: greygarious May 12, 2009 08:48 AM

                    Fair enough. Have you tried simply toasting or frying the onion flakes like you mentioned above?

                    1. re: greygarious
                      alwayscooking RE: greygarious May 12, 2009 08:53 AM

                      Since others are throwing out ideas, here's another I've been musing on since first reading your post - slowly caramelize until reaching the right color and then laying them out in a single layer and nuking them until they've reached the right balance of wet/dry. I've used the microwave for drying other vegetables to powder so it might work.

                      1. re: alwayscooking
                        greygarious RE: alwayscooking May 12, 2009 09:32 AM

                        Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm sure that there's a way to achieve something similar if one is willing to fuss with all the mincing, stirring, and eyeballing, but am equally certain that the local and commercial bakeries buy this stuff ready-made. I'll have to contact Green-Freedman, Barowsky, or some other company to ask what the onions are called and if it's possible to purchase in small amounts. I think they'd be good mixed in with various side dishes, deviled eggs, popcorn, omelettes....

                        1. re: greygarious
                          smtucker RE: greygarious May 12, 2009 09:36 AM

                          oh yea to all of those: onion crack

                          1. re: greygarious
                            mcsheridan RE: greygarious Oct 24, 2009 07:29 PM

                            I'm late to the party, but I'm betting on this:

                            1. re: mcsheridan
                              greygarious RE: mcsheridan Oct 24, 2009 08:01 PM

                              I tried both - not even close. I recently spoke to a bagel baker at a farmers' market and asked about the browned onions. He said they make them from scratch, long sauteeing of finely chopped onion.

                              1. re: greygarious
                                mcsheridan RE: greygarious Oct 25, 2009 07:25 AM

                                Wow. I loved onion bagels before (close tie with poppy seed) and I'll now have new respect for proper bagel makers. :)

                                Miami Onion Rolls are to die for.

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