French Onion Soup with Pane Di Como

We had a couple weeks in January where the temperature was 60º and sunny out, then out of no where it decides to drop to 20 and dump snow on the city. Which means you can either complain about the weather or make soup and stay warm! I am usually not a fan of broth soups but french onion soup has always been one of my favorites. And naturally you need some great bread to go with it, so Abby made some pane di como to soak up this great soup.

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Pane Di Como      (Yields 1 Loaf)

  • 145 g Yeast Starter
  • 94 g  Water
  • 94 g Milk
  • 3.5 g Yeast
  • 285 g Bread Flour
  • 7 g Salt

Yeast starter

  • 10 oz Bread Flour
  • 6 oz Water (75º)
  • 2 g Yeast

For yeast starter: place water in mixing bowl. Mix together yeast and flour and add to water. Mix on first speed using dough hook until smooth dough forms. Place in a non-reactive container cover and ferment 12 hrs at 75º.

For Dough: bloom yeast in water. In mixing bowl add milk, starter, water, and yeast. Add flour, add salt when dough is shaggy. Mic on speed 1 for 8 minutes, Bulk ferment at 75º for 90 minutes. Fold dough at 60 minutes. Portion and form into loaf, proof in bannetone until double in size. Turn out of bannetone and decorative score. Bake in dutch oven 25-30 minutes.

*Make sure to pre heat dutch oven for 15 minutes, be careful handling!*

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French Onion Soup:    (Yields 2 1/2 Qts)

  • 6 Yellow Onions (Fine Julienne)
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Sprig Rosemary
  • 32 oz Chicken Stock
  • 64 oz  Beef Stock
  • 10 oz Dark Rum

I’m sure you are probably wondering why there is rum in this recipe. To be honest I was always taught to use burgundy or a red to deglaze but I was making it at home once and realized I didn’t have any, but I had rum. I really enjoyed the outcome of it and have used it ever since. I would just use a darker rum like Kraken or Sailor Jerry.

To start melt the butter in a large pot and add olive oil, cook down onions and garlic on medium heat until caramelized. The more caramelized the better. Deglaze the pan with 8 oz of the rum and cook down until liquid is half. Add in the chicken and beef stock. Wrap the herbs in cheese cloth and add to broth. Simmer for 1 1/2 hr and season with salt and pepper. Pour soup into ramekin or bowl and place a piece of the bread on top. Cover with cheese (provolone, swiss, etc.) and place under broiler until golden brown. Remove and enjoy! Finally take a shot of the last 2 oz of rum because you’ll need it for when you have to scrub the cheese off the sides of the bowl!

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