Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Zwiebelplatz (Potato-rye flatbread with onions) bbd #07

Posted by bakinghistory on March 1, 2008


An excellent rye flatbread with a chewy crumb speckled with potato bits and topped with sweet onions

Roundup is HERE 



breadbakingday 7 This is my entry for bbd #7 hosted this time by Cascabel of Chili und Ciabatta and initiated by Zorra. Cascabel proposed a great theme: flatbreads.

This rye flatbread—made with dark rye flour, potatoes, cornmeal, and a generous topping of onions—is amazingly good. The potatoes and rye provide a moist, chewy interior, speckled with potato bits. The roasted onion topping adds layers of flavor and sweetness. One of the best breads I have ever made.

From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In: The International Jewish Cook Book: 1600 Recipes According To The Jewish Dietary Laws With The Rules For Kashering: The Favorite Recipes Of America, Austria, Germany, Russia, …”,1919—USA


2 cups (275 g) (Yukon Gold) potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tbsp (18 g) kosher salt

2 tbsp (15 g) yellow cornmeal (whole grain, stone ground)

1 cup (102 g) dark rye flour

3 cups (400 g) bread flour (King Arthur brand) or as needed

1/2 tbsp (6 g) sugar

1 tsp (4 g) active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water

2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter


1 onion, sliced paper-thin

1-2 tbsp (15-30 g) butter

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Strain and reserve cooking water. Mash the potatoes and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer. Measure 1-1/2 cups of the potato water (add extra water if necessary to have 1-1/2 cups) place in a saucepan and mix with the salt and cornmeal. Bring to a boil, then take off the heat and add the butter, stirring until it is melted. Pour the mixture on the mashed potatoes and mix briefly. Let cool.

Once the potato mixture is cold, add the flours and then the yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water. Knead until the dough develops, about 7 minutes at low speed. The dough will be tacky, if too sticky and wet you may need to add a little more bread flour. Don’t add too much, the dough should be tacky because of the rye and potatoes.

Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise—preferably overnight in a cool place. The refrigerator might be fine, but a room with a temperature of 50°F (10°C ), such as a basement, is best.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C), place a rack in the middle slot.

Once the dough is fermented, take it out of the bowl and delicately, without kneading it, stretch it and flatten it with the palms of your hands to form a thin rectangle. Place it in a buttered jellyroll pan (11 x 16 x 0.5-inch—28 x 40.5 x 1.27 cm), spread on the surface the onion slices and dot with butter here and there. zwiebelplatz-1.jpg (click on picture to enlarge).

Immediately bake the bread for about 20-25 minutes. zwiebelplatz-2.jpg (click on picture to enlarge)

Notes: it is important that the potatoes are mashed while still hot and mixed with the flours when cold. Warm potatoes make the dough gooey and tend to absorb lots of flour, ruining the final result.

Mashing the potatoes with a fork so that small pieces remain whole is better than using a potato ricer—the potato bits are tasty to find in the finished bread.


16 Responses to “Zwiebelplatz (Potato-rye flatbread with onions) bbd #07”

  1. This sounds really interesting! Thank you very much for your contribution!

  2. bakinghistory said

    @ Petra: Thanks! And thanks for hosting, you chose a great theme!

  3. This is very interesting — looks like a focaccia, but made with rye. I believe you that’s it’s amazingly good!

  4. bakinghistory said

    Hi Susan! Yes, in fact I think it tastes like a sort of Eastern European variation on focaccia. 🙂

  5. Simona said

    The mix of ingredients is very interesting. I have made bread with rye flour a number of times, but never tried it in flatbread. Great post.

  6. bakinghistory said

    @Simona: Thanks! It is really a great recipe, like all of those I have tried so far from Greenbaum’s book

  7. Great entry, in Northern Germany I never heard the word “platz” related to a baking good. Normally it means place, plaza. But I heard it with blatz/platz, which has it’s origin in Rhineland, Swabian. It is a thin yeasted “cake” with different toppings, like yours. Thanks for sharing the recipe and making me think!

  8. bakinghistory said

    @ Ulrike: thanks! I wonder if Florence Greenbaum’s family came originally from that area. I’ll look into that.

  9. Aparna said

    Yummy bread. And my favourites -potatoes and onion.

  10. bakinghistory said

    @Aparna: thanks!

  11. The combination of rye and potatoes sounds so savory and delicious!

  12. bakinghistory said

    T.W.: it is! This has become one of our favorite breads.

  13. ejm said

    I love the various breads that have been created depending on dietary restrictions and what grains are readily available. The potato and rye combination is really interesting and I must say that my initial reaction was to think “isn’t it very very gummy?” …I’m so glad that you have made a note to ensure that the potatoes are cold before being added to the dough.

    Ulrike, I wonder if the word “platz” was chosen because the bread is flat and sort of resembles a paving stone or plaza.


    P.S. What is it about the version of this bread that is different from the non Kosher version? (Is it the use of butter rather than lard?)

  14. bakinghistory said

    @ Elizabeth: yes, making sure the potatoes are cold when the flour is added is really key. In fact, this is also the “secret” to make perfect potato gnocchi. Potatoes mashed when they are hot and kneaded with flour when they are cold 🙂 .

    As for the kashrut, yes, I think that lard would have been usually added to breads–for example most of the vintage books on Vienna bread that I have read consistently require lard as the shortening. The one I made here with butter would have been suitable for dairy meals.

  15. Srivalli said

    wow wow..that looks out of the world…its really tempting..thanks for the recipe…you have a great blog going..and nice and yummy ones..will surely try some..

    btw..thanks for dropping by and for your kind words.

  16. bakinghistory said

    @ Srivalli: Thanks! Ad thanks for visiting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: