How to make onion bread
The smell of hot onion bread is so inviting, no one will wait for it to cool down.
I’m among those bakers who like a long pre-ferment with little yeast. The long interval allows the flour to develop its unique, sweet flavors, making a loaf that tastes of bread, not of yeast. So, start this batch the night before.
- 3-5 cups sifted flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon granulated yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 large onion, cut into coarse dice and sautéed until golden in olive oil
- Another beaten egg for glazing loaves
8-10 hours ahead of time:
Dissolve the yeast in all the water.
Add olive oil, sugar, egg, sautéed onion and salt.
Add 3 cups of flour, mixing well. The whole procedure should take about 3 minutes.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it away in a cool place overnight (in summer, stash it in the fridge).
The next day:
The next morning or whenever the batter is light and bubbly, start adding flour by handfuls, turning the mass over and over until you achieve a dough that’s soft and floppy but still cohesive. You want a tender mass that will leave the bowl and hold its shape in your hand as you manipulate it. Allow the dough to rest, absorbing all the flour, for 15 minutes.
Separate the dough into four pieces. Gently roll the pieces into balls.
Place the balls of dough on your prepared baking pan, or on a piece of baking paper.
Cover the dough with a clean towel and allow it to rise again, from 1-2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen. There should be blisters under the surface skin of the dough, indicating a light and spongy mass.
About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Brush beaten egg over the loaves. Slash with a very sharp knife. I keep a retractable razor for slashing my bread. Let the loaves relax for 5 minutes, then place in the oven.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Check for done-ness. If needful, turn the loaves upside down to finish baking (I always need to) – another 5-7 minutes. Check again: the clean toothpick test is good for these compact loaves.
Allow to cool before devouring, if you’re strong-minded and can wait.
Related Topics: Baking