Rosemary & Caramelised Onion Bread

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Bread is great.

It’s cheap to make, cheap to buy, it’s international and it’s probably about the only foodstuff that we can get away with eating with any time of the day without being judged.

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As much as a plain old wholemeal loaf from the supermarket can be lovely toasted and spread with something sweet or savoury, sometimes it just doesn’t quite cut it. Some days you need something more hearty, flavoursome and downright comforting.

Days like this need Rosemary & Caramelised Onion Bread. Ah yes, a freshly baked fluffy white loaf laced with sweet, soft onions and scented with fresh herbs. Come to mama.

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As my household are currently back on the healthy-eating wagon after the usual Christmas blowout, I promised myself that I’d limit my little afternoon snack to just some fruit…pfft, yeah right! I ended up eating said fruit with five shortbread biscuits and couldn’t resist slathering two warm, thick slices of this bread with cheese and shoving them in my mouth before I even knew what I was doing. Today has been a great day.

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This bread is super simple to make, and by taking a little extra time in between proving to soften and sweeten some onions, you can transform what may have been a dull white loaf into something bloody delicious.

So if you got a bread maker for Christmas or if you just fancy kneading away those December bingo wings, you should definitely give this one a go!

You can prepare the onions before making the loaf, or make use of the first hour of proving to cook them, it’s completely up to you!

Look out 2-3 medium onions, I like to use all 3 and just save the cooked onions that I don’t use to chuck into sandwiches or serve warm with an evening meal.

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Peel and thinly slice the onions.

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While you have the knife handy, dice the garlic and finely chop some lovely fresh rosemary too. I’m obsessed with rosemary right now, I cook with it all the time, I’m actually surprised it hasn’t found its way into my morning porridge yet!

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Heat some oil in a large frying pan and tip in the onions and garlic, cook them over a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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After 15 minutes, add the sugar, vinegar and rosemary and continue to cook, until soft and sweet.

Tip the onions onto a plate or board and allow to cool while you make your loaf.

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First, look out a large bowl and weigh in your flour. Pour in the yeast and salt on opposing sides of the bowl, this prevents the salt from killing the yeast. Nasty old salt.

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Stir the dry ingredients together and make a well in the centre.

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Into this white cavern, pour in your milk, butter and honey (it may look like a giant fried egg!) and stir again until a coherent dough begins to form.

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Now get your hands in and form the dough into a ball, adding more flour or liquid if the dough is too sticky or dry.

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Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, roll up your sleeves and knead it for a good 10 minutes. You can use a food mixer for this instead if you like if you don’t fancy the workout.

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Once the dough is noticeably smoother and stretchier, pop it into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with clingfilm or a clean tea towel and leave it to rise at room temperature until doubled in size.

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When risen, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface again and punch the air out of it a little. Add a handful or so of your lovely onions and knead them into the dough, this can get a bit messy and sticky so feel free to add a little flour to prevent the dough getting too wet.

Shape the dough as best you can into an oval and pop it into a greased loaf tin. Leave this to rise in the tin until doubled in size again, meanwhile, wash that oniony smell off your sticky little fingers and make yourself a well earned cup of tea. When the dough has almost finished rising, preheat your oven.

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Once doubled in size, spread the top of the loaf with some more caramelised onions and a few more springs of rosemary. Pop this into the oven.

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After 25 minutes, carefully remove the loaf from its tin and place it back into the oven naked until golden, crisp and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath. The naked baking helps support the sides of the loaf and gives it a nice colour all over.

When you’re happy with your loaf, remove it from the oven and try your best to allow it to cool on a wire rack before slicing it.

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Once your bread has cooled, use a serrated knife to slice through that lovely crisp herby crust and serve this with soup, cold meats or just as a snack with some cheese and chutney.

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This loaf is absolutely delicious, I can’t urge you enough to try it out!

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Rosemary & Caramelised Onion Bread

Rosemary & Caramelised Onion Bread

A wonderfully savoury rosemary and caramelised onion bread that goes well with almost anything!

Ingredients

    For the caramelised onions:
  • 2-3 medium onions
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary (as much as you like)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil for frying
    For the loaf:
  • For the loaf you’ll need:
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 sachet fast action yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 320ml milk of your choice at room temperature
  • 30g melted butter/margarine, cooled slightly

Instructions

    For the caramelised onions:
  1. Peel and thinly sliced 2-3 medium onions and chop the rosemary up.
  2. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and tip in the onions and garlic, cook them over a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 15 minutes, add the sugar, vinegar and rosemary and continue to cook, uncovered for a further 15 minutes until soft and sweet.
  4. Tip the onions onto a plate or board and allow to cool while you make your loaf.
    For the loaf:
  1. First, look out a large bowl and weigh in your flour. Pour in the yeast and salt on opposing sides of the bowl, this prevents the salt from killing the yeast.
  2. Pour in your milk, butter and honey and stir again until a coherent dough begins to form.
  3. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball, adding more flour or liquid if the dough is too sticky or dry.
  4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, roll up your sleeves and knead it for a good 10 minutes. You can use a food mixer for this instead if you like.
  5. Once the dough is noticeably smoother and stretchier, pop it into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with clingfilm or a clean tea towel and leave it at room temperature for 60-90 minutes until doubled in size.
  6. When risen, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface again and punch the air out of it a little. Add a handful or so of your lovely onions and knead them into the dough, this can get messy and sticky so feel free to add a little flour to prevent the dough getting too wet.
  7. Shape the dough as best you can into an oval and pop it into a greased loaf tin. Leave this to rise in the tin for a further 60-90 minutes until doubled in size again. When the dough has just 15-20 minutes left to rise, preheat your oven to 220 degrees or to 200 degrees if you have a fan-assisted oven.
  8. Once doubled in size, spread the top of the loaf with some more caramelised onions and a few more springs of rosemary. Pop this into the oven.
  9. After 25 minutes, carefully remove the loaf from its tin and place it back into the oven naked for a further 20-25 minutes until golden, crisp and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath.
  10. When you’re happy with your loaf, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack before slicing it.
  11. Enjoy!
http://maverickbaking.com/rosemary-caramelised-onion-bread/

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