I have definitely been reclaiming my baking vibe over the past week or so. I guess that’s what happens when the cooler weather hits and I don’t mind having the oven on all day. I am trying to fit as much pre-baby baking in as possible now. I’m of the belief that I’ll still be doing lots after the baby is born and that our routine will return to normal fairly quickly. But you never can tell, so I’m just preparing myself in case a colicky, needs-to-be-held-24/7 baby is in our future.
In addition to all the baking, I have been craving soup quite a bit – both for the process of making it and the act of eating it. And what goes better with a bowl of steamy soup than a hot loaf of bread fresh from the oven?
This Sweet Onion Bread is a great soup accompaniment. It’s fluffy and light inside with a somewhat crusty exterior. The caramelized onion adds a great sweet flavor without being overpowering. Speaking as someone that is not a big fan of onions, I have to say that this bread would be really missing something without the onions. Also, since the bread requires very little kneading and only an hour of rise time, it’s just as great on a weeknight as it is on the weekend.
Sweet Onion Bread
- 1 T. yeast
- 1/2 c. warm water (roughly 110 degrees, although I never measure)
- 1 t. sugar
- 1/2 c. butter, melted
- 1 1/2 c. milk
- 2 t. salt
- 1 1/2 t. Italian seasoning
- 6 c. flour (all white, whole wheat or any combination of the two)
- 3 T. butter
- 1 small to medium-sized yellow onion, diced
- 1 t. brown sugar
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. pepper
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast, water and sugar. Let proof for five minutes.
2. In a second bowl, stir together the melted butter, milk, salt and Italian seasoning. Pour into foaming yeast mixture and stir combine.
3. Add the flour a cup at a time until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Knead or mix just for a minute, until the dough comes together. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
4. While the dough rises, melt 3 T. butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the onions, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Cook on low for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are completely caramelized. Cool.
5. After the dough has risen for half an hour, knead in the caramelized onions.
6. Divide dough in half and place in two greased baking dishes. (You can use loaf pans, cake pans or one of each, depending on your preference.) Cover and let rise another 30 minutes.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.