Onion and Herb Bread

This loaf is made savory with herbs and lots of caramelized onions.

"The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008.

Onion and Herb Bread

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    Ingredients

    4 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading and sprinkling 2 onions, sliced
    1 tsp instant yeast 1/2 tsp salt, for filling
    1/3 cup plus 1/2 tsp olive oil 1/2 tsp coarsely crushed peppercorns
    1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary, plus 1 tsp whole rosemary leaves 3 tbsp light brown sugar
    1 1/4 tsp salt 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1 large egg, beaten, for glazing 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    directions

    Prep: 35 min Total: More than 60 min
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    • 1

      Stir 1..." cups of the flour, the yeast, and 1 1/4 cups tepid water in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 1 hour in warm place, until bubbling. Stir in ..." cup oil, the rosemary, and salt and enough of the flour to make a sticky dough. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Knead on a floured work surface about 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

    • 2

      Shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, to double.

    • 3

      Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, and rosemary, and cook 3 minutes more. Let cool.

    • 4

      Lightly flour a large baking sheet. Knead the dough on the work surface. Press into a 15 × 13in (37.5 × 32.5cm) rectangle and spread with the onions, leaving a 1in (2.5cm) border. Fold the shorter sides in by 1in (2.5cm), then fold the bottom third up, and the top third down. Pinch the seams closed, then transfer to the baking sheet, seams down. Shape into an oblong shape with pointed ends. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until puffy.

    • 5

      Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Brush the dough with the egg and sprinkle with flour. Cut 3 slashes in the top of the loaf. Toss the rosemary leaves with 1/2 tsp oil, and sprinkle over. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 400°F (200°C) and bake for 20 minutes more, until deep golden.

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