Saturday, November 17, 2012

Onion Lover's Bread

This is one of the yummiest, softest and fluffiest bread! A truly delicious bread, if you are an onion lover, you will most definitely fall for this bread, as did my family! Give this a try, highly recommended! The good thing is, this bread stays as soft on the next day too!

Here are some photos on how the bread was made :

  • The onion mixture : melt the butter, remove from heat and mix in the finely chopped onions, paprika, cheese, pepper, garlic salt and poppy seeds. Mix to combine and set aside. (I do not have garlic salt, I use 3/4 tsp garlic powder with 1/8 tsp of salt)
  • Make the dough as per instructions below, roll it out to the required size. Here I have made one big loaf, and have divided the dough into three parts to make one big braid. My advise is to make into two smaller braids instead, as the big loaf is extremely huge! Refer to the measurement in the recipe below for smaller braids.
  • Place some onion filling, leaving the border 1/2" all around.

  • Roll up dough from the long end close to you, but stop at about 1" from the border, otherwise the fillings would be pushed out. 
  • Lift the dough from the other side towards the center to meet the other end of the dough.
  • Seal the dough together tightly. Repeat with the other two parts of cut dough.

Place the three rolled filled dough onto the baking sheet, greased or lined with silicone baking mat. Braid the three rolls together, pinching the ends to seal and tuck them under firmly. Leave to rise until puffy about 45 minutes. Bake at 375F about 40 minutes. I took a step further by glazing the top with egg wash and sprinkle with lots of sesame seeds before baking.

This is one huge loaf! By the time the dough has risen it can barely fit into my oven. I've got to adjust the loaf by tucking in the ends gently to fit into my oven. So if would be advisable to make two smaller braids instead. Or half a recipe for one smaller loaf.  It smells so deliciously good while it is baking. My hubby was a little shocked when he walked into the kitchen. He has never seen a bread this huge before! And it was huge! Hahaha! The size of my cooling rack is a square 14", the bread is definitely longer than that, as I've got to place it across the centre!

Look at the texture of the bread. It is so, so, fluffy soft and very delicious! When I was holding the bread in place while slicing it, I can really feel the softness under my fingers, and I knew that this bread is a winner. The onions filling is really good, and I'm glad that I've added the sesame seeds on top. This is one delicious bread, very tasty enough to eat it on its own.

And the great thing is, this bread is as soft on the second day! This is one bread that I'll be making again in my kitchen, I hope that you give this a try. Don't miss out on this bread!

I am having a good time making different kinds of breads from this fantastic book "Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads", the Briarpatch Herb Bread and this Onion Lover's Bread are both winners! However I am at first, rather annoyed about the way the instructions are laid out for each recipe. The late Mr Bernard Clayton, (bless him), has given three methods of making, that is by hand, by stand mixer and by using the food processor. But the style of laying out the instructions are pretty confusing, I've got to underline the sentences that are meant for the method which I have chosen, the stand mixer, before I start with the making of the bread. Especially when I first got the book, it was really confusing. It does take a little time to read and understand his style of writing and getting used to. But do not be alarmed by this, once you have understood his style of writing, you are on your way to lots of delicious breads. I'm not annoyed anymore, in fact I'm beginning to appreciate and looking forward to bake from this book even more!

Since I have used the stand mixer to mix the dough for this bread, I'm giving the method below for using the stand mixer :

Onion Lover's Bread
(adapted from "Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads")
Dough :
1 package dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoon)
4 cups bread or all-purpose flour, approximately (I use in total about 4-3/4 cups bread flour)
1-1/4 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt (I use 1-1/8 tsp salt)
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (I use 120gm)
1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten

Filling :
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted (I use 60gm)
1 cup finely chopped onions, or 1/4 cup onion flakes
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon garlic salt (I use 3/4 tsp garlic powder + 1/8 tsp salt)
1 teaspoon paprika

Baking Sheet :
1 baking sheet, greased or Teflon (or 1 loaf pan)

Note : The filling is prepared after the dough has been made and set aside to rise.

To make the dough :

  • In mixer bowl, stir the yeast and 2 cups flour together.
  • In a saucepan, heat the water, sugar, salt, dry milk and butter (about 125 degrees). When the butter is quite soft, but not necessarily melted, add the egg and pour all the liquid into the flour. 
  • Mix at low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes with the mixer flat beater.
  • Stop the mixer, attach the dough hook, and add flour,  1/4 cup at a time, to make a soft dough that forms a ball around the hook as it revolves and cleans the sides of the bowl. This dough must rise before kneading.
  • Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until light and doubled in volume, 1 hour.

To make the filling :
  • Meanwhile, make the filling : Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and set aside until ready to form the braids.

Kneading the dough :
  • Knead using the mixer, add flour, if necessary, to form a soft, elastic ball around the dough hook as it resolves. It will clean the sides of the bowl. Knead for 10 minutes.

  • Allow the dough to relax for 5 minutes and then roll the piece into a 12"x18" rectangle. For one loaf, cut into three 4"-wide strips, or, for two loaves, six 9" -x- 4" strips. If the strips pull back and shrink when they are cut, let them rest for 3 or 4 minutes - and roll to size. Carefully spread the filling on the pieces, leaving a 1/2" margin around the edge. This permits a good bond that will hold and not open when the braids rise.
  • Roll each piece from the long side. Stop the roll 1" from the edge. Lift the edge up to the roll and pinch together. Don't roll to the edge, for this will push the filling onto the clear margin and make it difficult to get a firm seal.
  • Lift the rolls onto the baking sheet and braid 3 rolls together, pinching the ends together tightly.

Second Rising :
Cover with a length of wax paper and leave at room temperature until the braids have doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat :
Preheat the oven to 350F, 20 minutes before baking.

Bake on the middle shelf of the moderate oven. When the loaves are a golden brown and tapping the bottom crust yields a hard, hollow sound, they are done, about 40 minutes. (If using a convection oven, reduce heat 25degrees and bake for 35 minutes).

Final Step
Remove bread from the oven. As will all braided loaves, handle the hot bread with care. Move with the help of a spatula to cool.

kitchen flavour's note :
~ used a total of 4-3/4 cups bread flour
~ egg wash the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds just before baking.


  1. LOL, that IS a huge loaf of bread...but I'm sure we'd have no problem making it smaller in my house. This sounds lovely, fantastic filling!

  2. What a beautiful loaf of bread! It's a big one, but it sounds so good that it wouldn't last long. :) I LOVE onions in bread!

  3. Wow, that is beautiful looking bread, Joyce. Personally, I'm not a huge onion lover, but I'd like to try this technique with a different filling - maybe something with sundried tomatoes and feta would be more up my alley. Thankfully I have a very big oven :-)

  4. That filling sounds like it would be delicious in bread.

  5. This bread is just for 'B'. lol..anymore left?

    1. Made two smaller ones today. One is in the oven now! Will get some tea ready! wink! wink!

  6. I always feel happy when I see plaited breads and yours is so pretty, and definitely put a smile on my face.

  7. Hi Joyce
    Your bread look stunning and very well golden baked! It looks so delicious with the onion filling. I am not good in bread making but I hope I am able to achieve like what you have baked here.

  8. Joyce , for me , when it comes to bread the bigger the better ! lol Your bread looks beautiful and so delicious especially with that onion filling :D I've checked B Clayton's books at our local lib but sadly only his book about soup and stews , no bread book :P :D Such a shame :D

  9. i'm an onion lover, Joyce! but unfortunately it's only me alone in the house
    perhaps i just drop by at your place bringing my container okie LOL

  10. Joyce, this onions bread looks wonderful ! We used to make garlic bread, but onions bread is a great and new idea. I love onions.
    I have to try it !

  11. hi joyce, it reminds me of that danish streusel bread that we baked for THB. That was huge too and i have problem putting it on my baking tray too. Anyway, you sounded this bread really really good , i'm sure i will fall in love with this one too!

  12. Es una delicia me gustaría probar luce muy lindo,abrazos y abrazos

  13. Joyce look absolutely georgeous and delicious Love it!!

  14. Hi Joyce,
    I just love your Onion Lover Bread, it looks awesome! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  15. Mindblowing bread, simply fabulous and beautifully done.

  16. Such a great looking bread. We love onions here and I just know we would go wild over this. The texture of the bread looks great too. Thanks for linking!

  17. I do love onions so I would love this bread!

  18. Hi Joyce, love your creative talents....and this onion bread looks real good too. Love the twists and colours.
    But I wouldn't eat this before going on a hot date, ha ha ha. And yes, it's probably illegal to make soups, stews and casseroles without plenty of onions.
    I love onions too in most everything.
    Have a fun week, and keep a song in your heart.

  19. Joyce, I know that this is also my fav type of bread! Your braided bread looks so pretty there!

  20. Joyce, wow, onion and cheese for the filling... making my mouth water. I can't get poppy seeds in Singapore, but I am sure it will be delicious even without that, will try to make this combo sometime.

  21. Joyce, I am an onion lover! You have made a beautiful and hefty loaf there. Just as well as it is a delicious bread, so more to go around. I'll KIV this for a day when I am not so rushed.

  22. Joyce, I would love to have this as my supper now. I am so hungry looking at your bread. Well done toyou.

  23. Oh this looks wonderful! I love bread and I like the way you braided it! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a blessed Thanksgiving week!

  24. Joyce,
    I have brought some hot tea along to taste your onion bread,,LOL
    Your bread braided so nicely.

    Thanks for the tutorial on how the bread braided.
    My family loves onions. Will like to try this out too!!

  25. Wow! I just thinking of baking a braid bread! This looks really good & lovely! YUM! :)

  26. Hi, I am Ng, a silent follower of your blog. I love this braided bread and have done it twice, It did not come out perfectly partly I did not braided it well but the flavour and texture is delicious. I would like to clarify with you whether the your huge loaf is a full or half the recipe. The 1st one I did half the recipe and the loaf came as big as yours, I did another half recipe today and braided into 2 loaf but I think the dough is not enough so in the end my 2 loaves have some tear thus exposing the fillings inside, but it is still delicious...please advice or give me some comments. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Ng,
      Thank you for visiting my blog. I'm glad that you have tried out this delicious bread. The first time I made this loaf, it was the full recipe and I braided it into one loaf which turns out rather huge. The second time I made this, I made the full recipe for 2 smaller braided loaves. To avoid tearing, you could try making this into a loaf bread. For half a recipe, simply roll the dough out to fit the length of the pan, (perhaps 9x5-inch loaf pan) fill with the onion filling, rolled it up like a swiss roll, seal and tuck the ends under, and place in the loaf pan, seam down, and let it rise. Proceed with baking.
      This loaf bread would be lovely as a sandwich bread, with sandwich ham, lettuce, tomatoes, perfect for a simple but satisfying lunch.
      I have not tried baking it in a loaf pan but I have been thinking about it, and have not got round to it yet! Let me know whether it works for you.
      Thank you for dropping by!
      Happy Baking!

    2. Thanks for replying, so the picture on your blog is a full recipe is it? I like the look of the braided bread, it's just that half a recipe is not enough for 2 loaves but then again when I made it the first time I also half the recipe and got a loaf as huge as yours [determined by the lenght of the rack...mine is the same as yours] I do not know whether you get what I mean...your full recipe and my half recipe actually produce the same huge loaf! I will defintely try again, I think I need praticing the braiding...will let you know the outcome.