Caramelized Onion and Thyme Bread

It’s been raining a lot here as it’s spring which often means 40 days and nights of rain in Nova Scotia. Sometimes it’s not raining it’s just dark out when it should be light out. Cast over skies with cold wet air call for bread baking. It’s not the type of bread baking you do in the fall, with spice and butter and things simmering on the stove. It’s more like the smell of soup with a hint  of bread in the air. Thyme is my spring herb, it taste great on roast or steamed and buttered veggies, it’s great in stuffings and soups and definitely good with caramelized onions rolled into bread. Makes one beautiful loaf.

Caramelized Onion and Thyme Bread

  • 1 tbsp+1/4 teaspoon of yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey or white sugar
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2+1/2-3 cups of while flour
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil or a mix of both
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to the lowest setting
In a large metal or stone bowl add yeast to warm water and sugar. Stir to dissolve and let rest for about 5 minutes to let the yeast develop.  Add oil, salt, whole wheat flour, thyme and mustard and mix well so there ar e no bumps.
Add the remaining flour one cup at a time until you have to mix by hand. Kneed about 5 minutes. Dough should be hearty and not too sticky on the outside. Clean out bowl, oil and add dough bake in to rise. Cover with a tea towel, turn the oven off, and leave in oven for an hour.
Caramelize the onions. Cut onions into half moons, roughly chop garlic(if garlic is too small it will burn). Heat a butter/oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and slowly cook until caramelized, it take about 10-15 minutes, add garlic in after 8 minutes. Try not to stir too much in the beginning and resist the urge to crank the heat. The onions will decrease by half volume. Once they are golden brown and soft, set aside to cool.
Grease a standard sized loaf pan. Remove the bread form the oven and roll onto a floured surface. With your hand press down to form a 10 x10 square. The dough should remain at least and inch thick. Cover with onion mixture. Gently roll up the bread, and rest on joining seam in loaf pan. Cover and let rise another 45 minutes.
After 30 minutes preheat oven to 350. When bread is done it`s second rise bake in oven for about 35 minutes. When bread is browned all over, it will be ready to be removed. Let rest about 5 minutes before extracting fromm the loaf pan and leave to cool on a wire rack. Do not leave unattended for long, boyfriends and dogs will try and steal it.
This would make a wonderful sandwich bread if it wasn’t rolled as I have demonstrated. If you would like sandwich bread caramelize and cool the onions and add them to the dough after the 1st cup of flour has been integrated. Everything else, rising and cooking time should be the same.

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