Caramelized Onion and Gouda Bread


Two of my favorite flavors combine to make this bread so delicious, it’s dangerous. Warning: Do not bake this bread around gluten-free friends!

The savory aroma of onions and cheese will waft from your kitchen with this delicious recipe. Don’t count on having leftovers. You’ll see why when it hits the table and disappears in front of your eyes!

INGREDIENTS:

Caramelized onion and gouda cheese bread.

3/4 Cup Milk or Substitute Almond or Rice
1/2 Cup Filtered Water
1 Egg
4 TBS Softened Butter or Olive Oil
1-1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose White Flour
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 TBS Raw Cane Sugar
1 Large Onion
2 Cups Grated Gouda Cheese
3 tsp Quick-Rise Yeast

Prepare by chopping the onion and sauteing with 2 tbs olive oil over medium high heat for one minute or until translucent. Then reduce heat to low and caramelize. This will take 15 – 20 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar and yeast. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water and cubed butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until a uniform ball of dough is formed. Then add 1/3 of caramelized onions to dough and knead to incorporate (about 1 minute). Repeat until all of the onion is kneaded into dough and add one cup of grated cheese – about 5-6 minutes total.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

If making loaves, divide dough in half. Shape each into a long rope. Place ropes on baking sheet (I like to spread sesame seeds between the sheet and the bread to keep it from sticking). Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 25 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Immediately sprinkle remaining cheese on loaves and watch it melt.

Bread Machines: I Love ‘Em


I just read a blog titled Bread Machines: Love Them or Hate Them and reflected on this sentiment. Does it have to be completely hand made to be appreciated?

This was a concern of mine many years ago when I bought my first bread machine. I would take my fresh bread to pot lucks in Santa Cruz and get asked if I used a bread machine. When I said yes, they would say, “Ohhhhh, I see”, like it didn’t count. I was stigmatized.

But, that soon wore off and I went crazy experimenting with all kinds of recipes, beer bread, cheddar and chives, garlic herb bread, whole wheat – multi-grain and of course challah.

Challah is the holly grail of bread making for many reasons. First, it’s similar to making a teapot in ceramics. There is tradition in making both and they each take a great deal of time, attention and practice for a fine result.

I have actually been asked if challah that I made came out of my bread machine! Well, yes but, I did the braiding, brushing with egg mixture and put the sesame and poppy seeds on by hand.

And here’s where I found my belief that bread machines are not to be hated. Because I learned how to make bread using one.

Since I had no bread baking experience before (except for a short stint as a baker at the Santa Cruz Bagelry) this was my teacher. I tried and I failed, sometimes spectacularly – think I love Lucy but, with bread everywhere. Then I learned the process of yeast creating tiny air pockets of carbon dioxide and why it needs to be punched down for a second rise before being baked.

So, today I made challah for a dinner party – with my bread maker. It came out wonderfully and was a big hit at the table. I could have done it all by hand, yes. But, like many tools, the bread maker saves me time and this is the part I love.

Who wouldn’t love to wake up in the morning to the smell of fresh bread wafting out of your kitchen? That’s how I woke up this morning.

And that’s why I love my bread maker.

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