Thursday, October 16, 2014

Caramelized onion herb cheese bread

Sounds good no? Let me tell you it tastes even better than it sounds. What’s not to like about Katie’s choice this month? Wait, maybe we could add some bacon? I didn’t, not this time but I think it’s a sound idea. But first, yes you heard it right, Katie is back with her choice for a filled semi-braid acting as Kitchen of the Month. A rather straight forward herb scented dough, part whole wheat, filled with caramelized onions and cheese… Lovely!
I used King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat (a 2 kg bag travelled all the way from their hometown in Vermont to my hometown in the Netherlands) and regular bread flour. Baked the onions and then baked some more because while the onions were cooling and I was out of the house one of my cats thought sweet caramelized onions were the perfect afternoon snack… Came back to find a nice empty circle in the center of the pan!
Furthermore used fresh rosemary and mozzarella along with aged Gouda and almost forgot to brush the mustard (Dyon in my case) on the bottom. A bit of fiddling –scooting the onions aside and brush mustard on then the onions back on top) but it was there. Good thing it was because I have been a bit heavy handed with the sugar and the onions were almost too sweet. Next time I will definitely add some black pepper and cut back on the sugar.

Onion, Herb, Cheese Stuffed Bread

Total time: 3 hours
  • Dough:
  • 1/2 tsp (.07oz, 2gr) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp (.18oz, 5gr) dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 59ml) water
  • 1/8 cup (1oz, 29.5ml) milk
  • 1/8 cup (1oz, 29.5ml) olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup (4.9oz, 140gr) whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (5.4oz, 154gr) white flour, may not use all
  • 3/4 tsp (.15oz, 4.25) salt
  • 1 tsp (.05oz, 1.5gr) Herbes de Provence
  • Filling:
  • 1 tsp (.16oz, 4.5gr) butter
  • 2 tsp (.32oz, 9gr)olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped (1 3/4 cups, 7.6oz, 215gr)
  • 4 medium shallots chopped (3/4 cup, 3.3oz, 94gr)
  • 1 tsp (.14oz, 4gr) sugar
  • 15 fresh sage leaves, chopped (about 2 tbs - too light to weigh)
  • 1 tsp (.05oz, 1.5gr) rosemary
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard (too difficult to weigh)
  • 1/2 cup (1.6oz, 45gr) Parmigiana Reggiano.
  • 1/2 cup (1.6oz, 45gr) Pecorino Romano (sheep's cheese)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Dough:
  • In large bowl, dissolve sugar in water.
  • Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.
  • Whisk in milk, eggs, egg yolks, oil, Herbes and salt.
  • Add the whole wheat flour and half of the white flour and stir to make soft dough.
  • Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for 10 minutes, adding enough of the remaining flour to make dough smooth and elastic.
  • Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  • Filling:
  • Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat butter with oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions, shallots, sugar  and cook until tender,
  • Reduce heat, add sage, rosemary and continue to cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes longer.
  • Let cool to room temperature.
  • To shape:
  • Grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper; punch down dough.
  • Turn out onto lightly floured surface.
  • Roll out into 12- x 11-inch (30 x 27 cm) rectangle.
  • Transfer to prepared pan.
  • Spread mustard lengthwise in 3-inch (8 cm) strip down center of rectangle.
  • Top with onion mixture.
  • Sprinkle with 3/4 of the cheese.
  • Using sharp knife and starting at 1 corner of dough, make diagonal cuts 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart almost to filling to form strips along 1 long side of dough. Repeat on other side, cutting diagonal strips in opposite direction.
  • Alternating strips from each side, fold strips over filling to resemble braid, overlapping ends by 1 inch (2.5 cm) and brushing with some of the egg to seal.
  • Cover with towel; let rise in warm place for 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  • To bake:
  • Brush top with egg. Bake in center of 350°F (180°C) oven for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese down centre of braid; return to oven for 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm or let cool completely on rack. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day; rewarm in oven before serving.).

- Kneaded by hand, relaxing!
- Only used one egg in the dough and one egg for brushing. No reason, at the time I think that was what the recipe said. It didn’t
- Added about a 1/4 cup of biga to the dough, used about 1/8 cup of extra flour in kneading.
- Next time I will have to spread the filling out more over the middle, I don’t like the way there’s more dough on top than on the bottom. The strips were too wide I guess. Below is what I should have done…. Pictures from the past when I apparently knew what I was doing…
Old World Braided Coffe Cake weergegeven
- Ration filling to dough was just about right to eat a slice out of hand.
- Really nice to add some heat to it, add black pepper or maybe a chopped chili?
- Had to bake it longer than stated, approx. 35 minutes?
Thanks Katie for stepping in this month and pick a wonderful loaf and a relaxing one at that! I really enjoyed baking this one, sometimes –more often these days- it is nice to bake something that smells so nice, looks so good and is not intimidating at all!
You can join the Bread Baking Buddies and earn your Buddy badge by simply baking your own version of this great braid by the end of October, sending a mail to Katie with your details and a picture (details at her blogpost) Please mention and link to the Bread Baking Babes in your post and ask for the Buddy badge! I am sure you will enjoy this one!
Do not forget to check the other Babes and see how their breads came out:
The Bread Baking Babes (current dozen) are:


  1. Beautiful Karen.
    Cats eat caramelized onions ... unreal. You baked yours!
    hehe Remember when we did the soup:! Good there were no cats around then.
    Apple picking next week, I'm thinking apple pie filling with cheese inside this loaf. Yes?

  2. Even though you wound up with the filling on the bottom half of the bread, it sure is stunning - that braid is so precise!

  3. Cats! they're such rats eating the onions, who would have known they went for that (mm I feel a rhyme coming on)
    anyway I loved it that you can eat a slice without it's filling dripping on the floor (though your cats might have love more filing to get that). beautiful braid, to me it still looks like you know what you're doing.

  4. Nice and fluffy bread Karen! Good save on the mustard. Who knew that cats would eat caramelized onions? Bet their breath was really bad after :)

  5. Stunningly beautiful loaf! I love how high it rose!

  6. Who knew that cats would like caramelized onions?! Aren't they supposed to be strict carnivores?

    I love the loft you got on your bread. And the colour of the crust! Beautiful.

    Aged gouda... good idea! And we must be twins; I forgot the mustard too.

  7. So cool that the King Arthur flour was from your trip to Vermont! Love the photos showing how to make the braid. Sounds really yummy!


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