Home-baked caramelised onion and parsley bread

I mentioned in earlier posts that I’m not the greatest fan of bread, and generally try to decrease the carbs, but if we do eat bread, we do it properly!  There are few things as delicious as warm bread, fresh out of the oven, served with a dollop of butter, grated cheese and jam.  It reminds me of fond memories from my childhood, literally watching my gran’s oven and waiting for the bread to come out. And then of course fighting for the crust-the best part of fresh bread.

This is a basic bread recipe that I’ve adjusted to include caramelized onions, and we did this one on the braai in a  little bread pan. This recipe works just as well, if not better, in a normal oven @ 180 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes to 1 hour and gives a medium loaf.

For one bread:

Caramelized onions:

1 onion, finely chopped

dash balsamic

1 teaspoon honey

dash olive oil

Heat the olive oil over moderate heat in a pan. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes before adding balsamic and honey. Allow balsamic to reduce completely, stirring in between to prevent onions from burning. The balsamic should evaporate, leaving behind sticky, perfectly caramelized onions.  Set aside and allow to cool

1 1/2 cup brown bread flour

1 1/2 cup white cake flour

90 ml olive oil

pinch salt

1 sachet instant yeast

2 tablespoons castor sugar

1 cup luke warm water

caramelized onion described above

3 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley

Add your brown bread flour, 1 cup of the cake flour and salt to  large mixing bowl and make a hole in the middle. Throw the olive oil in the hollow. Do not mix yet!  Empty your sachet yeast in a separate measuring jug and add your castor sugar (normal sugar will also do!).  Now add 1/2 of your luke-warm water to the measuring jug and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.  The mixture will become frothy.  Once it’s frothy, add it to the olive oil in the hollow of your flour, and gently mix with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will still be very dry.  Now add 1/4 of the remaining water, and gently start to knead the dough with your hands in the mixing bowl. If it’s still to dry, add some more of the remaining water.  Gently knead. The more you knead, the wetter the dough will become. I never finish my cup of water!  Once the dough is starting to come together (about 5 minutes of kneading), spread it out a bit and add your onions, and parsley.  Gently knead in the onion. It will be quite sticky by now, so add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Knead again gently for another 5 minutes. Your dough will become silky to the touch, and if you press it with your finger should be elastic, lessening the indentation made with your finger. Do not over knead! Once smooth, rub with a little bit of oil (to prevent it from cracking and drying out whilst rising). Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and place in a warm, draft-free area.  Allow to rise for and hour (should double in size), before punching down (literally give your dough a little punch and press it down) and shaping it into a greased bread pan.  Allow to rise for another half an hour before placing it in a preheated oven  (180 degrees Celsius) and baking until golden brown (50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your oven). Test with a knife or cake tester. If t comes out clean your bread is ready!  Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before cutting or it might just crumble.

Now add butter to your slice of home-baked fresh, warm bread and enjoy!