I've learned quite a bit about the workings of yeast and the art of making bread, thanks to MasterChef Australia. I decided to put one of those tips to use. I've been thinking of making onion bread for quite sometime. But instead of adding the onion at the initial stages, I decided on caramelizing and adding after the dough has been prepared. Apparently, yeast doesn't like too much disturbance in the initial stage. Once you make the dough, you've incorporated your yeast and hence, adding any kind of spices, veggies or nuts would be okay.
These don't look like buns, do they? Okay. I made a blunder. The buns, although delicious, turned out to be more like a chewy biscuit. Completely my fault. I made very little dough and arranged the mini buns on a larger pan. And so, the yeast worked its magic sideways rather than upwards. Don't do that, okay? :-D Use a pan just enough to place these buns about an inch apart.
But apart for the silly shape of these (so called) buns, the caramelized onions along with some garlic proved to be an amazing addition to the dough. Of course once the onions start leaving moisture, the dough becomes really sticky. But that's really okay. They bake beautifully.
CARAMELIZED ONION & GARLIC BUNS RECIPE
Prep time - 2 hours
Bake time - 20-25 min
Makes - 8 mini buns
Refined flour - 1 cup (150 grams)
Warm Water - 1/3 cup (50 ml)
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp (or any veg oil)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Instant Yeast - 1 tsp (proof the yeast if you are using active dry yeast)
Onions - 2 cups
Garlic, minced - 4-5 cloves
Butter - 1 tbsp (for caramelizing onions)
Thyme or oregano (optional)
I. For the dough
1. Dissolve sugar in warm water & sprinkle yeast over it. Let it sit for a minute & mix well. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
2. Sift flour & salt together.
3. Add oil & mix well.
4. Add the yeast water little by little & make a soft, springy dough.
5. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic cover & rest in a warm area. (I put the bowl with the dough in warm oven. It rose quickly in just 15 minutes)
6. Keep aside until the onions are ready.
II. For caramelized onions & garlic
2 cups of raw onions would give around 1 cup of caramelized onions.
1. Melt butter
2. Add garlic & sauté until light brown
3. Add in the onions & sauté for a minute or 2.
4. Add salt.
5. Keep frying on high flame (stirring continuously) until the onions are brown in color.
You can stop frying at a point where you feel the onions have caramelized enough. For me, I wanted a brownish color but not bordering on a burnt look.
III. Final Step
1. Take the dough onto a work surface. Apply some flour on the surface.
2. Roll it out long.
3. Spread the caramelized onions on the dough.
4. Sprinkle oregano or thyme, if needed.
5. Fold the dough vertically and then horizontally.
6. Using your hands spread the dough out into a rough circular disk.
7. Knead the dough in such a way that all the caramelized onions are properly mixed into every inch of the dough. Some onions may fall apart. That's okay. Just tuck them back into the dough.
8. Place the dough in an oiled bowl & cover with a damp cloth or plastic cover.
9. Let it rest in a warm place for 1 hour. Every 20 minutes, take it out & punch it in
10. After the dough has doubled, apply some oil / butter / non stick spray onto a baking pan.
11. Take about a spoon full of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on the baking pan at a distance of 1 inch from each other.
12. Cover and let it sit for another 30 minutes in a warm place. (as you can see, my buns expanded horizontally. It is because I placed them too far from each other.) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C / 375 F
13. Brush them with oil or butter
14. Bake at 180 C for 25 minutes or until done.
15. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.
- Although the recipe looks complicated, it really isn't. You just need to be a bit organized.
- If you over bake, the texture becomes like a biscuit. (Which is delicious, nevertheless)
- If you're following my measurements, you'd get only about 8 mini buns. But make sure you place the buns not more than 1 or even 3/4 inch apart, so that when the yeast in buns makes them rise, they'll rise upwards.
- Wheat flour does not have the required gluten to make the breads soft. So, I'd say add about 3 portions of refined flour to 1 portion of wheat flour. i.e, if you want to substitute.
- You can of course add raw onions & garlic too. The taste would probably be a bit different. Why don;t you try it out & let me know? :) But the caramelized onions version is definitely worth trying