Monday, January 5, 2009

Onion Lover's Bread

I'd never met anyone I'd consider an Onion Lover.....until I met Zac's sister, Kirsten. I made her a loaf of this bread for one of her birthdays. It's another recipe from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. It's a yeast bread that makes two really pretty, braided loaves! Zac says it tastes kind of like pizza. The first group of ingredients is for the dough, the second group is for the filling. The filling is prepared while the dough is set aside to rise. Typing this is a labor of love - it'll take awhile! :)


1 pkg dry yeast
4 cups flour, bread or all-purpose
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika


Combine yeast and 2 cups of flour in mixer bowl.

Heat water, sugar, salt, milk and butter until warm (about 125°). When butter is very soft (not necessarily melted), add egg and pour all the liquid into the flour. Blend at low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for two minutes.

Attach dough hooke and add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to make a soft dough that forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. (Yes, it rises before you knead it!)

While dough is rising, make the filling. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in remaining filling ingredients. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Using the dough hook or by hand, knead dough for about 10 minutes, adding extra sprinkles of flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Allow dough to relax for 5 minutes.

Roll dough into a 12" x 18" rectangle. Cut into six strips, 9" x 4" each. If strips start to pull back and shrink, let rest for a few minutes, then roll to size.

Carefully spread filling on the pieces, leaving a 1/2" margin around the edge. Roll each piece from the long side. Don't roll all the way to the edge - stop about 1" from edge and lift the edge to the roll and pinch together. This will give a firm seal and keep the filling from spilling out. Lift the rolls onto the baking sheets and braid three rolls together, pinching the ends together tightly.

Cover with wax paper and let rise at room temperature until braids have doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake on middle shelf of a preheated 350° oven for 30-35 minutes, until loaves are a golden brown.

Carefully slide from baking sheet to cooling rack and admire your work!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


What started off as a healthy year ended up as a fatty 2008. And so we start again this year! Hopefully we won't have any moves or anything like that to throw us off.

I've been craving veggies lately and broccoli is always my favorite. I wanted to share with you the wonderful-ness of bottled Italian dressing. I don't care for it on salads - but it is great for seasoning and marinating. Here are the steps for my healthy Italian-style stir fry.


Chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
Italian dressing
Broccoli florets (I prefer fresh, but frozen will work)
Seasonings (Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder)
Angel hair pasta (I use whole wheat)


Prepare pasta according to package directions. :) Toss lightly with EVOO, cover, and set aside.

Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes in Italian dressing. Saute in skillet (with dressing) until cooked through.

Turn heat to low and add broccoli. Season as desired and toss with chicken. Let it steam, covered, on low heat for 3-5 minutes, until broccoli is as tender as you like it.

Serve chicken and broccoli over the pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.