I joined the Bread Baking Babes and Friends group on Facebook. They are a great group of people who love to make bread and quite talented! They do a Bread of the Month, and this month it was a Caramelized Onion, Cheese and Herb stuffed braid from Katie at Thyme For Cooking http://thymeforcookingblog.com/2014/10/onion-herb-cheese-stuffed-bread. This was a fun bread to make. I substituted a few ingredients and added some. When I made it, I doubled this original recipe to make a second loaf, a sweet stuffed bread for the kids. Following is a recipe for one loaf.
For the Bread:
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 pkg (1 tablespoon bulk) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon course kosher or sea salt
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
For the filling and top:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cups onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon horseradish
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 cup Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup Italian cheese blend
- 1 egg, beaten
In a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, add sugar, then warm water to dissolve. Add yeast and let it stand for a while until it starts to froth. Mix in eggs and egg yolks, milk, oil, and salt. Add about 3 1/4 of the flour and check consistency. Should be sticky but pull away from the sides of the bowl. I used the full 3 1/2 cups but depending on egg size you may need a bit less or a bit more flour to achieve the right consistency. Kneed for 10 minutes. Place in a well oiled bowl, cover and sit in a warm spot for about an hour, until doubled in bulk. I like to rise my doughs in my oven with just the light on.
Meanwhile, for the filling, heat oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat. Add sliced onions, thyme, and sugar. Fry onion mixture until onions are a nice golden brown. Pull from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Grease or line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch dough down and roll out into a rectangle, about the size of your pan.
Spread mustard and horseradish down the middle lengthwise leaving about an inch on either end of the short sides. Top that with your onion mixture, then cheese.
To make “braid”, slice your strips diagonally, starting about a half inch from the filling through the edge of your dough, about an inch wide. Make sure you have a sharp knife or scissors. (My strips are thinner from having to pull them apart a little due to a dull knife!)
Fold first strip across center, then cross a strip from the opposite side of that over you first strip. Continue down the length of your bread until you have all strips crossed over each other forming a braid. Brush with beaten egg.
Cover with plastic or a damp tea towel and allow to rise again 30-45 minutes allowing to rise again until doubled. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with Italian cheese mixture, then place back into the oven for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove and cool completely (if you can!) on wire rack.
Here’s the sweet loaf I made. I used about 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and about a cup of butterscotch chips down the center. It was very good!