Why I Love This Recipe
"How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?":Julia Child The breads are supposed to have a depression in the center and although I docked mine I clearly didn't dock enough as they puffed right up but they certainly don't taste like Kleenex so I consider them a success.
Ingredients You'll Need
2 1/4 cups warm water (not more than 115 F)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons shortening
1/3 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups bread flour
In a large glass bowl, whisk together the water, sugar and yeast and allow to stand about 5 minutes or until foamy.
In a small saute pan over low heat, sweat 1/3 cup onion in shortening until it's soft and translucent. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour and onion mixture into the yeast mixture. Stir for about 3 minutes then cover tightly with cling film and let stand about 90 minutes or until doubled and bubbly.
Sweat remaining onion in canola oil with poppy seeds over low heat until translucent, set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 500 F. Place an oven proof skillet in the bottom of the oven and your baking stone or pan in the center.
When the sponge is ready, add salt and 2 cups bread flour and begin to knead the soft dough right in the bowl. Add as much flour as is needed to obtain a workable dough and knead until it's soft and pliable, about ten minutes total.
Cover the bowl tightly with cling film and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 portions and shape each into a round about half an inch thick. Create a depression in the center and prick well with a fork.
Divide the onion mixture evenly between the breads and prick the centers again before baking.
Put ice cubes or cold water into the skillet and transfer the breads onto your stone or pan with a bit of cornmeal to prevent sticking.
Bake ten minutes at 500 F, reduce temperature to 450 and bake a further 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.