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>> Saturday, March 17, 2007

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It is time for Weekend Herb Blogging again and our current host is Becky of Key Lime and Coconut. Today, the main theme of my entry is onion, the humble universal ingredient.

There is no doubt that onion is a universal ingredient, something that we almost cannot cook without. In Vietnamese cuisine, we tend to use a lot of fresh spring onions (scallion) and shallots. But even so, the normal onion is still essential in some dishes especially with beef. Lydia of The Perfect Pantry has an excellent post about onion on her blog, do check it out for some interesting information. And here is some of the advice on how to slice/chop onion without crying. Talking about that, can anyone tell me a method that really works? I am still struggling with chopping onions without the tears (Note: I am wearing glasses, but it doesn’t seem to help a lot!).

I actually do not like the taste of raw onion and often avoid it in salad. However, when onion is cooked (fried, roasted or sauté), I can’t resist. The cooked onion has such a sweet and delicate flavour that is so different from the raw one. Having that in mind, I spent my limited free time to bake the Yoghurt Bread with Caramelised Onion from Bread the Universal Loaf by Tamara Milstein. I once nearly threw out that book thinking that I would never bake bread. Lucky I didn’t since Milstein has some nice bread ideas that are worth trying.

I really love this onion bread. It has a very nice sweetness from the onions. The light sourness from the yoghurt reminds me of sourdough bread. The bread was heavenly straight from the oven. My flatmate and I just dig in and nearly finished the two loaves for dinner. With a little self-control, the leftover lasted until the next morning and we still wanted some more. I will make this again, and perhaps try to apply the same principle in other bread dough for a bit of experiment.

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Yoghurt Bread with Caramelised Onion

Adapted from recipe by Tamara Milstein


1 cup wholemeal flour

1 cup plain yoghurt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp yeast

¼ cup warm water


50g butter

4 large onion, sliced


1 tablespoon dried yeast

¼ cup warm water

1 tsp sugar

11/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2-3 cup wholemeal flour

Olive oil, to drizzle


One day before:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the starter ingredients. Mix well and set aside to ferment for 24 hours.

The next day:

Melt butter in a saucepan, add sliced onion. Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. Cover and continue to cook over low heat until the onions are golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Mix yeast, water & sugar together and sit for 10 mins. Mix this mixture to the prepared bread dough with the salt, half of the caramelized onions and baking soda. Slowly add more flour until the dough forms a shaggy mass.

Knead the dough, adding as much flour as needed. When the dough is smooth and manageable, let it rise until doubled (40-60 mins, depending on temperature).

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half. Shape each piece of dough into a flat oval loaf, about 1½ cm (2/3 inch) thick. Use your fingertip to add texture to the dough. Scatter the remaining onions over the top, drizzle with olive oil. Allow to rest for 30-40 mins.

Spray the dough with water and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 25- 30 mins or until golden and crusty.



Lydia 12:38 AM  

When I was a little girl, we would visit my grandparents in Brooklyn every Sunday. Across the street from them was a bakery that made two things, bagels and bialys. I loved to get a hot onion bialy, which is like a bagel with no hole, topped with onions just like your bread, and I'd tear into it while it was still warm on the walk back to my grandparents' house. Your post takes me right back to that time; I can close my eyes and smell the onion.

Orchidea 12:48 AM  

I like this youghurt bread... great recipe! I will try it.

Patricia Scarpin 9:01 AM  

Anh, this bread looks fantastic! I'm tagging this recipe, I want to give it a try soon!

I can't cook without onions - I make rice with it, beef, chicken, omelets... the whole bunch.

My husband says the best smell a kitchen can have is the smell of chopped onions being cooked in olive oil. :)

Angie 6:09 PM  


I'm like you, avoid raw onions like the plague, heee... But cooked ones I would eat, though not too much still. Your onion bread is fabulous, can almost smell the aroma :p

sher 7:40 PM  

Beautiful!! I can't imagine life with out onions. And your bread looks delicious--and imaginative!

Susan 11:54 AM  

Oh, I just love the aroma and taste of caramelized onions. This bread looks and sounds amazingly delicious!

Precious Moments 12:51 PM  

oh gosh! this looks soooooo good!

Kalyn 1:53 PM  

The photos are really beautiful. I wear contact lenses, and the only time onions bother me is when I don't have my contacts in, so no help for you there!

joey 9:53 PM  

That bread look delicious! I love cooked onions (I actually like them uncooked as well)...I always have to have onions in the house :) I'm bookmaking this!

Helene 10:11 PM  

I love this bread. It´s looking so delicious to me, want to have a bite. :)

Asha 11:25 PM  

YUMMY! Onion Focaccia! I love it,looks great!:))

Nupur 5:52 AM  

That bread looks incredible! I love onions in al forms, and I love that this recipe calls for whole-wheat flour.
Since you don't like the strong taste of raw onions, I was reminded of a tip that I learnt from a TV cooking show by Rick Bayless: Chop the raw onion. Place it in a strainer and rinse it under cold water, this washes off a lot of the unpleasant strong taste and the onion tastes much milder.

Katie 7:43 AM  

I'm with you about the raw onions; I'm always picking them out. But I live them cooked in any way.
The yogurt in the bread is great.
The whole recipe looks yummy!

Anh 9:45 AM  

Lydia, thanks for sharing such a incredible memory with me. Much appreciated.

Orchidea, hope you like it.

Patricia, yes, onion & olive oil! Heavenly! ;)

Angie, thanks pal.

Sher, yes onion is essential in cooking. Can't agree more!

Susan, agree! I love caramelised onion with some bread and BBQ sausage. :P

Edith, thank you.

Kalyn, actually wearing contact lense is a good idea. :D

Joey, thank you.

Helene, thanks for your kind words.

Asha, yes, the shape of the bread deos look like foccacia.

Nurpur, thanks for the great tips!

Katie, you are absolutely right! :D

PL Leong 6:03 PM  

Hi Anh,

Great looking bread and great photography.

I love caramelised onions....mmmm yum yum.

Btw, how cold/hot is the room temperature when you did the starter? I was just wondering whether the hot & humid weather in Malaysia will be ok for leaving the starter outside for 24 hours.

PL Leong 10:10 AM  

Hi Anh,

Thanks for your quick reply. Your tip will come in handy. Hope to make it this week.

Have a great weekend.

p/s you're doing a great job. I love coming over to drool at your blog.

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