Caramelized Onion and Asiago Bread
Sweet caramelized onions and salty Asiago cheese combine for a burst of flavor in every bite.
INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 2 LOAVES
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1½ cups grated Asiago cheese
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3–4 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add onions and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Stir in remaining sugar, yolk, cheese, and cooled onions. Add salt and enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1½ hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface, divide into 2 equal portions, and shape into round loaves. Place onto prepared pan and set aside to proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
Dust the top of the risen loaves with flour, and using a serrated knife, cut an “X” into the surface of the dough, about ½″ deep. Place a pan of cold water at the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.
When raw, onions are very pungent. But cooking releases their natural sugars and mellows their harsh flavor. The key to successful caramelization is patience. If heated too fast, the sugars will burn and become bitter. Allow enough time for slow, gentle heat to produce even colorization.