Onion & Walnut-Stuffed Beer Bread
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Time this month has been in short supply, but one still needs to put bread on the table. Since I’m currently lacking in the patience to spend 10-12 minute kneading dough, I’ve repeatedly turned to my no-knead bread books for inspiration. When I came across the recipe for “Bradley Benn’s Beer Bread,” I knew that was the one I was going to make this week. Not only does it make a beautiful, savory swirled loaf, the dough all by itself makes a wonderful all-purpose bread for sandwiches and toast. As with all no-knead recipes, the initial time investment is small; the good flavor and texture work is done while you are busy doing other things.
As I mentioned on Dough, Dirt & Dye, I’m going to fill the second dough with a combination of unsweetened applesauce (in place of butter/shortening usually used), cinnamon, maple sugar, golden raisins and toasted pecans. Cinnamon & raisin-swirl bread…
Onion & Walnut-Stuffed Beer Bread
Makes 4 small stuffed loaves or 2 large plain loaves
3/4 cups light rye flour
5 cups whole wheat white flour
1 1/2 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups beer
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Onion Mixture (per loaf):
1 medium-size onion, chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
splash of soy sauce
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a 5- or 6-quart food grade container. Add the water, beer, oil and maple syrup and mix until there are no dry floury bits remaining. You may need to use wet hands to get in there and mix thoroughly. Loosely cover the container and let rest at room temperature for two hours. The dough will puff up slightly – but not as much as with other doughs. After two hours, transfer the bucket (securing the lid) to the refrigerator – or use immediately if you wish. FYI, the dough will be harder to work with if used right away and won’t have developed as much flavor.
Prepare the onion mixture by heating the vegetable broth and soy sauce in a small skillet and sauteing the onion, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is tender. Add more vegetable broth if needed to prevent sticking. You can prepare this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
When you’re ready to bake, take a large baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. ( If using a baking stone, instead of lining the inside of a baking sheet with parchment paper as described above, turn it over and line the outside bottom – this way you can easily slide the dough/parchment onto the baking stone.) Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the surface of the dough in the container, then remove half of the dough. Roll the dough out to about a 1/4″ thick. Spread the onion mixture over the surface and sprinkle on the toasted walnuts, leaving about a half inch border. Starting from the long end, roll the dough up – just like making cinnamon rolls. I found that I had to cut the roll in half to get it to fit on my baking sheet. Just use your judgement.
Cover the loaves with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 90 minutes. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 90 minutes. The loaves will not rise very much (or maybe my house is just cold!). About an hour into the rest, slide the baking stone (if using) into the oven and preheat to 400F. If not using a baking stone, just bake the bread on the prepared baking sheet. Just before you’re ready to put the dough in the oven, spritz the loaf with water.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. The bread should be a deep brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow the loaves to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into it.
(Thanks to Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day for this recipe. The only change I made was to omit olive oil when sauteing the onions and rosemary.)