I really love this bread. I was crestfallen when my family said they couldn’t remember it (we reviewed it a couple of weeks after we ate it). I know Sawyer wouldn’t have liked it because of the onions – he hates anything with “bits” in it like strawberry smoothies or matzo ball soup. Keep in mind that this is a kid who likes eating store-bought white bread dipped in ketchup… so his votes are suspect in my book.
I’m pretty sure my Dad would have liked it. His taste buds are somwhat compromised by his Parkinson’s so extra-flavorful foods like this bread can “get through.” Becca is a fan of savory breads, so she’d like it. And Tynan is my champion bread tester who has given high marks for most of the breads I’ve baked. I’m thinking that if they could remember it, they’d give it a 4.25 (three 5’s and 2 from you know who)…
Because of the favorable chemical reaction between onions and yeast, onions are known as a “friend of yeast.” Whenever “a friend” is used, you can expect more volume, and a moister texture. This bread makes terrific loaves for sandwiches.
Knotted Onion Sage Rolls
- 2 cups finely chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 scant tablespoons (or 2 ¼-ounce packages) active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water about 110 degrees
- 2 cups warm milk about 110 degrees
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5-6 cups unbleached flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons rubbed fresh sage or...
- 2 teaspoons rubbed dried sage
- olive oil optional
Sauté onions in olive oil until soft, but not brown. Set aside and cool.
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add milk, shortening, honey, salt, 2 cups flour, and cooled onions. Beat vigorously for two minutes.
Whisk sage and whole wheat flour together and add to onion mixture. Stir to incorporate.
Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide into 36 equal pieces. Shape each piece into an 8-inch strand and tie it into a single knot. Place about three inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. (These knotted rolls are also attractive if placed into well-greased muffin pans.) Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the rolls reaches 190 degrees.
Immediately remove rolls from baking sheets and cool on a rack.
For a shiny, soft crust, brush the tops of the rolls with olive oil.