Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen has this fantastic onion and cheddar pretzel recipe that I had to try. When I finally got some good yeast and decided to attempt my first fermented bread, this looked so appealing that I gave this a shot (plus I had medium cheddar cheese in my fridge courtesy of international visitors). Plus it was a chance to try out the kneading function on my food processor. Note: this makes bread making SOOO easy. I was considering getting a bread maker from abroad, but with the food processor, its easy enough that I can do without one.
I made some changes. As usual, I used more whole wheat than the recipe calls for. Instead of topping with sesame seeds, I used 1/4 cup less cheese in the dough and sprinkled it on top and I left out the black pepper, though I would use it next time. She strongly recommends using sharp cheddar cheese, I only had medium, but it still came out great.
I can definitely get used to the smell of fresh bread in my home. It lingered for hours and smelled oh so good. =)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, crushed
- 1/2 tsp
- In a pan, sauté the onions in butter till soft but not brown. Keep aside to cool a bit.
- Set aside 1/4 cup grated cheese.
- Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water, stir and allow to prove. In a mixing bowl (or processor bowl), put the sautéed onion, 3/4 cup cheese, flours, Italian herbs and salt. Mix (or pulse) a couple of times and add the yeast mixture.
- Knead very well, adding more water if necessary, till a moderately stiff dough which is smooth and elastic is obtained.
- Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, coating the ball with oil by turning it round in the bowl. Cover and allow the dough to double in volume (about an hour or so).
- Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, letting it rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out into a 24″ long smooth rope. Place it on a greased baking sheet and shape into a large pretzel shape. Moisten the ends of the pretzel and tuck them underneath to seal.
- Cover and allow to rise till almost double (about half an hour). Sprinkle top with remaining cheddar cheese.
- Bake at 190C for about 40 minutes till golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. If the bread is browning too much, cover it loosely with aluminium foil during the last 20 minutes in the oven. Cool completely on a rack.