Chef Mary Goldman
This is a heavenly, memorable bread when made with sweet Maui or Perfect Sweet Onions. A hunk of sharp orange cheddar or slightly melted Asiago on the side would make this a meal.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
5 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Place on parchment lined baking sheets.
Place ingredients for dough in bread machine and process in dough mode. If using a mixer, add water and yeast to work bowl and whisk by hand a few seconds. Let stand to allow yeast to dissolve.
Then add eggs, sugar, salt, oil and most of the bread flour to make a sticky mass.
Attach the dough hook and knead on the mixer's lowest speed, adding more flour as required to make a soft, bouncy dough. Knead 8-10 minutes. Once dough is kneaded, remove from the mixing bowl.
Shape into a ball and place back in mixing bowl (no need to wash but take out dough hook) and cover the entire bowl with a large sheet of plastic wrap or place inside a large plastic bag.
Let rise until almost doubled, 30-60 minutes. For bread rising in a bread machine, allow rising until machine signals you it is ready.
Meanwhile, prepare onions. In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the onions in the oil over lowest heat, just to soften, 5-8 minutes.
Then toss onions in a bowl with salt and poppy seeds. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, gently deflate the dough. Flatten or roll out into a large circle, about 12 inches wide.
Let dough rest if it retracts as you are doing this, a few minutes. Press onions into dough. This will be greasy and messy but it is fine. Fold over dough and press to cover onions, pressing in any that leak out.
Cut dough, with a dough cutter or sharp knife, into 16 portions - essentially just big hunks and odd shapes of dough and onion.
Arrange dough pieces in pans and spray with non-stick cooking spray or brush with a beaten egg.
Insert pans into a large plastic bag and let rise 30-45 minutes, until quite puffy.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake loaves until browned (40-45 minutes). Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove. Continue cooling thoroughly before cutting.