I love to make this bread when i am making a French onion soup as it just makes sense if you are going to go to the trouble of making this bread you have already made the soup so just double up on the onions, garlic and vegetable stock and finish with a little salt and pepper.
- 400g strong white flour
- 100g rye flour
- 7g sachet of active dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 340ml water (approx)
- 1 large white onion
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp if sea salt
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- ½ pint vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp of dijon mustard
- 1 beaten egg
- 100g Swiss style cheese e.g. gruyere
- Place both the flours into a large bowl and blend together with your hands.
- Add the dried yeast to the mixing bowl, keeping it to one side of the bowl and add the salt to the other.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in half of the water.
- Using your hand in a claw shape, start to roll your hand around the bowl to replicate what a mixer would do.
- Add the remaining water a little at a time until you get a ball of dough in your hand and a relatively clean bowl.
- Transfer the bread dough onto a lightly floured work surface and start to knead the dough by holding it with one hand and stretching it away from you with the other.
- As the dough stretches fold it over on its self and continue the process until you have a really smooth dough that is easy to move around and feels nice to handle.
- Return the dough back to the mixing bowl and cover with cling film, leave the dough to prove for 1 hour while you cook your onions.
- Slice your onions as thinly as possible and place into a medium sauce pan with the oil.
- Season the onions with sea salt and pepper, this will help to draw the water out of the onions and help them to caramelise quickly.
- Crush the garlic clove and throw it in with the onions, add the chopped thyme and cook gently until the onions start to go a really sweet golden colour, the more you cook the onions without burning them the sweeter onion flavour you will get.
- Add the vegetable stock and reduce by half, this will allow the onions to take on all the flavour of the stock.
- Lift the onions out of the stock with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl to cool while your bread proves.
- Scoop the bread dough out onto the work surface and dust with a minimal amount of flour.
- Using a rolling pin roll the dough out into a rectangle approximately 40cm x 10cm.
- Spread the mustard evenly over the dough and top with the onions.
- Roll the dough up like a swiss roll, turn the bread on its end, transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
- Leave the bread to prove and double in size.
- Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F or gas mark 6, then bake the bread for 30 minutes until golden and crisp.