Caramelized Onion Cheese Bread

Caramelized onion cheese bread is a fluffy yeast bread that is worth the wait! Flavors of caramelized onions and melty cheese baked into a delicious golden brown loaf with a tender crumb. It will produce an incredible aroma that will fill your entire house!

This cheese bread is so mouthwatering you can’t help but anticipate that first bite. It is wonderful all on its own, but also great for dipping in soups, or sopping up pasta sauce. It has a crispy exterior that is the perfect contrast to the soft and fluffy middle, and if this is your first time working with yeast, it’s a great beginner’s recipe.

There really is nothing like knowing how to make homemade bread. Cranberry pumpkin seed artisanal bread and cinnamon raisin bread are two of my other family favorites. Once you start baking bread yourself, you’ll never go back to store-bought again!

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How to Make Easy Cheese bread with Caramelized Onions

This bread is super simple to make. The hardest part is caramelizing the onions (not hard at all), and the longest part is just waiting for the dough to rise. When you taste this bread you will realize it was worth every minute.

Caramelize Onions

Place oil and butter into a large pan over medium heat and let it melt. Add the thinly sliced onions, sugar, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Let the onions cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften. Once they have wilted, turn the heat down to medium low and let the onions finish caramelizing. This takes about 30 minutes. You will only need to stir every so often to make sure they cook evenly. Once they are nicely caramelized remove from the pan and set aside too cool.

Prepare the Dough

Place warm water and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Sprinkle the yeast over the water in the bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy. Then add the flour, salt, olive oil, milk, and caramelized onions that have cooled.

With the hook attachment, knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes, until it forms a ball but is still sticking to the bottom of the bowl. If it’s still too sticky you can add up to 1/2 cup more flour.

Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap to double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has doubled in size it’s ready to be shaped into 2 loaves. Start by punching the dough down and dividing it in half. Working one half at a time roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 9 x 13, on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle half the grated cheese into an even layer over the rectangle.

Starting at the wide edge, roll the dough up tightly into a log like you would with cinnamon rolls. Cut the roll in half so you have two pieces. Attach one end of one piece to one end of the other piece. You should essentially have the top angle of a triangle.

Pinch the ends of the two pieces together so they are combined. Then braid (or twist) one piece over the other until you get to the end of the dough, then pinch the ends together to seal.

Place the prepared bread into a lightly greased bread pan, then repeat this process with the other half of the dough for the second loaf.

Once you have repeated this process with the second half cover both prepared loaves with plastic wrap and allow to proof until doubled in size and filling the bread pan.

Near the end of the proofing time preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and generously brush the tops of the loaves with an egg wash, then place in the preheated oven to bake for about 50-60 minutes.

Once the loaf is a golden brown, and it sounds hollow when you tap it, it is ready to come out of the oven. Immediately remove the bread from the pans and transfer it to a wired rack to cool. No shame if you cut a slice off at this point for testing.

How to Store It

This bread will disappear quickly, but if you don’t need two loaves you can freeze the other one for another day. Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap once it has completely cooled and place it in the freezer for a few months.

Tips and Variations

  • Like a little heat? Swap the cheddar for some grated jalapeno cheddar instead.
  • Avoid prepackaged shredded cheese if you can. It doesn’t melt as easily and it comes with other additives. Plus, the flavor is much more pleasing when it’s freshly grated.
  • For another flavour dimension, sprinkle some fresh thyme over the grated cheese before you roll it up.
  • If you’re not a fan of caramelized onions, leave them out. This recipe works as a classic cheese bread as well!
  • This recipe has the perfect balance of an onion to cheese ratio, but if you like more of either, feel free to increase the amount.
  • Bread flour works great for this yeast bread because of its high protein content. The gluten will give it a beautiful structure and high rise. All-purpose flour will also work.
  • For a gluten-free version, substitute a gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour. The texture and consistency of the bread may not be exactly the same, but the flavour will definitely be there.

Caramelized Onion Cheese Bread

Servings 2 loaves

Ingredients
  

For the Caramelized Onions

  • 2 sweet onions thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Bread

  • 2 1/4 tap active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 cups flour 1/2 cup more as needed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 batch caramelized onions recipe above
  • 1 large egg for egg wash

Instructions
 

Caramelized Onions

  • Place the oil in butter in a pan over medium heat and melt. Add the sliced onions, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, cook until the onions are translucent and soft. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook onions until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the onions from the heat and set aside to cool while you prepare the dough for the bread.

Bread

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with hook attachment, add the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand about 5 minutes until it is foamy.
  • Add the flour, milk, oil, salt, and caramelized onions to the bowl of the stand mixer. Knead the dough until it forms an nice elastic ball, it should only be sticking to the bottom of the bowl. Place the dough into a well greased bowl and coer with plastiv wrap to double in size, this can take about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and punch down the risen dough, then divide into two equal portions. Roll each poriton,on lightly floured surface, into a a large rectangle then sprinkle evenly with the grated cheese.
  • Roll the rectangle up from the wide edge creating a tight roll. Repeat with the second portion of dough.
  • Use a knife to slice the jelly roll in half, then pinch the ends of the halfs together and tightly braid them one over the other. Once you reach the other ends pinch that dough together also. Repeat this process with the second roll.
  • Place the braided dough into lightly greased loaf tins, cover both loaves with plastic wrap and allow to rise a second time until bread fills the pan. This takes about an hour
  • Near the end proving time preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare an egg wash by combining and egg with 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Once loaves are ready remove the palstic wrap and generously brush the tops of both loaves with the egg wash. Place the loaves into the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, the loaves should be golden brown.
  • Immediately remove the bread from the loaf pans and place on wired rack to cool.

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