Bread is proverbially known as the staff of life. Indeed, my onion bread promotes vitality in body and soul; how it nourishes.
Words, as well as bread, establish the life force in each of us. As my blog unfolds each week, I passionately look up even the simplest definitions; thus, I am able to best express my vision to you.
I see maxims in cooking, succinct formulations of principles or rules of conduct, which subsequently transfer over to our everyday existence. My specific choice of terms, defining food preparation, displays concise truth that releases liberty to our total person.
Each written expression must have the precise force to propel that which is being born in my thoughts. My broad scope for this website is to set captives free from all hindrances to receiving healthy nutriments; my salutary insights first change our natural physiques, then invigorate our minds, last heal our emotions and spirits.
It has been spoken that the word of God is the bread of life. We find freedom with it, as it produces needed change, which sheds light on the hidden fractures in our being. This day may you be rejuvenated in my life-sustaining English meanings, God’s word, and this good onion loaf?
To gain this we must rise to action, by taking courage; one must purpose to step into the unknown. Read on to grasp how the fundamentals of bread baking transfer to indefatigable living.
Let’s start with the practical first: may I encourage us to take a leap of faith by nimbly making bread with a food processor? Blessings follow immediately with the remarkable ease which replaces this otherwise messy/time-consuming work. Quickly we master making homemade bread using my simple, detailed directions; these comprehensive steps will circumvent all mistakes. Let us allow ourselves the luxury of a little practice, which guarantees ultimate perfection.
There will always be new horizons, with greater challenges to overcome, as we walk through life. Our proper attitude about this allows us to approach necessary growth with unspeakable joy and confidence. It is, however, critical to learn the power of patience-both that needed in times of trouble and, equally important, the calm endurance required while waiting for promised good.
Faith is critical in learning this quiet process of baking bread, as well as achieving tireless living. Take my pledge that simple, better bread is fool-proof if you honor my comfortable instructions. Likewise effortless patterns of existence are more readily obtainable, as we draw upon my maxims between cooking and living; we dare to reach out for superlatives.
Now for the final stretch: when the time is right, invest in a wheat grinder for optimum health-giving bread with a long shelf life. Grinding our own wheat is a quick, one-step process: we merely place the mixing bowl under the wheat grinding attachment on a kitchen aid, turn the machine on, and have the purest of flours minutes later (see top photo). If you don’t have a kitchen aid, it is possible to buy less expensive appliances that only grind wheat. Trust, you won’t be sorry that you made this investment!
Onion Bread Yields: 1 loaf. Total prep time: 3 1/4 hr/ active prep time: 45 min/ inactive prep time: 2 hr/ baking time: 30 min.
Note: these steps are detailed, making this process easy to learn. Also see my 1920’s Portland Cocoa Bread (2016/05/30).
1 3/8 cups tepid water, 105 to 115 degrees
1 1/2 small, individual packets yeast (May measure 3 tsp of Red Star Active Dry Yeast, from an inexpensive 2 lb package, available at Costco, store in freezer.)
2 tbsp plus 1/4 tsp sugar
1 cup unbleached white flour (Bob’s Red Mill is high quality.)
3 cups whole wheat flour (If desired, grind 2 2/3 cup organic hard red spring wheat berries to make the total 4 cups of flour.)
1 1/4 tsp salt (Real Salt is important for optimum health; available in the nutrition section at local supermarkets.)
1 cup yellow onion, minced (1 medium/large yellow onion needed, refer to step 3 and above photo for easy mincing.)
4 tbsp dried chopped onion (Available in bulk; also in jars in the spice section; save all jars and refill yearly with fresh, inexpensive bulk spices; place adhesive tape with date of purchase on each jar.)
1-13 gallon plastic bag
1/8-1/4 cup oil (Any kind will do.)
Spray oil (Coconut spray oil is best; PAM makes a good one.)
- If grinding your own flour, begin to do so now (see top photo).
- Place 1/4 cup tepid water in a small bowl, stir in yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar. Let rest in a warm place for about 10 min, or until it doubles in size. (When using yeast from the freezer, it will take twice the time to proof, or double in size.)
- Meantime mince the onion the easy way (see photo). Peel it leaving the root on; next, score this by cutting slices close together across the top one way, going 3/4 of the way down into the onion; then, turn it and cut slices the opposite direction. When onion is prepared thus, shave the minced pieces off the end with a sharp knife. Set aside chopped onion, save leftovers for other cooking.
- In an 11 cup (or larger) food processor blend well: flour, 2 tbsp sugar, salt, minced fresh onion, and dried onion.
- When yeast mixture is doubled, add it and 1 1/8 cup of water to flour mixture in food processor. (Note: coffee measures are 1/8 cup; Good Cook, available at our local Winco, has a cheap one.) Knead for 40 seconds. Let cool by resting for 4 minutes; be aware that processing heats dough, which kills the yeast, if cooling is not allowed.
- After dough has cooled, knead again for 40 seconds. Let rest for 4 minutes. At this point it should feel quite moist to the touch. It will need to be wet as you take it out and knead by hand for 5 minutes, because a lot of moisture is absorbed as you knead by hand. (This is especially true when you grind your own flour.) Lightly flour hands and counter top as needed while kneading wet dough. When it sticks to hands, it helps to regularly wash and dry them. Add more flour and wash hands repeatedly, as you knead. Dough should be soft, slightly moist, but not sticky, and rather smooth, with the exception of the onion bumps, when finished.
- In the case dough becomes too stiff to knead easily, place back in food processor, add 1-2 tbsp of water, depending on how stiff it is, and follow kneading instructions in step 6.
- Again, dough will be soft, elastic, and smooth to the touch (minus the onion bumps) when kneading is complete.
- Place in a 13 gallon plastic bag, in which you have evenly distributed 1/8-1/4 cup of oil. Let rise in a warm place for 50-60 minutes, or until doubled.
- Punch dough down, forming it into a loaf, place in a bread pan sprayed with oil. Also spray a piece of plastic wrap with oil, drape this loosely in and around the loaf.
- Let rise for 50-60 minutes, or until doubled.
- 30 minutes into this last proofing time, be sure to preheat the oven to 400 degrees; this insures oven is ready when dough has risen.
- Remove plastic wrap when loaf is doubled. Bake 27-30 minutes, or until it sounds hallow when tapped on bottom with fingers. (Temperatures vary slightly from oven to oven, my oven takes 27 minutes.)
- Cool thoroughly on rack. This keeps well in refrigerator for 3-4 weeks, when wrapped in paper towel and sealed in a storage bag.
- This process becomes extremely easy and quick with practice! Enjoy.