This Caramelized Onion and Herb Dinner Rolls Recipe uses an easy no-kneed refrigerated bread dough that can be used for a variety of different recipes.
“A friend once told me she times her cooking so that the onions are caramelizing as her guests arrive, claiming there is nothing more aromatic and inviting. I can’t help but agree with her.” — Zoë
Caramelizing the onions is easy and rewarding and can be used to dress up any of our savory doughs. Another favorite is to use the onion mixture with Manchego cheese as a pizza topping (see the Neapolitan pizza dough recipe above). Because it takes some time to achieve perfectly caramelized onions you may want to double the recipe to have some on hand; they freeze for months.
• Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on mediumlow heat. Add the onions, salt, vermouth, vinegar, brown sugar, herbs, and water to the oil and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nicely caramelized. Add more water when needed to prevent burning.
• Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
• To form the dinner rolls, divide the ball into 6 roughly equal portions (each about the size of a plum). Shape each one into a smooth ball. Allow them to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes (or just 20 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).
• Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.
• Just before baking, sprinkle the rolls liberally with flour and cut a 1/2-inch cross pattern into the top, using a serrated bread knife or sharp kitchen scissors. Fill the resulting space with about 1 tablespoon of the onion mixture.
• Slide the rolls directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm.
• Allow to cool before eating.
Makes 6 rolls.
Highly Recommended by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors:
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, LLC, Copyright 2007). The MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors whole-heartedly offer a big fat stamp of approval to this incredible cookbook, which proves hands-down that there is enough time in life for baking, and that baking at home can save you hundreds every year. The recipes reprinted here give you just a taste of the numerous treats you’ll be able to create — deftly! — by mastering one simple technique. Check it out for all kinds of troubleshooting tips and many more mouthwatering recipes (Almond Cream Pastry, Chocolate-Raisin Babka or Homemade Beignets, anyone?).
Find the Master Boule Bread Recipe used in this recipe here: Master Boule Bread Recipe.
Read about the five minute homemade bread recipe here: Five Minutes a Day for Fresh-Baked Bread.