Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Ate" Huzzah!

You will have to blame thank my little sister for the title of this post - she's been using that expression ever since she did factorials in math class (back in, what... October??) when she and her friends would refer to anything with the "!" symbol as "(number) huzzah". Apparently her teacher had a fondness for 8!, so now it's stuck itself permanently into my brain. Hence now, "ate" huzzah.

Actually, though I always thought it just meant "yay" or "Hallelujiah", Ripley's says that "huzzah" translates into "paradise". Paradise... yup, that would be a good marker for this loaf. Dense, slightly chewy, riddled with onions and garlic with that "just so" touch of roasted sesame oil, I wouldn't hesitate to pair this bread with (garlic?) butter, or even a crabapple jelly would be awesome! The original inspiration for the bread came from one of my favourite baking blogs - Baking Bites - where Nicole made Caramelized Onion Bread in a tube pan. I halved the recipe to fit it nicely into the awesome stoneware pan my dad gave to me for my birthday this year (I was dying to try it out!), then fiddled with the ingredients to use what I had on hand and use up the granulated garlic I had bought for a batch of (as yet unblogged) bagels and only used part of. Originally, for the colour contrast, I had planned to use a red onion that I had spied in our bin, but upon cutting it open I was - shall we say - a little less than thrilled with the black and slightly oozy innards. Plan B worked out perfectly in the taste department though, since really, how can you go wrong with a Vidalia in anything?

A long, slow, super-fragrant cooking of the onions was the critical first step in this venture, and the smell of them alone is reason to make this bread ASAP! Actually, after the bread was out of the oven and the whole house smelled like Italy, all I could think of was another name for the loaf: "last date bread". Mind you, I couldn't date someone who couldn't stand onions and garlic... they are the base of my blood! However, even if you do wind up dining on slabs of this alone, the aroma will caress you all night long... so you still get a date out of the deal. It'll even come to bed with you, and it will still respect you in the morning (as a base for your scrambled eggs!). I've submitted this loaf to Susan (of WildYeast fame), who is hosting her event YeastSpotting.

Caramelized Onion, Garlic And Sesame Bread
Serves 16
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional but highly reccommended!)
1 package active dry yeast (about 1 1/4 tsp)
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
2 cups flour, divided
1 tsp gluten flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp salt
  1. In a medium sauce pan, cook onions and oil over medium-high heat until onions are translucent.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until onions are light golden, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sesame oil and cook 1-2 minutes further.
  4. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.
  5. In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), combine yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup water. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add remaining water, mixing well.
  7. In another bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, gluten, whole wheat flour, garlic, pepper and salt.
  8. Add this mixture to the wet mix in the bowl and beat well to blend.
  9. Stir in onions.
  10. Add remaining flour gradually until dough comes together into an elastic ball (you may need more or less).
  11. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes.
  12. Place dough in a greased bowl, and let rise 1 hour.
  13. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9x5" loaf pan.
  14. Gently deflate risen dough, shape into a loaf and place in the loaf pan.
  15. Cover with greased Cling Wrap and let rise about 45 minutes.
  16. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 30 - 40 minutes, until dark gold.
  17. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Amount per Serving
Calories: 106.1
Total Fat: 1.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.5 mg
Total Carbs: 20.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 3.3 g

Unfortunately, some of us have to live with families who are less than accepting of culinary odours *cough cough*. Luckily enough for me, I was approached by Charlie Kondek (my good schwag buddy!) who was toting a smell-fighting arsenal from Febreze - not only did I get some air-misting sprays (they call them AirEffects) for the immediate damage-control, but the huge gym-bag they sent to me had some candles and their NOTICEables oil warmer plug-ins too. All the scents I was sent (ooh boy, we're getting into homophones!) were part of their new line of destination scents, featuring Morocco (my personal favourite), Brazil and Hawaii as inspiration. Now, I'm pretty sensitive to the "air freshener" types of scents (and perfumes in general), so I was really disappointed when I found the Moroccan NOTICEable that I had stuck in my room was making my eyes and throat burn (fair warning: use these in large spaces like a front hallway - enclosed rooms are no good!). The AirEffects sprays have the same, shall we say, effect when my mom uses them in the house, because she can easily hold onto that trigger for a year! I was okay when I used short spritzes of them in the kitchen and bathrooms though, which I'm sure were closer to the intended purpose! The candles smell wonderful and are lightly scented enough that you pretty much have to snort the wax before you'd get any sort of overload. I can't wait to see if they release the Moroccan flavour for those in the future!

If you do wind up trying one of the new scents, and you fall in love with the idea of being in either Brazil, Hawaii or Morocco (and really, who doesn't? I could be in any of those places right now in a heartbeat!), Febreze is running a sweepstakes until July 5 for Canada and USA residents! The grand prize is a trip for four to one of the locations mentioned, and you even get a little spending cashola ($1,000 US). And really, who doesn't want some extra moola these days?? Good luck to those who enter!

And a second huzzah moment that I had overlooked until now - I'm over halfway done with my exams now!! Yeah, it involved me spending almost all of this glorious, 27C Saturday in school, but only two more left!!


  1. Caramelized onion bread is soooo good. We have a local bakery that makes a caramelized onion and dill bread that I love. Yours sounds wonderful, Sarah. Hope you're doing well. :)

  2. Caramelized onions -- I love them huzzah!
    Congratulations on your exam progress too!

  3. What wonderful additions to your bread.


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