A couple of weeks ago I made a bread for our Friday-Night-Soup-and-Bread Tradition (cold months only) called “Onion Lover’s Twist.”
Since mid-March our church has been having a Revelation Seminar which meets on Friday nights (among other times). Since we always have extra bread, we have been taking the extra loaf or extra whatever to church and giving it away. That week we gave half of the giant loaf (as big as a regular loaf) to the organist and music director (who are married).
They were elated. My cooking is somewhat famous in circles I frequent, so they could not have been happier; what had made them worthy of such a blessing? (This is honestly how people treat me about my food.)
The next morning they both sought out me as well as Prince Charming and anyone else they could find to tell their story…
They were driving home, and the smell of the bread was making them hungry. They got home and heated up a couple of slices (the slices are huge), and ate. They were in heaven it was so good. (I am learning that a lot of the population does not have homemade bread often… more than I realized.) Now let it be understood that I am not saying I did anything to make this bread so wonderful. I followed a recipe. When people compliment my cooking, I always tell them my talent is to pick good recipes and follow them well. I am a cook, not a chef. (More on that in some other post.)
Anyway, they went to bed soon after that, and apparently all. night. long. they woke up time after time after having “the strangest dreams.” They could not emphasize enough how “strange” these dreams were. They did not seem to be nightmares, but dreams. I have no idea the content. Maybe they did not share because dreams always seem strange and unimportant when we wake up and think about them, or maybe they were just too exciting to repeat to others. I do not know, but it made me smile.
This bread has never given me extra dreams, strange or otherwise. It was more likely that they are in their 60’s and are not used to eating so late. But whether or not it affects you with the dreams, it is great bread. Here is the recipe which I got from a cookbook called Colorado Cache. It was put together by the Junior League of Denver in 1978. We got our copy as a wedding gift 20 years later, so it must have been updated/reprinted. It is an excellent cookbook. I think it must be a trend for this type of cookbook because the one from my hometown is also excellent. So without further ado, here is the recipe and maybe a comment or two (or too many) of my own.
Onion Lover’s Twist
1 pkg dry yeast
1/4 c warm water (I always use 115 degrees F because it works better at my altitude which is 5000 feet AND my cold house.)
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c hot water (120-130 degrees F)
1/2 c milk
1/4 c softened butter
1/4 c butter
1 c finely chopped onion
1 T grated Parmesan cheese (I always use fresh)
1 T sesame or poppy seeds (I use sesame seeds. I can only imagine what their dreams might have been had I used poppy!)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
Grease cookie sheet (I always use a baking stone that is well seasoned and does not need to be greased). In a large bowl dissolve yeast in water. Add 2 c. flour, sugar, salt, hot water, milk, butter and egg. With electric mixer, blend at low speed until moistened. (If using a heavy duty mixer, do whatever you usually do for bread. I would not even bother with bread if I did not have a heavy duty mixer.) Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough. (Again, I leave it in the mixer and let it do the work.) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size–45-60 minutes.
To prepare filling, melt butter in saucepan and add remaining ingredients. (I think this is important to do right away so the ingredients can have a little time to saute, and then it can cool and solidify a little. If you do this at the last minute and the butter is liquid, it is much harder to fill the bread.)
When dough has doubled in size, punch down and place on floured surface. Knead until no longer sticky. Roll into and 18″ x 12″ rectangle. Cut three strips lengthwise (18″ x 4″ –I sometimes forget and do it the wrong way–like this time–and it turns out fine.) Place 1/3 of the filling in the middle of each strip. Roll up each strip and seal the edges and ends. On the prepared cookie sheet (or stone which is always so much better in my opinion), braid the three rolls together. Cover and allow to rise until doubled–45-60 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm (best) or cool.
If you would prefer two smaller loafs, just cut the filled rolls in half and braid separately. (I personally find it easier just to make one big one and give half of the loaf away.
This bread is great for a couple of days when heated in the microwave.
Enjoy, and let me know if it gives you interesting dreams!