Onion Crusty Bread

There’s nothing as heavenly as the aroma of bread baking in the oven… except perhaps for the scent of wet earth when the skies open to bring forth the first rains of the monsoon in India…but then again, with bread, you get to take in not just the aroma, but the first bite of warm goodness, slathered in butter… or even on its own. It doesn’t really matter when it’s fresh off the oven. It tastes divine any way.

I’ve been dying to bake crusty bread for ages but was a bit apprehensive about it turning out right. The ‘what ifs’ started invading my thoughts and managed to put a damper on my usual enthusiasm till I finally decided to shrug it off. What’s the worst that could happen I though when the braves revisited… a clump of yeasty smelling raw dough or perhaps a big hunk of rock… and then I would start again.

So I got right down to it and decided to go all out and not just make Crusty Bread but an Onion Crusty Bread with fried onions. I had a packet of fried onions in my refrigerator and figured I’d use them instead of going through the entire chop, fry, drain n dry process.

It’s also important when baking bread to use yeast that is isn’t outdated, whether you’re using instant dry yeast or fresh yeast (I used fresh yeast).

All it takes is flour, yeast and salt (1 teaspoon salt should be good for 2 1/2 cups of flour… I also added in a pinch of sugar to get things moving)

Proving the dough is an important process… so don’t skimp on the time. I left the dough sitting for about 5 hours before kneading it again and shaping it into loaves…

Then left the loaves to sit for an a couple of hours before baking them in a 220 – 230 degree Celsius oven for approximately 30 minutes covered… and 15 – 20 minutes uncovered.Removed the loaves from the oven… placed them on a wire rack to cool a bit… brushed off the excess flour…

And cut myself a nice slice… slathered on the butter while it was still warm… And… It was heavenly!

I suppose fortune does favour the brave! 

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