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French Onion Bread

French Onion Bread
We’re flipping the script on your favorite onion soup. This pillowy bread round combines sherry, thyme, and caramelized onions to impart the traditional French onion flavor while Gruyère brings cheesy decadence to the formula.
Yield 1 (9-inch) round loaf




  • 4 1/4 cups (531g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt (see note)
  • 1/2 cup (120g) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (120g) water
  • 1/3 cup (76g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream
  • 1 large egg (50g)

Caramelized Onions (makes 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds (908g) Vidalia onions, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (120g) dry sherry


  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (4g) fresh thyme
  • 8 ounces (227g) Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided


  • Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups (250g) flour, sugar, yeast, and salt by hand.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat milk, water, butter, and sour cream over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and using the paddle attachment, beat at medium speed until combined. Add egg, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2 cups (250g) flour, beating until combined.
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, smooth, and somewhat sticky dough forms and pulls away from bowl, 9 to 10 minutes. Add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour if dough is too sticky. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
  • Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 21×12-inch rectangle. In a small bowl, combine softened butter and thyme. Spread thyme butter onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Sprinkle and spread Caramelized Onions (see directions below) onto butter. Sprinkle 6 ounces (170g) cheese onto onions.
  • Starting with long side opposite border, roll dough into a log, pinching seam to seal. Place log seam side down, and cut in half lengthwise, leaving 1½ inches at one end. Turn halves cut sides up, and carefully twist dough pieces around each other; form into a circle. Place, cut sides up, in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, about 30 minutes.
  • Position one oven rack in center and one at top of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Bake on center rack for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 2 ounces (57g) cheese on top, and bake until cheese is melted and golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 15 to 20 minutes more, placing a piece of foil on top rack of oven to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Caramelized Onions

  • In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. Add salt, sugar, and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Increase heat to high. Add sherry; cook until most of liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a glass bowl, and let cool to room temperature.


Salt weight and volume vary by brand. Diamond Crystal kosher salt was used in this recipe (1 tablespoon is 9 grams). If you a have different brand or type of salt, use the weight listed in the recipe, not the volume measurement. If you do not have a scale, check your brand’s website for what the equivalent volume measurement is for the weight listed in this recipe.
Recipe by Bake From Scratch.

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Review & Comments

Andrea | Reply

This looks delicious and I’m looking forward to trying it. What do you do with the Caramelized onions once they have cooled? Add them to the top of the bread? Add to individual slices of the bread? Must the completed bread be reheated with the onions? Thanks!

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Andrea – the caramelized onions are added in step 6. Let us know how your bread turns out!
Happy baking!

Anna Nahajewski | Reply

The pounds of onion is missing, how many equals 8 cups?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Anna,
Thanks for letting us know about the error. It is 2 pounds of onions.
Happy baking!

Jim K | Reply

5 stars
#1 annoying thing about this recipe. When printing and increasing the font size, results in words at the end of the instructions sentence “Cut Off”; it’s best to not adjust the font. Second to answer the question:
Remember to cut the rolled up dough Lengthwise (not normal), then leaving the one side not cut, just wrap the pieces you have left in circles. Hope this helps you

I didn’t bake this recipe yet, but it looks delicious and as soon as I get ingredients will.

Natalie McKenzie | Reply

4 stars
Word to the wise, I just made this and while it is delicious, a 9-inch single layer cake pan is not high enough to contain this bread. My bread spilled out over the edge sending a buttery cheesy pile to the bottom of my oven. Not looking forward to the clean up. Luckily we had the a Traeger grill going and I was able to finish baking it in there. Next time I would try it with a bundt pan or some other high side pan.

Shayna | Reply

Natalie, I think a 9″ spring-form pan might work better.

MaryKay Lawrence | Reply

I don’t understand how to form the French Onion Loaf for the final time. Do you have a video available to watch?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi MaryKay,
We don’t have a video, but I will try to help explain it. Roll the dough up like you would for cinnamon rolls, then slice the roll in half – lengthwise – leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top of the roll that is not cut. So now you have 2 long pieces of dough that are joined together at the top. Twist these together (keeping the cut side facing up), and form the twist into a circle. Press the two ends together to seal the circle closed. Place the circle with the cut side up on pan. I hope you will find this information helpful.
Happy baking!

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