4.5 from 2 reviews
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) loaf
  • 4¼ cups (531 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) RED STAR Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 grams) water
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) sour cream
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • Caramelized Onions (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (4 grams) fresh thyme
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided
  1. Step 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups (250 grams) flour, sugar, yeast, and salt by hand.

  2. Step 2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, ½ cup (120 grams) 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 (250 grams) flour, beating until combined.

  3. Step 3. 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.

  4. Step 4. 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.

  5. Step 5. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

  6. Step 6. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 21x12-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 onto butter. Sprinkle 6 ounces (170 grams) cheese onto onions.

  7. Step 7. 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.

  8. Step 8. Position one oven rack in center and one at top of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

  9. Step 9. Bake on center rack for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 2 ounces (57 grams) 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.

  11. Makes 1 cup

  12. • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
  13. • 2 pounds (908 grams) Vidalia onions, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
  14. • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  15. • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar
  16. • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground black pepper
  17. • ½ cup (120 grams) dry sherry

  18. Step 1. 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.

  19. Step 2. Increase heat to high. Add sherry; cook until most of liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a glass bowl, and let cool to room temperature.

  20. Recipe in partnership with Bake From Scratch.

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

  2. #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.

  3. 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.

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

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

    • 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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