Onion, chive and herb bloomer

I had originally planned to have a go at making red onion and chive bagels this weekend. But, there was some reduced at the supermarket. Instead I made this wonderful onion, chive and herb bloomer – YUM! 

This bread was absolutely delicious and certainly a bread I will make again and again!

I didn’t have a recipe to follow, so developed my own version. As I said above, I was originally going to make bagels. I’d already prepped my onions and, as we’d got some friends coming round for dinner, opted to make a flavoured bloomer instead. I’ll make bagels another weekend – I promise!

I didn’t want to make a huge loaf as my husband and I are both trying to shift the extra pounds we piled on over Christmas, so I adapted my basic bloomer recipe. I’m not sure how well it would work in a tin, but it would make lovely small dinner rolls if you didn’t want to make a big loaf.

Usually when adding a filling to a bread I’d add it after the first prove, mainly because it can affect the structure of the bread and stop it rising. However, I wanted the flavour of the onions and herbs to be quite strong as the bread was to go with fish. So, I worked them in during the kneading process – and I’m really glad I did.

I think it helped that I’d partly dried my onions before hand, rather than cooking them.  I’ve included this as an optional step below as I’m sure the bread would work even if  you didn’t dehydrate them.  The beauty of dehydrating the onions first is that, not only does it remove most of the moisture, it massively intensifies the flavour – so, if you’ve got time, please try this step.

Ultimately I was really pleased with the end result and even more so when our dinner guests said how delicious it was. One thing to note is that it did smell a bit like stuffing when it was cooking, and I was worried that it would taste like stuffing, but I need not have worried – the flavour combination was wonderful and it went perfectly with our fish starter.

This recipe makes a small loaf, but it could easily be doubled up to make a larger one.

I hope you give this recipe a go, I’ve popped some step by step images below, but if you don’t want to see the pictures you can just  Skip to the printable recipe.

IMG_3099

Step 1 – Optional – part dry your onions – do this if you have time, it’s well worth it.

  • Time = a couple of minutes prep and between 2 – 4 hours drying time
  • Ingredients = 1 medium red onion and 1 medium white onion thickly sliced
  • Equipment = Oven set very low (no more than 50 fan or 70 conventional) and a couple of lined baking sheets, or, a food dehydrator set to 55.
  1. Oven method – Slice the onions quite thickly and lay them out on non-stick baking paper on a couple of baking trays.  Place the trays inside the pre-heated oven (set at no more than 50c fan or 70c conventional).  Leave the door slightly ajar and dry for a couple of hours. You don’t want any colour on the onions, so if they start to look like they are colouring or cooking lower the temperature.
  2. Food dehydrator method.  Slice onions quite thickly. Cut some non-stick baking paper to fit your food dehydrator, making sure not to cover the air element and lay your onions on the paper. Don’t overlap them. I had to use two trays. Set the dehydrator at 55 and leave alone for two hours. After two hours swap your trays and dehydrate for a further two hours.
  3. Either method – as soon as the onions start to look semi-dried they are done.  Leave to cool on the trays then tip into a bowl until needed.

Image 1 = Placing the thickly sliced onions in the dehydrator. Image 2 = During the process.

Step 2 – Make the dough.

  • Time = 5 – 10 minutes kneading, 1-2 hours to rise
  • Ingredients = 200g of strong white bread flour, 150g of wholemeal bread flour, 1 tsp of caster sugar, 1.5 tsp of dried yeast (not fast acting), 1 tsp of salt, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1.5 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary (I wouldn’t used dried), the onions from step 1 above, a small handful of fresh chopped chives (I wouldn’t use dried) and 215 – 220ml of lukewarm water.
  1. Mix the sugar and yeast in a small bowl, add about 50ml of the lukewarm water (don’t stir). Leave it for 5 minutes to become frothy and active. Once it’s active you can stir to combine the mixture.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the flours, salt, olive oil, rosemary, chives and onion in a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add yeasty mixture along with the rest of the water. Knead well in the bowl for a few minutes.  Add a little more water if required, how much you add will depend upon the absorption rate of your flour.  Stop adding liquid when the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Note though that because we are adding the fillings now the dough will act a little differently, so don’t be tempted to add too much water. It’s crucial with this dough that it’s not too wet, especially if you’ve not dehydrated your onions (as set out in step 1).  Otherwise I really do think it would affect the structure. Although I found this dough to be quite sticky, it’s still a drier dough than many others.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes. As it’s got a filling it will never be as smooth, or stretchy as other doughs. But you do still need to work it. As I said above, I was worried the filling would affect the structure, but it was as light as a feather when it was cooked.
  5. If using a stand mixer just knead for 5 minutes on speed 4. Either way, when it’s kneaded shape it into a nice round ball so that you get an even rise.
  6. Pop the kneaded dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1-2 hours, or until it’s almost doubled in bulk.

Image 1 = The chives chopped and ready to be added. Image 2 = The rosemary and onions added to the flour. Image 3 = Shaped into a ball, ready to rise.

Step 3 – Knocking back, shaping the bloomer and proving again 

  • Time = 5 minutes to knock back and rest, a couple of minutes to shape and 30-40  rise.
  • Equipment = Baking sheet lined with parchment.
  1. Once your dough has almost doubled in bulk (as set out in step 2) tip onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knock back. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Once rested, flatten out into a rough rectangle shape. Fold one third into the centre followed by the other third (like an envelope). Press the areas gently where they meet so that there is no air.
  3. Gently roll the end of the dough, pressing all the time as you go with your thumbs to make a fat sausage type shape with the seam at the bottom. Give the seam a good press so that there is a good seal.  Place the dough seam side down on your lined baking tray. Cover and leave to rise again for 30-40 minutes. You’ll know when it’s ready as when pressed gently it will spring back. (Usually with a bloomer I’d repeat step 2 and 3, but as there was a filling in this one I didn’t see the point).
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 200 fan 220 conventional.

Image 1 = The dough after it’s rise. Image 2 = The dough after being knocked back and rolled into a ball to rest. Image 3 = Flattening out the dough. Image 4 = Making the envelope shape. Image 5 = Rolling the dough into shape. Image 6 = Another image of rolling the dough. Image 7 = The final shape. Image 8 = placed onto the tray ready for the second rise.

Step 4 – Bake and enjoy! 

  • Time = 35 – 45 minutes to bake.
  1. When the bloomer from step 3 is almost doubled (it should spring back when prodded) then slash the top a couple of times and place the tin in your preheated oven.
  2. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 200 conventional or 180 fan.  Carry on baking for a further 25 – 35 minutes (depending upon how crusty you like it).
  3. When the bread is cooked it will sound hollow on the bottom when tapped. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with lashings of butter. Note, as I said above, the bread did smell like stuffing when it was cooking, but it didn’t taste of stuffing – in fact the taste was amazing!

Image 1 = The dough after it’s second rise. Image 2 = The dough slashed and ready to bake. Image 3 = The bread baking in the oven. Image 4 = Fresh out of the oven. Image 5 = Sliced and ready to enjoy.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this bread, it’s absolutely a recipe that I will make again and again!

Below is the printable recipe for my onion, chive and herb bloomer.

For other recipes on my site please follow this link.

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Onion, chive and herb bloomer

  • Servings: 1 small loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A really lovely bloomer loaf with a difference.

I had originally planned to make bagels, but decided on a bloomer instead. I can’t believe how delicious this bread was. Quite simply put, it was fab!

Ingredients

    For the dough
  • 200g of strong white bread flour
  • 150g of wholemeal bread flour
  • 1 tsp of caster sugar
  • 1.5 tsp of dried yeast (not fast acting)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary (I wouldn’t used dried)
  • 1 medium white and 1 medium red onion, sliced thickly and partly dehydrated if possible
  • A small handful of fresh chopped chives (I wouldn’t use dried)
  • 215 – 220ml of lukewarm water

Directions

  1. If at all possible partly dehydrate your onions first.  You can do this either in a food dehydrator, or in your oven.  Oven method – Slice the onions quite thickly and lay them out on non-stick baking paper on a couple of baking trays.  Place the trays inside the pre-heated oven (set at no more than 50c fan or 70c conventional).  Leave the door slightly ajar and dry for a couple of hours. You don’t want any colour on the onions, so if they start to look like they are colouring or cooking lower the temperature. Food dehydrator method – Slice onions quite thickly and cut some non-stick baking paper to fit your food dehydrator, making sure not to cover the air element. Lay your onions on the paper, don’t overlap them, I had to use two trays of my food dehydrator to avoid the overlap. Set the dehydrator at 55 and leave alone for two hours. After two hours swap your trays and dehydrate for a further two hours. Either method – as soon as the onions start to look semi-dried they are done.  Leave to cool on the trays then tip into a bowl until needed.
  2. Mix the sugar and yeast in a small bowl, add about 50ml of the lukewarm water (don’t stir). Leave it for 5 minutes to become frothy and active. Once it’s active, you can stir to combine the mixture. Meanwhile, mix the flours, salt, olive oil, rosemary, chives and onion in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add yeasty mixture along with the rest of the water. Knead well in the bowl for a few minutes. Add a little more water if required, how much you add will depend upon the absorption rate of your flour.  Stop adding liquid when the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Note though that because we are adding the fillings now the dough will act a little differently, so don’t be tempted to add too much water. It’s crucial with this dough that it’s not too wet, especially if you’ve not dehydrated your onions (as set out in step 1). Otherwise I really do think it would affect the structure. Although I found this dough to be quite sticky, it’s still a drier dough than many others.
  3. Tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes. As it’s got a filling it will never be as smooth, or stretchy as other doughs. But you do still need to work it. As I said above, I was worried the filling would affect the structure, but it was as light as a feather when it was cooked. If using a stand mixer just knead for 5 minutes on speed 4. Either way, when it’s kneaded shape it into a nice round ball so that you get an even rise. Pop the kneaded dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1-2 hours, or until it’s almost doubled in bulk.
  4. Once your dough has almost doubled in bulk (as set out in step 3) tip onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knock back. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Once rested, flatten out into a rough rectangle shape. Fold one third into the centre followed by the other third (like an envelope). Press the areas gently where they meet so that there is no air. Gently roll the end of the dough, pressing all the time as you go with your thumbs to make a fat sausage type shape with the seam at the bottom (there are images above in the main body of this post). Give the seam a good press so that there is a good seal. Place the dough seam side down on a lined baking tray. Cover and leave to rise again for 30-40 minutes. You’ll know when it’s ready as when pressed gently it will spring back (Usually with a bloomer I’d repeat the folding and rolling process, but as there was a filling in this one I didn’t see the point). Preheat your oven to 220 conventional or 200 fan whilst the dough is proving.
  6. When the bloomer has almost doubled (it should spring back when prodded) then slash the top a couple of times and place it in your preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 200 conventional or 180 fan. Carry on baking for a further 25 – 35 minutes (depending upon how crusty you like it). When the bread is cooked it will sound hollow on the bottom when tapped. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with lashings of butter. Note, as I said above, the bread did smell like stuffing when it was cooking, but it didn’t taste of stuffing – in fact the taste was amazing!

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Bread, Baking and More

Lover of bread, baking and growing my own veg.

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