Friday, February 21, 2014
Gruyere, caramelized onions, and thyme -- this could be my favorite out of all the breads I've ever made. I love a simple country loaf with just butter or olive oil, or naked if the bread is that good, but this pull-apart bread has so much going for it. There are lots of cheesy pull-apart bread recipes out there, including convenient ones that call for layering storebought bread with cheese and then baking it. But a yeasted bread you baked from scratch is special. There's something about the beer-like smell of the yeast, watching the dough rise, and the intoxicating aroma of the gruyere, onions, and butter filling the house. Have I got you hooked yet?
This bread sure put a smile on my face. I've been sick for four weeks. The doctor said it was the flu or a virus like it, and that it came and went in waves because I had gotten the flu shot and saved myself from the full-force flu. That sounds like a good thing, but week after week of sore throats, sniffles, chills, nausea, and headaches tapped me out. Never mind the nonstop snowstorms we've had. But now that I'm almost 100 percent, I wanted to bake. The hands-on process of bread-making is methodical and soothing, and the result was pure comfort food. I also finally got around to working on my next dining review for the paper, so I feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things again. At least on all the food front.
This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma's blog, and I didn't change it much. One problem was that it called for a particular type of flour that is no longer available, so I used a blend of all-purpose and bread flours. It also called for mustard seeds and I didn't have any, so I subbed in whole-grain Dijon mustard. I also reduced the butter a tiny bit, but worry not, there's still plenty in there. The bread will have crusty, cheesy edges, and soft centers sweet with caramelized onions and butter. The next time a blizzard comes your way, make sure you've got gruyere and onions, then settle in for pure winter comfort.