Pull-Apart Cheesy Onion Bread

Photo: © Frances Janisch

This recipe is as fun to eat as monkey bread (little balls of yeast dough that are baked in a pan together, then pulled apart at the table) but a lot less time-consuming to make. Grace Parisi spreads her buttery biscuit dough with a savory onion-Gruyère mixture, stacks layers of it sideways in a loaf pan, then bakes it until golden and fluffy.

Yield: Makes one 9-inch loaf
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, 1 stick cubed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded Gruyère cheese (3 ounces)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Butter a 9-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. In a large skillet, melt the 1/2 stick of uncubed butter; pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into a small bowl and reserve. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until it is softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the poppy seeds and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the onion mixture onto a plate and refrigerate for 5 minutes, until cooled slightly. Stir in the Gruyère.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the cubed butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Add the buttermilk and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until a soft dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Pat or roll the dough into a 2-by-24-inch rectangle. Spread the onion mixture on top. Cut the dough crosswise into 10 pieces. Stack 9 pieces onion side up, then top with the final piece, onion-side down. Carefully lay the stack in the prepared loaf pan and brush with the reserved butter.
  4. Bake the loaf in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until it is golden and risen. Let the bread cool for at least 15 minutes before unmolding and serving.
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