I make this bread every week. My family never tires of it. I've shared it with friends and have received many compliments.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 5-1/4 to 5-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups hot water (120° to 130°)
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt; beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine hot water, soup mix, shortening and remaining sugar. Cool to 115°. Add to yeast mixture with 2 cups flour; mix for 1-2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down; divide into thirds. Shape into loaves; place in three greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks. Yield: 3 loaves.
Originally published as French Onion Bread in Country Extra May 1998, p51
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