Chorizo & Caramelised Onion Bread

This is a favourite of my kids, great for school lunches and a general crowd pleaser. You can make one or two large loaves, or six to eight small ones. I prefer to leave the dough overnight in my fridge to prove, however you can just let it rest for 2 hours if you don't want to wait. Leaving it overnight improves the flavour and adds a degree of light chewiness to the finished bread, almost like an Italian ciabatta. These can be frozen and consumed at a later time, reheated or at room temperature. 



Ingredients

For the dough

600gms strong plain white flour
2 x 7gm packets dried yeast
400ml warm water
20ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml milk
extra flour on hand for kneading and dusting

For the stuffing

2 x Chorizo sausages, diced
4 onions, roughly chopped
2 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbs olive oil (not extra virgin) for frying
Salt and pepper to taste


Method

Pour the warm water into a small bowl or jug and add the yeast. Stir thoroughly and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Place flour into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the water / yeast mix that should have foamed up by now and add the milk and extra virgin olive oil. Mix together thoroughly with a wooden spoon. If it's a little dry add a little more water. It doesn't matter if it's a little bit sloppy as you can add more flour during the kneading process.

Have a small bowl of flour set aside ready to use for the kneading process. Spoon the dough mix onto a smooth bench that's been dusted well with flour. Sprinkle some flour over the top and start kneading with your hands, working the dough with the palms of your hands for at least 5 minutes, adding a sprinkle of flour as you go. You want to get the dough to a nice elastic feel that's not sticky at all.

Once kneaded, place the dough into a lightly oiled, large mixing bowl. Sprinkle a little flour over the top or some olive oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to stand overnight in the fridge or for 2 hours on the kitchen bench (overnight in the fridge is better). Place dough back on the flour dusted work bench and flatten out. Fold the dough over once, turn 90 degrees and fold again. Place it back in the bowl and leave for another 30 minutes.

Pre-heat a fan forced oven to 190C. Heat a frying pan to medium high and add the olive oil, onions and thyme. Stir for a couple of minutes and reduce the heat to cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until nicely browned and soft, stirring every couple of minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Place dough back on the floured work bench and work it out with your hands, lengthways to make a long cylinder shape approximately 30 cm in length. Cut into 6 pieces (less or more depending on how many loaves you want).

Flatten out each one by hand into a small rectangle, add the cooked onion then the sausage. Fold over the sides and then the ends and squeeze the dough together to seal, then lay out on baking paper slightly apart from each other. Repeat for all loaves.

Allow the loaves to rest for another 15-30 minutes before placing in the oven. 

Place into the hot oven and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before eating. 


Perfect with red wine!

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