Among the most therapeutic experiences in cooking is baking bread.
I believe that anyone who has gotten over his or her kitchen fears, and is fairly familiar with cooking should try this very elevating experience at least once. It is indescribably pleasurable to watch as yeast works its magic and makes the bread dough rise, doubling its size in one of the most amazing phenomenons in the kitchen. In my opinion, this is second only to the experience of beating egg whites with a pinch of sugar and watching it transform from a clear gooey substance to a solid white foam.
I haven’t baked bread in a long time, since I first tried baking bread a few months ago. It’s something that you need to feel like doing, and so I only do it when I really desire homemade bread, freshly baked in my own oven, transforming the kitchen into my own personal bakery.
Yesterday was one special day. I had just finished my gym routine, and was walking home in the cool of the night, when I was overwhelmed with the urge to knead dough, watch it rise and bake my own bread. Just that this time I was going to make it with additional ingredients – caramelized onions and garlic.
The entire process was completely magical, soothing, delightful and relaxing.
The best part of it? Smelling the aromas wafting out of the oven as I waited for my bread to bake, and then relishing it wholeheartedly with salami and a meat stew.
Absolutely beautiful, like a clear blue sky on a glorious summer day.
HOMEMADE CARAMELIZED ONIONS & GARLIC BREAD (Serves 4)
1) 330g of pizza bread flour (the kind that already come with yeast in it)
2) 320 ml of warm water
3) 1 teaspoon of table salt
4) 1/3 teaspoon of sugar
5) 20g of melted butter
6) 1 small onion
7) 1 clove of garlic
1) Put flour, salt, sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl
2) Pour in warm water bit by bit, and knead dough until it achieves a homogenous, smooth and soft texture
3) Roll the dough into a small ball and place it in a bowl, covering it with transparent film, and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes
4) Chop onions and garlic finely, and saute onions in a pan until onions are caramelized, then add chopped garlic
5) After 30 minutes is up, press the dough to get rid of the gas created by the yeast
6) Add the sauteed onions and garlic to the dough, and knead well so that ingredients are dispersed homogeneously in dough
7) Shape the dough in any way you like and then leave it on a greased baking tray for 30 minutes (during which the dough should double in size)
8) After the 30 minutes of waiting time, bake in pre-heated oven at 180 – 200 deg cel for around 20 to 25 minutes (or until the crust is golden brown)