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Cider and sweet onion wreath loaf


Serves: 10
timePrep time: 50 mins
timeTotal time:
Cider and sweet onion wreath loaf
Recipe photograph by Maja Smend

Cider and sweet onion wreath loaf

Perfect with a ploughman’s or for dunking in soup. Starting a loaf in the same way you would start a sauce might seem odd, but it adds extra moisture, resulting in a super-soft texture

Serves: 10
timePrep time: 50 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
307Kcal
Fat
9gr
Saturates
5gr
Carbs
45gr
Sugars
9gr
Fibre
3gr
Protein
7gr
Salt
0.9gr

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Sarah, a former food editor, has now been writing and styling recipes for over 10 years. Born in NZ, to Irish-English immigrants, and married to a Polish-Scot, her food is as diverse as her family, with a particular passion for baking mash-ups.

See more of Sarah Cook’s recipes
Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Sarah, a former food editor, has now been writing and styling recipes for over 10 years. Born in NZ, to Irish-English immigrants, and married to a Polish-Scot, her food is as diverse as her family, with a particular passion for baking mash-ups.

See more of Sarah Cook’s recipes

Ingredients

For the onions
  • 3 large onions, finely sliced
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 4 tbsp cider, plus an extra splash to glaze
  • 1 tbsp sugar (any kind)
For the dough
  • 475g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
  • 50g butter, diced
  • 200ml cider, plus extra to glaze
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds for decorating, optional (we used poppy, sesame and linseed)

Step by step

  1. Put the onions in a large frying pan with the butter, oil, thyme, salt and a grinding of pepper. Cook over a very low heat for 35-45 minutes until very soft. Stir in the cider and sugar, increase the heat a little and cook for a few more minutes until caramelised. Discard the thyme sprigs and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, start the bread dough; whisk together 100ml water and 25g strong flour in a small pan. Keep mixing over a medium heat until a thick paste forms. Cook for a minute longer, stirring, then scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer and leave to cool.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan, take off the heat and add the cider so it is just warm, not hot.
  4. Add the buttery cider and the remaining dough ingredients (except the seeds) to the mixer bowl. Knead on a medium-low speed for 10 minutes until you have a shiny, stretchy dough. Cover and prove at room temperature for 1-3 hours until the dough has doubled in size, or chill overnight.
  5. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into three equal pieces. One at a time, use hands and then a rolling pin to roll each piece into a flat rope about 75cm long. Using your fingers, add a third of the sticky onions down the centre of the dough. Fold the dough edges up and over the filling, pinch to seal, then gently roll the rope with floured hands to give a smooth finish. Repeat to give three stuffed dough ropes.
  6. Plait the dough together, then curl the plait into a wreath on the lined tray. Tuck the ends together and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Prove for another 20-30 minutes until it is nicely puffed, but it doesn’t need to double. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.
  7. Use a splash more cider (or milk) to glaze the loaf and scatter over the seeds, if using. Bake for 22-25 minutes until brown and crisp on top. Leave to cool for 30 minutes and enjoy warm or leave to cool completely.

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