I love easy bread recipes. Ones that don’t require yeast and proving. Ones that you mix up in minutes and shove in the oven to do the rest. This cheese and onion bread with herbs is exactly one of those.
The recipe was sent to me by a friend and involved a packet of white onion soup mix, did not include herbs and used only one raw onion. I decided to mix it up and I added more cheese.
I wanted to use fresh onions and not a preservative-laden soup mix. I also wanted to gently saute the onions so they would soften and start giving off delicious sweetness. I added two star anise pods which is something I pretty much always do when I fry onions these days, a top tip from Heston Blumenthal. It really does add a magical depth of flavour.
The other amazing ingredient I used is Sasko self-raising flour which gives the bread its light and fluffy texture. When a recipe calls for self-raising flour, I always use self-raising flour. I know there are ways to convert it, and after much research over the years, there is no definitive answer to how to do it. Some add baking soda and baking powder, some add cream of tartar and baking powder. It’s just easier to use self-raising and feel confident that the manufacturer has got the chemical balance just right.
In this case, Sasko have definitely got the balance right and the flour stood up to all the delicious onion, cheese and herbs I added to it.
It took quite a while to bake owing to all the filling, but was still light despite being substantial. Does this make sense?
*cooks notes ~ For the herbs, I just used what I had available and any selection will work. Rosemary would be lovely. I used a mixture of parsley, oregano, thyme and chives. I have listed chives separately as I don’t chop them, but rather snip then in separately, and I used quite a lot.
easy cheese and onion bread with herbs
- 3 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 star anise pods (optional)
- 500g Sasko Self-Raising Flour
- 1 cup mature cheddar, grated
- 3 T herbs, finely chopped
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 cup / 250ml buttermilk
- 1/2 cup water
- Pre heat the oven to 180C / 350 F and line a medium bread loaf pan with baking paper.
- Heat the olive oil in a non stick frying pan and sauté the onions and star anise over a gently heat for around 8 – 12 minutes until they are soft and just start turning a golden. You do not wan to brown them. Set them aside and allow to cool slightly.
- Sift the flour and add the salt, cheese and herbs. Mix. Add the cooled onions and mix. Add the buttermilk and water and gently mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a sticky dough.
- Spoon the dough into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown on top. You will know your bread is done when you insert a sharp knife or skewer into the thickest part and it comes out clean.
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