1 tear & share loaf
Start with the onions – in a large pan, heat the olive oil and butter and throw in the onions and the sugar and stir around until all the onions are coated, then turn the heat down and let them gently sweat and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the onions sticking.
After 30 minutes, add the fresh herbs and plenty of salt and pepper and stir in. Leave on the heat for another 30 minutes or until the onions are a dark golden brown and gloriously sticky and caramelised.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt with the water and stir together using a rubber spatula. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic (this process can be done really easily in a stand mixer with a dough hook, for 15 minutes).
Oil a large bowl, add the dough, cover tightly with cling film and set aside to prove for at least 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Take a roasting tin (roughly 12inches x 8inches) and oil it very generously and set aside.
After your dough has had its first prove, liberally oil a large work surface and turn the dough out onto this. Using your oiled hands, spread the dough out to form a thin, rough rectangle, roughly 20 inches x 12 inches… the dough will be elastic and want to spring back (and the oiled surface won’t help) but leave it for a few minutes and then go back to it and gently tease it larger.
Take your caramelised onion and tip it onto the dough rectangle and evenly spread it out covering the entire surface, then sprinkle on the grated cheese, followed by some more fresh herbs and salt and pepper. Carefully roll the long edge up the work surface, creating a long roll of dough and onions, then cut this into sections, each one roughly 3inches wide and place these into your oiled roasting tin until it’s full.
Cover the tin with oiled cling film and set aside to prove for 30 minutes and turn your oven on and set to 200C. After 30 mins, remove the cling film and place the bread into the oven for 10 minutes on 200C and then a further 20 minutes on 180C.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely before eating. Eat and of course, enjoy!