Onion Pull-Apart Rolls, Of Course

Next week the holiday season officially begins. And what better way to kick it all off than with a meal of epic proportions? Chances are you already have your Thanksgiving menu pretty planned out (or you’re more of a last minute kind of cook and that’s totally acceptable too) but either way I think you’ll want to make room for these delicious onion rolls at your table. They’re soft, doughy & have just a slight bit of crunch from the golden crust. Taking a cue from the mighty cinnamon roll this delicious bun has layers upon layers of rich caramelized onion sandwiched between loads and loads of luscious butter – absolutely decadent.

Equipment needed: 9” square baking dish, rolling pin (or feel free to use round)

11 T (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter, softened +
¼ oz. active dry yeast
1 T sugar
2 T warm water (105-110 degrees – important!)
¾ cup buttermilk
1 egg – lightly beaten
2 ¾ cups AP flour + more for rolling
2 t salt
2 lbs. onions – cut both in a small dice and some left as slices
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1 T brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl mix the yeast, sugar and water. Set aside and let stand until it begins to bubble or foam – about 5 minutes or so. Stir until the yeast is dissolved and then stir in the buttermilk and egg. Butter a large bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer place the flour and 2t salt. Make a well and pour in the buttermilk mixture.Mix well to combine. Add 6T soft butter. Using the dough hook attachment knead on medium high speed for 10 minutes or so. The dough will be soft.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and continue kneading by hand for another 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.Transfer to the buttered bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk – about an hour or so.

While the dough is rising you’ll want to carmelize those 2 pounds of onions. Low and slow. Cut some of the onions in a fine dice and some in long slices for a little variety. Melt the remaining 4T butter (and more if so desired) in a large pan and cook the onions with the brown sugar until translucent and brown. This may take awhile – upwards of 30 minutes – but it’s oh so worth it. Once the onions are cooked add the nutmeg. Adjust seasoning to your taste with salt & pepper and set aside to cool.

Punch down the risen dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 18″ x 10″ in size. Brush with melted butter and spread the onions over top. Roll along the longer side to form a log. Cut the log into 9 equal rolls. Nestle them into the well buttered pan and top with what else…more melted butter. Cover with plastic and let rise another 50-60 minutes.Once doubled in size remove the plastic and bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Invert the baked rolls onto a wire rack as soon as you remove them from the oven.These rich buttery rolls might be just the thing to take your holiday feast to the next level. So come on now, let the people have their rolls.

*Note: these rolls were pretty hearty – feel free to play around with the size of the pan/rolls – cut into 12 for a more modest dinner roll.

*Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living, November 2005