But I was craving onion rolls today and I realized I had all the ingredients to make them here at home. More than that, I had a bag of whole wheat flour and so could make these a bit more healthy than the ones at the store.
This recipe makes six rolls. I adapted it from one I found on the net. This is how I made these.
1 packet of active dry yeast.
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. sugar (to proof the yeast)
3 Tbs. oil (I used canola, because it's what I had. I'd use a flavorless oil, though. Olive will impart a taste here.)
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup of unbleached white flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
one very large sweet onion, chopped. (You can chop a bunch of small ones, but you want a nice sweet onion, like a Vidalia.)
2 Tbs. butter.
1 large egg (for an egg wash)
Dissolve the yeast in the water, and add the 1/2 tsp. of sugar. Wander away for 5 minutes. When you come back your cup should have a lovely brown foam on the top. If the foam isn't there, it means your yeasty bits have not survived, and you need to start again.
Under the assumption that your yeast is alive and well and foaming up the place, mix the oil, flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and eggs in your mixer(preferably with a dough hook.). While they're combining, pour in the yeast/water/foam mixture. Once it's combined, knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic (you can do it by hand, which some people find very soothing. Me, I use a mixer with a dough hook.) I set a timer for 10 minutes and came back.
Oil a bowl and place the now kneaded dough inside. Cover it with plastic wrap and come back in 90 minutes. The dough should have about doubled in size by then. Punch the dough down, and then divide it into six balls. Place them on a greased baking sheet, and press your knuckles into the center of each one to leave a little indentation. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and leave them for 20 minutes.
While they're rising again, cook the onions slowly in butter until they're translucent and just starting to go golden. This will take about 20 minutes too, so it works out.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
After the 20 minutes have passed, press your knuckles into the indentations in the rolls again and then spoon some of the onions into each one. Mix the egg for the egg wash with a little water and brush all the rolls well.
Place a shallow pan full of water into the bottom of your oven (I just use another backing sheet and pour water into it *AFTER* it's in the oven....), lower the heat in the oven to 375, and bake the rolls for 25 minutes.
The rolls are WONDERFUL. Sweet and delicious, with a good hearty taste from the whole wheat, but not bitter or tough. The crust is firm but not rocky, and the insides are soft and light. they're good for sandwiches, but honestly, I just cut them in half, spread butter on them and ate them that way. (there's about 3 left, now.)