Savory onion whey bread

I got lucky this past week and received a donation of “spent wheat grains” from a brewmaster who’d just brewed up a batch of Hefeweizen craft beer! So today’s the day I’m whipping up a batch of spent grain bread flavored with sour whey. How can it get any better? I will share the photos and recipe of this wonderful concoction if and when the family votes it a winner, but in the meantime, the following savory onion bread also uses a full dose of whey left over from cheesemaking, and it is a lovely alternative. There is nothing like fresh, warm bread when spring rains keep it cool and brisk outside!

Of course it's best with herbed chevre!

2 Tablespoons Butter or olive oil

1 Medium sweet onion, chopped

1 Cup whey

1 1/2 Teaspoons granulated sugar, honey or molasses

1 Package active dry yeast

3/4 Teaspoon salt

1 Cup whole wheat flour

1 – 2 Cups all-purpose flour

1 Cup oat flour

Set a skillet over medium heat and melt the margarine.  Add in the onion, reduce the heat, and allow it to cook gently until golden brown and nicely caramelized, about 20 minutes or so.  Let the onion cool before proceeding.

In the mean time, combine the whey and sugar, and heat for just 1 minute in the microwave to warm it through, but not get it hot.  Sprinkle in the yeast, and allow 5 – 10 minutes for it to reactivate and become frothy.

In your stand mixer with the hook attachment installed, stir together the salt, whole wheat flour, 1 cup of the AP flour, and the oat flour. Mix in the caramelized onion pieces and coat them thoroughly with the flour before pouring in the whey mixture. Stir well, and add in more AP flour as needed, and continue mixing until you achieve a smooth and tacky but not sticky dough. Kneed for about 10 minutes by hand on a floured surface before placing it in a lightly oiled bowl and letting it rise for 1 – 2 hours, until doubled in volume.

Press the dough out gently but firmly with your knuckles, and shape it into a rough rectangle. Roll up the rectangle so that it is as long as an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan. Lightly grease the loaf pan, and place your dough inside, seam-side down. Let rise again for another 1 hour or so, until it’s just about peeking over the edge of the pan.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until nicely browned on the outside. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then on a wire rack for at least 30 before slicing.

Thanks to Bitterweet Blog for the recipe!  Please do try it with some nice chevre, mixed with fresh chopped chives, garlic powder, truffle salt and dill. It’s delicious:)

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