By now, my fellow Canadians probably have their Thanksgiving menus all planned out for this weekend. The turkey is relaxing in its briney bath, apple pies grace the pantry, and cranberry jelly is quivering in the fridge. But wait! I'm here to tell you there's one more item you simply must serve your dinner guests and that is these Sweet Onion and Buttermilk Dinner Rolls.
Granted I'm a little late with the turkey talk, but these are easy enough to whip up on the fly, and if I can't convince you to make them, at least bookmark the recipe for Christmas!
The amazing smell of caramelized onions with nutmeg and freshly baked bread wafting through the house is reason enough to start whisking yeast and warm water together for these rolls. With their soft dough, tangy from the buttermilk, and the sweetness of the slow-cooked onions, these rolls just might replace the ever-popular cinnamon bun in your home.
The method is exactly like a "cinnabun": onion filling is spread onto a rectangle of dough, which is then rolled and sliced. The rounds are tucked into a tin and left alone for a second rising.
If you struggle with the 'slicing' part, you're not alone. Who wants to squish and mangle a delicate roll of soft dough with a dull knife that leaves the rounds looking almost unrecognizable?
I give you my solution: dental floss. I don't remember where I first hear about this, I've been doing it ever since I started baking.
To demonstrate what I am talking about, here's a quick video of me 'flossing' my onion rolls:
Buttermilk-Onion Pull-Apart Rolls
(from Martha Stewart Living, November 2005)
Makes one dozen large rolls.
11 tablespoons unsalted butter (1-3/4 sticks), softened, plus more for bowl, plus 5 tablespoons melted
1/4 ounce active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons warm water (105 degrees to 110 degrees)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and pin
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds sweet onions (1 1/2 pounds cut into 1/4-inch slices, 1/2 pound finely chopped)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Butter a 9-inch cake pan using 1 tablespoon softened butter. Butter a large bowl; set aside. Stir together yeast, sugar, and water in a small bowl; let mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir until dissolved. Stir in buttermilk and egg.
- Mix 2-3/4 cups flour and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Make a well in center. Pour in buttermilk mixture; mix to combine. Add 6 tablespoons softened butter; mix on medium-high speed until a soft dough forms, about 10 minutes.
- Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer to buttered bowl. Cover dough with a clean kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Melt remaining 4 tablespoons softened butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions; raise heat to high, and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let cool.
- Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 17-by-10-inch rectangle, and brush with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Spread onions evenly over dough. Starting on 1 long side, roll dough into a log. Press seam to seal. Cut into about 12 slices, about 1 1/4 inches thick each. Arrange slices, cut sides up, in buttered pan, and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 50 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Immediately invert and unmould rolls onto a wire rack. Serve warm.