Caramelised Red Onion, Black Olive and Herb Bread

, from Issue #32. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Caramelised Red Onion, Black Olive and Herb Bread

If you have a bit of spare time on your hands take a chance on this amazing bread roulade. 


2 tablespoons olive oil
knob of butter
3 large red onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup chopped black olives

2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
¾-1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil

To assemble
olive oil
sea salt
cumin seeds


Onions: Heat the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan. Add the onions and garlic with a good pinch of salt, cover and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the onions are thick and sticky with no liquid left in the pan. This can take 25-30 minutes to caramelize properly. Stir in the olives and cool.

Dough: Combine the flour, salt, yeast, fennel and rosemary in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the ¾ cup of water and the olive oil and mix to a soft dough, adding the extra water if needed. Tip onto a lightly floured bench and knead lightly for 2 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to double in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

To assemble: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured bench to a 30 cm x 30 cm square then transfer to a lined flat baking tray.

Spread the onions evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 cm border around the edge.

Brush the border with cold water then fold the dough over twice to make a 10 cm x 30 cm rectangle. Brush generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cumin seeds.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Lightly brush again with olive oil when it comes out of the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature. It is best eaten on the day of making. Makes 1 loaf

Cook’s tip: The onions can be cooked several days ahead. Keep refrigerated.