Soft, fluffy and flavorful – this Savory Onion Bread Loaf is a delicious way to rekindle your love of bread and all things onion! Made with bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, and 2 whole cups of chopped onions per loaf — you’ll be making this easy vegan recipe over and over again for its savory flavor and versatility. Try it as sandwiches, toast, or just as a side to serve with your favorite meal.
Here’s why I love this recipe
- vegan – no eggs, milk or butter required
- only 7 ingredients
- healthier than regular white bread
- The flavor! This bread is ridiculously savory and scrumptious.
- can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Ingredients Used to Make This Onion Bread Loaf Recipe
**I’ve linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the baking aisle, or the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Bread Flour – I used bread flour for this recipe (I use King Arthur Bread Flour most), which I prefer and highly recommend for the best texture and structure. Please read the note on the substitution section below if using other flours.
- Instant Yeast – you can find instant yeast in the baking section near the flours. My favorite is SAF Instant Premium Yeast, which works quickly and consistently produces great results. I recommend using instant yeast over active yeast for this recipe since active yeast (unlike instant yeast) needs to be activated in water, which we don’t add until the very end.
- Sugar – I used raw cane sugar, but you can use regular granulated white sugar, or healthier alternatives like coconut, date, or maple sugars which are less processed and more natural. I also sometimes like to use honey powder.
- For yeasted breads, I would not recommend using sugar-free substitutes such as monk fruit sweetener or stevia powder since they can cause the bread to not rise properly. If you prefer a lower sugar recipe, you’re welcome to leave out the sugar. The bread might taste slightly plain, but it will not significantly impact the shape or texture of the bread.
- Salt – Pink Himalayan salt is what I have at home, so it’s what I use, but you can use any kind for this recipe.
- Chopped Onions – you can use either yellow, white or sweet onions, but I prefer using sweet onions because of their milder, slightly sweet flavor. When chopping onions, consider how large of the onion chunks you want in your bread. If you want texture, larger cuts are all right, but if you want the cooked onions to be well hidden inside the bread, you can finely chop the onions instead.
- I used a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with a dough hook to knead the dough. You’re also welcome to use a bread machine, or knead the dough by hand.
- I used a 9 x 4 x 4 pullman loaf pan for this recipe, which helps to create tall breads with straight sides/ edges that’s perfect for baking sandwich breads. If you don’t have a pullman loaf pan, you can also use a 9 x 5 loaf pan instead.
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Savory Onion Bread Loaf
First, chop your onions.
TIP: Consider how large you want the onion chunks to show up in your bread. If you want the added texture of onion pieces, do a coarse chop/dice. On the contrary, if you want the cooked onions to be well hidden inside the bread, finely chop the onions instead. Both ways make delicious bread.
Mix in the flour and instant yeast into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add sugar and salt.
Add the chopped onions and water. Start to knead the dough at a low setting (speed 2) for about a minute.
Add the olive oil and continue to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.
**Additional 1-2 Tablespoons of bread flour (or additional water) may be necessary depending on the protein content of the bread flour, and how finely you chopped the onions.
Remove the finished dough from the mixer bowl and place the dough in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes.
**note: It’s best if the bread dough is put in a warm place. I placed the bowl inside a microwave oven spritzed with some water. A moist condition like this is perfect for the yeast bread to rise without it drying out. You can also place a bowl of hot water inside the oven so that the steam helps to maintain the humidity and keep the microwave warm. This is especially useful during the winter months, when the conditions are cold and dry.
Punch down the dough, then remove it from bowl. Place on a generously floured surface and roll out the dough into a 8 x 12 inch rectangle.
Starting from the shorter side, roll the dough tightly into a tight cylinder (like a sushi roll or cinnamon roll). Pinch the seams to seal and place in a well-greased bread pan.
Let the dough rise again for 40-60 minutes until puffy. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350F / 180C
Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then cover / tent the bread with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the interior of the bread reaches 190°F.
Take the bread out of the oven, turn it out on a rack, and cool it slightly before slicing.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
I made this bread recipe as basic and neutral flavored as possible so that people can customize it to fit their own tastes. Here are some awesome ways you can make this bread your own 🙂
- Add more flavor! a teaspoon or two of dried herbs would go really well with this onion yeast bread. For a cheesy flavor boost, add a few tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese (use nutritional yeast to keep it vegan).
- Add more texture! Adding chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruits or oats is a fantastic way to increase the nutrition and flavor in breads. You can also add up to 1/4 cup of dehydrated chopped onions.
- Turn them into dinner rolls – instead of baking this recipe in a loaf pan, divide the dough into 12 pieces, shape them into rolls. You’ll have to adjust the baking time (about 20-25 minutes for the batch).
How to Make this Onion Bread Recipe Healthier
- Want to add more fiber? Substitute white whole wheat flour for up to half of the bread flour called for in this recipe. You’ll need to add a few more tablespoons of water to adjust the hydration since whole wheat flour absorbs more water than white flour.
Note on Substitutions
- Unfortunately, I haven’t tried using gluten-free flours in this recipe. So substitute at your own risk!
- While bread flour is highly recommended, all-purpose flour can be used instead with 1 tsp of vital wheat gluten for every cup of flour.
- Liquid sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey or molasses can replace all of the sugar in this recipe, but it makes the dough softer and more difficult to handle since it contributes additional moisture. Reduce water by 1-2 Tablespoons to adjust.
What are some ways you can eat and serve this Bread?
- Plain and warm, right out of the oven
- Toasted the next day, served with egg scramble, tomato slices and avocado.
- Sliced and use for any sandwich.
- And if you do get any leftovers or stale bread left, use it for a savory onion-flavored grilled cheese.
- Use it as the bread topping for French Onion Soup.
How to Store
- You can store this bread loaf, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
- For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and freeze up to 3 months, then defrost them at room temperature or microwave before eating.
- Weigh your flour for the best results. 1 cup of bread flour = 120 grams / 4.23 oz. This is recommended since scooping the flour directly from the bag can pack the flour into the measuring cup, and this means you’ll end up with more flour than what’s called for in the recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can measure the flour by spooning pre-sifted flour into the measuring cup, then using the straight end of the spoon to level the flour across the top to sweep off the excess.
- Baking time (as well as serving size) will vary based on the size of your baking pan, the material (silicone vs metal) of the pan. If you’re not sure whether the bread is ready, you can insert a quick read thermometer into the bread – a finished loaf will register 190 F (or 88 C).
- To make this recipe in the bread machine: add all the dry ingredients into the machine, stir briefly before adding the wet ingredients. The machine can be set for basic. Check the dough for consistency and adjust by adding additional water (or flour) before the end of the first kneading cycle. If you want to add additional nuts or dried fruits, leave them aside, and only them 3 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle.
Savory Onion Bread Loaf (Vegan Recipe)
- 4 cups bread flour 480 g, sifted and leveled*
- 2 tsp instant yeast 6 g
- 3 Tbsp sugar** 15 g
- 1 1/2 tsp salt 9 g
- 2 cups chopped white, yellow or sweet onions 260 g
- 2 Tbsp light olive oil, 28 g, melted coconut oil or avocado oil
- First, chop your onions. TIP: Consider how large you want the onion chunks to show up in your bread. If you want the added texture of onion pieces, do a coarse chop/dice. On the contrary, if you want the cooked onions to be well hidden inside the bread, finely chop the onions instead. Both ways make delicious bread.
- Mix all the dry ingredients (bread flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt) in the bowl of the stand mixer.
- Add the onion and water to the dry ingredients
- Start to knead the dough at a low setting (speed 2) for about a minute, until all the ingredients are combined.
- Add the olive oil next, and continue to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.
- Note: Additional 1-2 Tablespoons of water (or additional bread flour) may be necessary depending on the protein content of the flour, the water content in the puree, as well as the humidity and temperature of the kitchen.
- Remove the finished dough from the mixer bowl and place in a lightly greased bowl.
- Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes***
- Punch down the dough, then remove from bowl.
- Place on a generously floured surface and roll out the dough into a 8 x 12 inch rectangle.
- Starting from the shorter side, roll the dough tightly into a tight cylinder (like a sushi roll or cinnamon roll). Pinch the seams to seal and place in a well-greased bread pan.
- Let the dough rise again for 40-60 minutes until puffy. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350F / 180C
- Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then cover / tent the bread with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the interior of the bread reaches 190°F.
- Take the bread out of the oven, turn it out on a rack, and cool it slightly before slicing. Enjoy!
- Note: You can store this bread loaf, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and freeze up to 3 months, then defrost them at room temperature or microwave before eating.
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