This Is The Ultimate Way To Prepare Onions

Read this post to revolutionise the way you cook dinner. This will save you some serious time. Here's how one woman made short work of onions. It all started with that ubiquitous and time-consuming recipe directive: First, caramelise an onion... By 'one woman', I do, of course, mean me. And by 'caramelise an onion' I mean that thing I seem to have to do at the beginning of every home-cooked main meal or soup. Is there any savoury dish that doesn't benefit from the initial frying of an onion? Unfortunately, peeling, chopping and carefully browning an onion takes time. It can add at least 15 minutes to the start of any cooking process. That could sometimes be enough to put me off cooking from scratch, especially if I was in a rush. Until now.

Leafy Green Herby Dough Balls

Dough balls with spinach and herbs
Herby, fragrant fresh bread, anyone?

These leafy dough balls can be ready in under half an hour and you don't need any special bread-baking skills to make them.

With just a few, basic ingredients and a bit of imagination, you can make these dough balls into a triumph of Daily-Dozening (technical term.)

This is bread bursting full of goodness - here we have greens, herbs, spices, wholegrain and even some ground flax seed if you wish.

You can take the basic dough ball mix and pack it full of Daily Dozen goodness.

In this case, we've got spinach and some dried marjoram to tick 'greens' off your Daily Dozen list. These dough balls are certainly green.

Green vegan dough balls with spinach and herbs

To make delicious homemade dough balls, get a large bowl and combine the ingredients:
  • 500g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp dried instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 330g water
I also added some frozen/defrosted spinach, some marjoram, some ground flax seed and some turmeric.

At this stage, you can get creative, adding nuts, seeds, oats, herbs, spices... Remember that you need quite a lot of something to make any impact on the flavour of your finished bread, so if you're looking for taste, go big! That said, if you put too many lumpy things into the dough, it'll have trouble rising, so limit the amount of seeds and veggies to give your dough a chance to grow.

Dough balls with spinach and herbs

Adjust the water/flour balance, if necessary, to get a dough that can be handled easily. Leave it to rise in the bowl for a while. The exact timing here depends on the temperature of your kitchen, but once the dough starts to feel springy, you can safely move on to the next step.

Shape the dough into small balls. You can easily make 16 largish dough balls or 32 small ones (they'll look really tiny when you make them but they're going to grow).

Leave the dough balls to rest and rise on a baking tray. Once they are springy to the touch (or you can't wait any longer, it's not crucial) you can bake them in a very hot oven (say about 220oC) until they smell delicious and are nicely browned. This will take about 12 minutes, for the smaller dough balls and longer if you made larger ones, of course.

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