Caramelised Onion Flatbread

Caramelised Onion Flatbread

Bouncy flatbread adorned with a blanket of sticky, sweet red onions and rosemary? Yes please. Making bread from scratch is a simple pleasure that contrary to popular opinion is remarkably easy. You don’t need to possess a bread maker, nor do you need to slave away in the kitchen for hours with flour in your hair and knuckles bled dry from kneading. The joy of this flatbread is its springy texture, which comes from the addition of mashed potato. You heard me right. Mashed potato: the childhood favourite that you would pile into mountains on your plate and smother with lava-like tomato sauce (or maybe I was just a really weird child). Eat it warm, straight from the oven, or use it as a base for open sandwiches and pile shaved ham, cheese and relish on top. This recipe is adapted from Peter Gordon’s book Cook At Home.


    For the bread:
  • 1 ½ cups mashed potato
  • A splash of milk
  • A few pinches of salt
  • 100ml lukewarm water
  • 1 TBS dried yeast granules
  • 2 ¾ cups white flour

  • For the glorious onions:
  • 2 large red onions
  • Plenty of oil (preferably olive) and/or butter
  • 3 TBS sugar (brown or white)
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Fresh or dried rosemary

  1. Using leftover mashed potatoes from the night before makes this a quick process. Otherwise, to start from scratch, place about five medium, quartered potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil with the lid on. Cook until tender. Drain, and mash with the milk and salt. Set aside until lukewarm.
  2. Meanwhile, halve and roughly slice the onions. Place in a frypan with the sugar, oil and/or butter over a low heat. Keep an eye on them, give them the odd stir, but they will mostly became a hot, sweet mess by their own accord. The longer they are left (at least 20 minutes), and the lower the temperature, the better. Add the balsamic when they are super soft, allowing it to reduce. It adds a gorgeous tang, but isn’t imperative.
  3. When the mashed potato is lukewarm, mix it with the water and yeast. Leave for 10 minutes. Mix in the flour.
  4. Tip the dough onto a large chopping board dusted with flour, and knead it. You basically attack it with your knuckles, flip it over, squash it together, and so on until you have an elastic, non-sticky and evenly smooth ball of dough. If that confuses you, jump online – there will definitely be a weirdo with a Youtube channel dedicated to their bread-making exploits.
  5. Tip the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave somewhere warm (like the warmer drawer below the oven, or a warming cupboard) for 20 minutes.
  6. Press the dough into an well-oiled baking tray so that it is at least 1cm thick. Spread the cooked onions on top, sprinkle with rosemary and bake in a preheated oven at 220°C on the lowest shelf for 25-30 minutes, then at the top of the oven for 5-10 minutes. You want the bread to be springy inside, without being too dry or brown on the outside.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2012.
Posted 7:07pm Sunday 1st April 2012 by Ines Shennan.