Both my wife and I were craving French onion soup for some reason. Of course, you have to top it off with a sliced baguette and a combination of Swiss Gruyere cheese and Provolone cheese. Simply delicious! You can’t beat freshly baked baguettes topped with melted cheese and the rich flavor of a good French onion soup.
I wanted to sever the soup in a different way and decided to use some jumbo Walla Walla onions that you can find in some of the local markets this time of the year. You want to cut a small slice off the bottom, so the onion will sit straight. Leave the peeling on the onion, because it gives the onion bowl a interesting look. I used an Ice cream scoop to hollow out the jumbo onions. The scoop creates a smooth cavern for the onion soup to sit in. Pour in onion soup and place a baguette slice on top, then top with cheese and broil till golden brown. What a wonderful way to serve this delicious soup to company.
If you’re planning to make your own Baguettes it’s really important to have a baking stone. You could just use a pizza stone if that’s all you have. The next important thing needed is to create steam in the oven. As I mentioned in the recipe use a cast iron pan and pour in boiling water as soon as you place the baguettes in.
Here’s the recipe for the French Onion Soup:
French Onion Soup
1/2 cup oil
10 medium onions
3 cloves diced garlic
2 cups dry white wine
10 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups swiss gruyere cheese
2 cups provolone cheese
1 ) In a large heavy pot, heat oil (very hot). Add in the garlic and sauté. Add in the sliced onions. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes till soft and golden brown. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon and scrap the bottom of the pan.
2 ) Pour in the dry white wine and reduce to 1/3. Add in the stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add in salt and pepper to taste. At this point you can cool and place into the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
3 ) When ready to serve, bring to a slow boil. Pour soup into a baking bowl and place sliced baguette on top. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and broil for 3 to 4 minutes or till the cheese is golden brown. Serve and enjoy.
- DAY BEFORE:
- 1½ cups bread flour
- ¾ cup warm water
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- DAY OF:
- 1¼ to 1½ cups bread flour
- ⅓ cup lukewarm water
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon liquid honey
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- In a bowl mix all the " day before" contents together thoroughly with a wooden spoon. The dough will form a stiff ball. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter overnight or 12 -16 hours. The next morning place this pre fermented mixture into a larger bowl. Add in the water, honey and instant yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon till the mixture becomes smooth and wet. Allow to rest for 10 minutes uncovered.
- Add in the salt and half the flour; mix well. Sprinkle some flour onto a flat surface and pour the dough out on top. Begin to add more flour and knead the dough. Slowly adding more flour till the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Add only a tablespoon of flour at a time. Knead the dough for 8 minutes or till the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Pour a tablespoon of oil into a clean bowl and place the kneaded dough into the bowl. Turn over a few times to lightly coat all sides of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 1½ hours or till the dough has doubled in size. Pour out the dough and cut into 2 equal sizes. Press down with your fingers to remove some of the gas.
- Cover with plastic wrap again for 15 minutes. Now, start to roll the dough like a jelly roll. Be sure that the roll is tight. Pinch the seam closed and then roll with the palms of your hand to make a log shape about `12 inches long.
- Sprinkle two lines on a piece of parchment paper with cornmeal. Place the baguette breads onto each line of cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour.
- Place your baking stone into the middle shelf of the oven. Place a cast iron pan onto the bottom of the oven and turn on the oven to 425 degrees. Just before placing the dough into the oven bring a cup and a half of water to a boil. Remove the plastic wrap and with a sharp knife make 6-7 slashes on top of each loaf. Place onto the hot baking stone and pour the boiling water into the cast iron pan. Close the door and allow to bake for 25 minutes or till golden brown. To see if the baguettes are done. Tap the bottom of the loaf and if it sounds hollow it's baked. Place onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
I really hope you will give both the French onion soup and the Baguette recipes a try. They are truly wonderful.