Weekend Project: Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Pull-Apart Bread

Baking, Cook, Weekend Project

Weekend Project: Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Pull-Apart Bread

This savory, cheesy onion loaf is made by layering yeasty bread dough and caramelized onions with shredded Gruyere and fresh herbs. Once baked, it pulls apart easily into individual slices, so it’s easy to serve and share — and the flavors are just right for a fall feast.


Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Pull-Apart Bread


For the dough:

½ cup milk, 105 to 110ºF

½ cup plus 2 Tbs. water, 105 to 110ºF

1 ½ tsp. dry active yeast

3 cups Williams-Sonoma Family Farms Country French Organic Flour

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

1 ½ Tbs. sugar

4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 Tbs. melted butter, for brushing


For the filling:

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese

1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

1 tsp. coarse ground brown mustard seeds

3 Tbs. melted butter


Combine milk and water in a bowl.  Sprinkle with yeast and let yeast bloom, 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir to combine.


In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, blend flour, salt and sugar on low speed for 30 seconds.  Slowly add yeast mixture, then add butter.  Increase speed to medium-low and continue kneading an additional 8 to 10 minutes.  Dough should be smooth and elastic and shouldn’t be sticky.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic.  Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Lightly brush the inside of a 9-inch by 5-inch stoneware loaf pan with melted butter.


Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a medium nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, combine the gruyere, thyme, and mustard seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Punch down the dough, turn out onto a lightly floured working surface and roll out into a 16×10-inch rectangle. Brush with 2 Tbs. of the melted butter. Using a pastry scraper or pastry wheel, cut the dough in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 8 even sections. Top each piece of dough evenly with caramelized onions, followed by the cheese mixture. Stack 4 of the topped dough pieces on top of one another, turn the stack sideways and place in the pan so the cheese mixture faces the short end of the pan and the long cut edges of the strips face up. Repeat with the remaining dough, onions, and cheese mixture, lightly pressing the strips into each other. It will be a tight fit.


Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise 30 minutes. Brush the top of the loaf with the remaining 1 Tbs. melted butter.


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.


Remove the plastic and transfer to the oven. Bake until the top is golden and the interior temperature is 190ºF, about 40 minutes, tenting the top of the bread loosely with foil if it begins to brown too quickly. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes, then turn loaf out onto the rack to cool 20 minutes longer before serving. Serve warm. Makes one 9-inch by 5-inch loaf.

12 comments about “Weekend Project: Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Pull-Apart Bread

    1. Williams-Sonoma Post author

      Ema, yes, you can use fresh herbs here instead. If you do, you may want to double the quantity called for, as fresh herbs tend to be less potent than dried ones. Enjoy!

  1. Jeanine Pedersen

    Would I be better off baking ahead of time and then reheating or make, shape,2nd rise, refrigerate & then bake? If I did the 2nd, would I need to allow the bread to return to room temp or could I bake cold?

    1. Williams-Sonoma Post author

      Hi Jeanine, if the bread is made ahead and intended to eat the next day, reheating would be okay.

      We haven’t tested the second method, but if we were to do so, we’d work through the step of assembling the bread strips and onion/cheese mixture into the pan, then covering and refrigerating (omitting the second rise). When you’re ready to bake the next day, I’d let the dough sit out to come to room temp before baking, which might take about an hour or so.

  2. kim naphegyi

    I want to make this in a bundt pan. How should I adjust the recipe and the technique?

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  7. Susan Young

    This is such a wonderful treat! I love this bread and have added it to my Favorites for dinner and as a new addition to my Holiday meal planning. Thanks so much Williams Sonoma <3


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