Yes I am aware of that onion pie is a fall staple and this is neither the right month nor the right season for it. But this is the time for sitting on the porch with friends with a cold beer and wine (works with both) and I presume onion pie is perfect for putting on the table as a snack or taking to a picnic as an alternative for bread or to accompany a salad and make a real meal out of it. I got the strong feeling we miss out a lot if we limit onion pie to the colder months.
This is a very old and traditional German recipe where I added bacon and use the flavorful bacon fat for frying onions. I am not even sure about the name, it’s a in-between a yeast bread or cake but comes with a pie or pizza-like topping: “onion and bacon pizza kind of pie or cake” sounds not just a little weird?! The bread part is soft with a slightly crunchy crust and the onion and bacon topping bring a lot of flavor to the party with a little sweetness from the onions. Although this is a traditionally recipe it’s not stiff at all, quite contrary! Add paprika powder, cayenne pepper, herbs like parsley and thyme to change or adjust the flavors to the rest on your table.
If you want to go for a vegetarian version, you can use vegetarian bacon or skip it altogether and add two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of vegetable oil to the onions.
Use a baking pan 20 x 30 cm / 8 x 12 inch. or make a free form pie on a baking sheet.
for the yeast dough
250 ml lukewarm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
360 g all purpose flour (more if needed)
1 tsp salt
a slug of olive oil + more for the baking sheet
Measure water and dissolve sugar and yeast, wait 15-20 minutes until you see some bubbles at the surface (if there are non your yeast might be too old).
Add the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast water and knead by hand or with your stand mixer for at least 3 to 4 minutes. This don’t have to be sticky at all, add more water or flour if necessary. Form a ball and sprinkle with some flour, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Keep at a warm (not hot) place for 45 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the topping (instructions below).
Grease your baking pan with olive oil and preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F.
Roll out dough, I usually press and push the dough with my fingers, place on your baking pan and create a rim and spread the topping evenly over the yeast dough. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy hot or cold.
Cover leftovers and keep them in your refrigerator for up to 3 days (maybe more but without guarantee) and you can heat them up in the oven for a couple minutes.
for the onion topping
You can use prosciutto or other lean bacon like turkey or vegetarian bacon if you like. Add some vegetable oil (and some butter for taste) for frying.
3 large Vidalia onions or other sweet variety
approx. 300 g / 10.5 oz thick cut bacon, sliced
250 g / 1 cup + 2 Tbsp sour cream
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
thyme or caraway seeds (both optional)
Peel the onions, half lengthwise, cut the each half into three wedges and slice these wedges roughly, so you will get nice bite size pieces.
In a large frying pan over medium high heat, add the sliced bacon and fry until slightly crisp, then remove from pan with a slotted spoon to keep the bacon fat in the pan and put aside. Add the onion to the same frying pan with the bacon fat (caution with might splatter!), reduce the heat to medium and fry for 8 to 10 minutes. The onions should be golden brown and softer but not brown and crisp. Stir from time to time.
In a medium bowl add all ingredients and stir until well combined.