Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche — BBA, The Final Chapter

The final bread in the BBA Challenge is a whopper. In fact, if you make the whole recipe, you’ll end up with almost 6 pounds of dough. Which is why I made a half recipe, which still made one huge miche.

This is a 3-day bread. On the first day, I fed Edwina (my second sourdough starter) and made a sponge. I also roasted the onion in the oven.

When you start weighing your onions, you may have been baking too much


The onions smelled so good roasting, I wasn’t sure I could wait 2 days to eat them. Once they cooled, I put them in the refrigerator. My sponge was developing slowly, so I left it out on the counter overnight.

The next day, I mixed the dough, which consisted of flour, yeast, water, salt, the sponge, olive oil, chives, cheese, and scallions. The half-recipe calls for 8 ounces of Asiago cheese, half of which goes into the dough. I used a mix of 4 different cheeses: Asiago, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, and Parmesano Reggiano. Between the cheeses, chives, and other ingredients, this was easily the most expensive bread in the BBA Challenge. I think I sunk over $20 in ingredients into this dough.

By cutting the recipe in half, I was able to mix it in my Kitchen Aid. It still made a lot of dough.

The dough fermented for about 3 hours, until it had doubled in size.

I formed the loaf into a miche, placed it on a sheet pan, then put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I took the dough out of the refrigerator and let it rest for about 2 hours. This allowed the dough to come close to room temperature and to rise a bit more. At the end of the proofing period, I brushed the dough with olive oil and dimpled it with my fingers, then sprinkled on the rest of the cheese and the roasted onions.

I baked the loaves with steam in a reducing oven until the internal temperature reached 195 dF. The onions roasted a bit too dark for my taste. The next time I make this bread, I’ll cover it with foil after about 10 to 15 minutes of baking.

This bread was delicious. The cheese and onions gave it a distinct flavor. This was not a timid bread, content to play second fiddle to a main dish. This is a bread that craves, no demands, the spotlight. It would be good with vegetable soup or another sidekick kind of dish. But it really shines on its own.

My wife pronounced it one of her favorite BBA breads. I would have to agree.

Life after the BBA Challenge

The question on a lot of minds is, so, now what? Paul at Yumarama is forming a Mellow Bakers Group; one in which people will bake together at a relaxed pace. First up is Hot Cross Buns. Check out Paul’s blog for details.

As for me, I’m setting off on another long baking journey. I’ll be working my way through Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker, a collection of about 150 recipe covering quick breads, yeast breads, tarts, pies, and cakes.

The Modern Baker Challenge will kick off around the beginning of April. If you’re interested, pick up a copy of Nick’s book, start reading the introductory sections, and check out the ModBak blog for details.


  1. March 23, 2011 at 10:47 am

    […] was, oh, six months ago?  Or, you’re thinking, isn’t that so over?  Didn’t everyone finish by […]

  2. April 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    […] always have Pecorino Romano on hand, but I happened to have some left over from when I made the Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche for the BBA […]

  3. March 23, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Congratulations on finishing the BBA! Not sure how I missed commenting on your post earlier. It’s been a great ride! I just baked the last bread tonight.

    Good luck with your Modern Baking group! I’ll be looking for your posts.

    Happy Baking!

    • gaaarp said,

      March 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks, Cathy. It has been fun. Congratulations on finishing!

      I have baked a few of the Modern Baker recipes already, and I’ve been happy with them so far.

  4. sallybr said,

    March 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Congratulations, Phyl!

    I’ve been away on a trip, and only heard about you crossing the finish line today…

    better late than never to join all others to cheer your victory!

    Thanks for the heads up on your next challenge, 150 recipes is sooo overwhelming…. I also do not have the book, but will be considering the option

    • gaaarp said,

      March 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks, Sally!

      A lot of libraries carry “The Modern Baker”, so you could give it a test run if you want. We are going to be baking each section for 3 month, and during that time, you can bake whatever recipes in the section that tickle your fancy.

      I’m going to try to bake them all, but some people are just going to bake limited recipes in each section. No pressure — but we’d LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN US!!!! 😉

  5. March 17, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    […] I made only 1/3 recipe because I wasn’t sure we would like the bread and BBA fellow baker Phyl wrote that even a 1/2 recipe would make a huge […]

  6. misterrios said,

    March 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Congrats Phyl! A job well done. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. You really can’t go wrong with cheese in bread, and this one looks particularly delectable.

  7. Frieda said,

    March 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Congrats on finishing the challenge with such an amazing bread!

  8. March 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    […] as the 2nd fave of all 43 breads, after the Potato Cheddar and Chives from last week. Phyl over at Of Cabbages and King Cakes called it “not a timid bread” that demands the spotlight. – Phyl is also going to be […]

  9. Handful said,

    March 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I MUST try this. Yours looks amazing!

    • gaaarp said,

      March 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks. It was really good. Watch the onions, though, as they burn easily. Underroast them a bit and be sure to cover the loaf with foil after about 15 minutes of baking.

      • Handful said,

        March 15, 2010 at 8:16 pm

        Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind!

  10. Görel said,

    March 13, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Congratulations, well done! This bread really sounds like good way to finish the challenge with. It will be interesting to find out if I can find Asiago cheese in Sweden, and what the price tag will read!

    — I just googled on Asiago on Swedish sites, and actually found a recipe for savoury icecream with Asiago in it. Who would know.

  11. March 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge! You have been a great source of support and knowledge to so many of us!
    I have to say when I saw Nick Malgieri’s name my heart skipped a beat. If something should ever happen to my husband, and George Clooney were unavailable, then Nick Malgieri would be my next choice! I have been thinking of baking my way through his Cookie book My #1 Passion), but I will check his new book out. I too struggle with pies.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 12, 2010 at 6:03 pm

      Maybe this will make your heart skip another beat: I talked to Nick on the phone last weekend. He is really excited about the Challenge!

  12. ap269 said,

    March 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, totally forgot: Congratulations on finishing the challenge!!!!

  13. ap269 said,

    March 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Looks great! Thanks for the warning – I’m going to make only a 1/4 or 1/3 recipe. First, I’m not sure we really like the bread, second, I don’t want to spend that much money on cheese. I mean, this is for bread!

  14. Txfarmer said,

    March 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Congrats on finishing. I’ve been thinking about what to do next too, thanks for giving me some ideas. I don’t have that Mod baker book, but looks interesting….

  15. March 12, 2010 at 11:44 am

    That looks delicious, Phyl! I can’t wait to make it but I’m so not looking forward to spending all that cash on cheese!

  16. oggi said,

    March 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Congratulations Phyl! The bread looks fantastic.

    I’m loving The Modern Baker concept because I am a breads, cakes, and tarts fiend.:-)

    • gaaarp said,

      March 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      I’m looking forward to this new challenge, too. I have made quite a few cakes in my time, but I tend to shy away from pies, as I have never been very good at making crust. I’m hoping to overcome that during this challenge!

  17. Natashya said,

    March 12, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I loved this one too – mine got pretty darned dark as well!
    Congratulations on finishing the BBA!!!!!
    I still have the potato, cheddar and chive torpedoes to do and then I will join you in the finished circle. 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      March 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      A friend of mine from TFL ( said he found that if you underroast the onions a bit and let them finish roasting during baking, it works out pretty well. He put foil ove the loaf after the first 15 minutes or so, too.

  18. Yumarama said,

    March 12, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Way to go Phyl, and I agree, this was a great bread to finish the BBA on.

    It’s been a fun ride baking along with you. Let me know when you get your ModBak effort underway, I’ll be happy to promote it on my blog as well. Sounds like you’ll be delving into really tasty new territory! I’m sure the kids will be tickled pink over this new venture!

  19. AnneMarie said,

    March 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I enjoyed this bread. I’m still working on my post but the bread is gone. I brought one loaf into work and a coworker said that it was better than chocolate cake.

    I’ll have to look at the Modern Baker cookbook. We aren’t big cake, tart or pie eaters. I could bring them into work…

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