UPDATED: Onion Buns

You know when you find a recipe that you love so much that when it starts to run out you get all anxious and start compiling the ingredients to make it all over again?? Well within the last few weeks I've made these buns over 4 times! They used to be a treat when we went grocery shopping until I realized that if I could make challah at home why not try out onion buns?

Speaking of challah, you can probably tell from a previous post that I am obsessed with the Gatherings cookbook. Upon the advice of a friend, I tried out the challah recipe in it recently. I don't know why I never attempted it! Maybe I was just used to my usual recipe and still trying to perfect it that I didn't pay attention to any others. Gatherings has yet to let me down so I figured the suggestion to try it out wouldn't hurt. The outcome? Well... it was pretty epic. I adapted it to accommodate my sweet tooth, but besides that it was my ideal challah recipe. One bowl, 15 minutes to prep and no mess!

Which brings us to the onion buns. M loves onion buns, LOVES them. The first time I made this recipe he barely waited until they were out of the oven before juggling them around to cool off - is there any better compliment than barely waiting for food to cool to want to devour it?!

This recipe is an adaptation based on the Gatherings challah recipe and Norene Gilletz's "Best Ever Onion Buns" from her cookbook, "The Food Processor Bible" *A quick note about this book: It's awesome. If you have a food processor and have been reluctant to try it out or feel like you aren't really getting the most of out it, this book gives you 500+ opportunities to change that! (Since I've been spending my days recently on an intense job hunt, I've found the most effective way to wind down has been to pour over cookbooks. Luckily this has meant great things for this corner of my world!) After the success with the challah and coming across this onion bun recipe, I was ready to merge the two and see what I could make. The result? Warm, fluffy onion buns!

One last thing - a moment of truth. I am not a fan of onions. Yes I know, I've heard it all. Onions are crucial to all cooking, onions provide flavor, onions are basically where it's at. I'm just not a fan. C'mon 1. It's a veggie, people are allowed to be hesitant with veggies 2. Any veggie that makes you cry just trying to prepare it has to be some kind of warning, no? Having said that, M has been working quite diligently to change my opinion. I've accepted sauteed onions and even had a full bowl of French onion soup two weeks ago! The scent alone of this bread, fresh out of the oven may be enough to give me that last push into total acceptance. They're that good.


Onion Buns (makes approximately 10-12 medium sized buns)

*Adapted from "Gatherings" pg. 105 & "The Food Processor Bible" pg. 268

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 c very warm water (110-120F)
3/4 c white sugar
1/4 c oil
1 egg
1/2 onion
1/2 c bread crumbs (My secret ingredient: I use the Pereg brand "American Seasoned" The flavor of the breadcrumbs enhances the entire flavor of the buns and adds an extra kick! If you can't find these, using a food processor and day old bread pulse 2-3 slices with seasoning salt, oregano, onion powder and sesame seeds until fine)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
dash of finely ground black pepper
1 egg yolk with 1 tsp water and 1/4 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, 1 c + 2 tsp of flour, and salt.

Slowly add the warm water, honey, oil and egg. Stir until you have a smooth mixture.

Gradually add the remaining flour, 1/2 c at a time until a soft dough has formed (I stop at around 2 l/2 cups and leave the remaining half cup for kneading/ dusting the prep surface)

Knead the dough and form into a ball. Cover and set aside for 25 minutes.

Dice the onion and place in a small bowl. Add the bread crumbs, oil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Lightly knead dough on a floured surface for 1 minute.

Separate the dough into 8 portions (More or less, using your discretion depending on how large you'd like the buns to be. 8 buns results in one's about the size of a hamburger bun. Just a head's up, they don't rise too much, so you're most likely looking at about a quarter larger than the dough you leave to rise).

In the center of each bun, make an indentation with your finger. Add one tbsp of the bread crumb mixture. Fold up the bun, from the sides so that the center is embedded. Using your hands roll the dough into a ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all the dough is used.

Sprinkle the remainder of the breadcrumb mixture over top of the buns, approximately 1 tsp each.

Cover and allow to rise for 3 hours, in a warm area (I usually place mine on a baking sheet on the stove top with the oven on, very, very low)

Brush each bun with the egg wash

Bake at 325F for 20 minutes

Quickly brush over once again with egg wash

Return to oven for 5 minutes


  1. Ohhh my goodness! I LOVE Onion Buns! This is the perfect recipe going into summer, aka "grilling season" in Chicago! Thank you for posting, I will definitely be making these with yummy burgers all summer long.

  2. Thanks so much Erica! They've been a hit around here lately, I hope you enjoy them too! Your raspberry dark chocolate cupcakes are on my to-bake list!! They look amazing!

  3. Thanks for posting this! I've been thinking about making these! I miss those onions buns they used to serve at Ratners.

    1. Thanks so much, Hindy! These have completely replaced the ones we used to pick up grocery shopping! Hope you enjoy them just as much as we do!

  4. I love onion buns. These look so yummy. I can't wait to give them a try!

  5. These look great, and perfect for my husband to take to work. No spills, no containers, no cutlery needed. Extra points for all of that, and we haven't even gotten to the flavor yet. :)


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