Caramelize the onions the day before, then refrigerate. Bring them to room temperature before adding to the flour mixture.
- 2 cups finely minced sweet onions, about 2 medium onions
- 6 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast, sometimes called fast-acting or rapid-rise
- 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) milk, lukewarm, about 95°
- 6 1/2 cups (29 ounces) bread flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- dried minced onion
- sesame seeds
Combine the yeast and milk in a large cup or small bowl. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.
In the mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the milk and yeast mixture, the bread flour, sugar, salt, and the lightly beaten egg. Add the cooled onion and butter mixture and stir until well combined. With the dough hook, knead the dough for about 6 to 8 minutes, until elastic. Add small amounts of water if the dough seems too stiff. If the dough is too soft, add small amounts of flour to coax it to leave the sides of the bowl.
Alternatively, the dough may be kneaded by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes.
Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil. Gather the dough into a ball and place in the oiled bowl. Turn to coat all sides with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into 2- to 3-ounce knots or rounds, or use a kaiser roll stamp. To make a knot, roll a portion of the dough into a rope about 14 inches in length. Form a simple loose overhand knot, leaving long ends and a small open center. Take one end and wrap it over the loop. Take the other end and wrap it over and into the middle of the loop, pinching both ends together on the bottom.*
Place the shaped rolls on the parchment lined baking sheet, spacing about 2 1/2 to 3 inches apart.
Cover the shaped rolls loosely with clean dish towels and let rise for another hour.
Heat the oven to 375°.
Brush the rolls with the egg white mixture. Sprinkle with dried minced onion and sesame seeds.
Bake the rolls for 15 to 18 minutes, or until nicely browned.
*Fine Cooking has step-by-step pictures for shaping a knot roll.