Makes 1 loaf (20 servings)
½ Cup Onion (chopped)
5 Cups Flour
2 Cup Sharp Cheddar (shredded)
1¼ Cups Warm Water (120°-130°)
1½t Italian Seasoning
1 Egg White (slightly beaten)
1t Kosher Salt
1. In a small skillet cook onion in hot butter or margarine till tender but not brown, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. In a large mixing bowl stir together 1½ cups of the flour and the yeast. Add cooked onion, egg, cheese, 1¼ cups warm water, sugar, Italian seasoning, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (1-1¼ hours). Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Roll dough into a 48-inch-long rope. On the baking sheet form the rope into a large pretzel shape by crossing one end over the other to form a circle, overlapping about 12 inches from each end. Take one end in each hand and twist once at the point where the dough overlaps. Lift each end across to the edge of the circle opposite. Moisten the ends and tuck underneath; press to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place till nearly double (about 45 minutes). Stir together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; brush onto bread. If desired, sprinkle lightly with coarse salt.
5. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 40-45 minutes, or till bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 20 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.