What’s more Canadian than pemeal bacon? How about maple caramelized onions? We’ve featured both here in a delicious open faced sandwich with freshly baked brioche.
Brioche is a dense, sweet bread, originating from France and typically enjoyed as a dessert. Here, we’ve lightened up on the butter but kept the density, making it the perfect bread to withstand the weight of the Canadianized ingredients.
Pemeal bacon was my special Sunday breakfast treat growing up, and the maple caramelized onions are the perfect sweet compliment to the bacon’s salty flavor. Adding a fried egg gives you the velvety yolk as a sauce, and the arugula adds some freshness. Dig in to your indulgent brunch!
- 2 loaves light brioche
- 1 open faced sandwich
For the sandwich
- 2 slices pemeal bacon
- 1 egg
- ½ onion
- 3 – 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 – 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp molasses
- ¼ cup water
- Small handful arugula
For the bread
- 3 tbsp warm milk
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 ½ tbsp white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 ½ tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- Sliced almonds (optional)
For the bread
- In a small bowl, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast, and sugar. Stir lightly and let stand until foamy, 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.
- In a large bowl (or in a Stand Mixer), whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers to make large crumbs. Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured counter top and knead until smooth and elastic, another 5 – 10 minutes. This dough tends to be stickier than others so it can get messy!
- Shape the dough into a ball, and return to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually 1.5 hours. I like to put my rising dough in an off oven away from any drafts.
- Sprinkle flour into the bottom of two loaf pans to ensure dough won’t stick during the baking process. Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Repeat the below process for each ball:
- Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval shape roughly 6 inches wide and 12 inches long.
- Cut the oval into 3 equal strips (on the long side), leaving the dough attached at the top.
- Begin braiding the dough from the top down. When you get to the end, tuck the tails under.
- Place braided loaf in the loaf pan.
- Cover the loaf pans with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise for an additional 1 – 2 hours.
- Set a shallow pan of water on the oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat remaining egg and brush on top of loaves to get that golden colour during baking. Option here to sprinkle a topping of your choice onto the bread (onion, cheese – we used sliced almonds). Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely before cutting.
For the sandwich
- Prepare the caramelized onions.
- Finely slice the onion lengthwise to create long strips. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and garlic (optional).
- Add onion slices once pan is hot and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low-medium and add half the apple cider vinegar. Continue cooking until liquid is evaporated. Add remainder of apple cider vinegar and cook until evaporated.
- Then, add the maple syrup and molasses (onions should be soft at this point) and stir to coat all the onions.
- Add water and cook until evaporated. The whole process takes about 25 – 30 minutes.
- Toast one slice of bread
- Cook two slices of pemeal bacon in a pan, about two minutes per side.
- Fry the egg to your liking.
- Assemble the sandwich: pemeal bacon on the bottom, topped with caramelized onions, fried egg, and then arugula. A quick grind of pepper on top and you’re ready to dig in!