1/4 c Plus 2 teaspoons unsalted
-butter; room temperature
; (1/2 stick)
1 1/2 c Finely chopped onion
1 c Warm water; (105 F. to 115
1 Envelope quick-rising yeast
1 ts Sugar
1 1/4 ts Salt
4 ts Fennel seeds
3 c All purpose flour; (about)
Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion
and saute until very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to large bowl of
electric mixer fitted with dough hook.
Add 1 cup warm water to onion. Mix in yeast, sugar and salt. Using morter
and pestle, crush 2 teaspoons fennel seeds. Add to onion mixture. Mix in
enough flour 1/2 cup at a time to form medium-soft dough. Kneed dough on
floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Allow dough to
remain on floured work surface; cover with towel and let stand until
beginning to rise, about 20 minutes.
Butter heavy large baking sheet. Kneed dough briefly. Divide dough into 4
equal pieces. Form each piece into ball; flatten into 3/4-inch-thick round,
about 5 inches in diameter. Arrange rounds on prepared baking sheet. Rub
tops with remaining 2 teaspoons butter. Sprinkle remaining 2 teaspoons
whole fennel seeds evenly over rounds and press gently to adhere. Cover
with towel. Let rise in warm draft-free area until puffy, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 F. Bake breads until golden, about 25
minutes. Serve warm.