Instead of mashed potatoes or noodles, try serving this buttery poppy-seed-and-caramelized-onion bread with your next beef stew or soup. Or try it in a fancy grilled cheese sandwich using two thin slices of bread and some fontina cheese.

Special equipment: You will need a metal 9-by-5-inch loaf pan for this recipe. Loaf pans can be purchased at most cooking supply stores and at many large grocery stores.

Game plan: You can also use this recipe to bake savory muffins instead of bread—just use a standard 12-well muffin pan. Coat the wells with butter and bake the muffins at 350°F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

This recipe was featured as part of our 5 Savory Quick Breads for Fall Baking

  • Yields: 1 (9-inch) loaf
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 35 mins

Ingredients (9)

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon), plus more for coating the pan
  • 3 cups medium-dice yellow onion (from about 2 medium onions)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the bottom. Coat a metal 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter; set aside.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of the measured butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat until foaming. Add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has turned golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in 4 teaspoons of the poppy seeds, remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt together in a large bowl until aerated and any large lumps are broken up; set aside.
  4. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Set aside 1 tablespoon for drizzling on top of the bread. Place the remaining 5 tablespoons in a medium bowl and add the milk, egg, and reserved onion–poppy seed mixture. Whisk until the egg is broken up and the mixture is evenly combined. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined (do not overmix). The batter will be very thick.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it into the corners and smoothing the top. Drizzle the reserved butter over the top of the bread. Evenly sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
  6. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the bread and turn it out onto the rack. Let it cool at least 30 minutes more before slicing.