Caramelized Onion Garlic Bread

Caramelized onion garlic bread is a flavor-packed upgrade to the classic side dish. In this delectable creation, sweet and savory caramelized onions and garlic are generously spread over milk bread. The onions, slow-cooked to golden perfection, bring a rich sweetness that complements the robust garlic flavor. The bread is then toasted to a golden brown, allowing the savory aromas to meld with the sweet caramelization. Whether served as a side to a hearty meal or enjoyed on its own, caramelized onion garlic bread elevates the familiar comfort of garlic bread to a new level of culinary delight.

How to make caramelized onion garlic bread

To be quite honest, this is another iteration of our Japanese milk bread recipe. The main difference is how I make a caramelized onion garlic butter. Please follow the recipe linked below using the “dinner roll” method for the milk bread recipe. I will first be going through how to make the compound butter.

To make caramelized onion garlic butter, you would typically need the following ingredients:

  1. Butter: Unsalted butter is commonly used for control over the saltiness of the final product. Soften this to make it easier to mix
  2. Onions: 2 thinly sliced onions, preferably sweet onions, for their natural sweetness when caramelized. To caramelize, cook with butter/olive oil over med low heat while mixing until caramelized.
  3. Garlic: Minced garlic cloves, providing a robust and savory flavor.
  4. Sugar: A small amount of sugar can be added to assist in the caramelization of the onions.
  5. Salt: To enhance the overall seasoning of the butter.
  6. Black Pepper: Ground black pepper adds a touch of warmth and depth to the mixture.

These ingredients are combined and cooked together to create a flavorful and aromatic caramelized onion garlic butter, which we use to spread on the bread.

Japanese Milk Bread

Before you get started with the recipe, I want to say that I would highly recommend using weighted measurements instead of volume. It is much more accurate and can save you a headache.
4.78 from 27 votes
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese



  • 2 tbsp flour 20g
  • 2 tbsp water 27g
  • tbsp milk 60g

Yeast mixture

  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast or instant yeast 10g
  • 2 tbsp lukewarm water 20g


  • Tangzhong
  • Yeast mixture
  • 2⅓ cup AP flour 380g
  • ¼ cup sugar 60g
  • 1 tsp salt 3g
  • ½ cup milk 130g
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp softened unsalted butter


  • Add the active dry yeast into the lukewarm water, mix and allow to sit for 10 minutes. You know the yeast is active if it blooms. If you are using instant yeast, skip this step.
    1 tbsp active dry yeast or instant yeast, 2 tbsp lukewarm water
  • In a saucepan, add the tangzhong ingredients and cook, continuing to stir over low heat until a paste forms. Should be thick and you will be able to pick all of it up with a spoon.
    2 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp water, 4½ tbsp milk
  • Add your yeast mixture and tangzhong along with the remaining dough ingredients except for the softened butter in a stand mixer bowl. If you are using instant yeast, add the yeast and water in at this stage as well. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes or until a proper dough forms.
    Tangzhong, Yeast mixture, 2⅓ cup AP flour, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, ½ cup milk, 1 large egg
  • Add your softened butter, 1 tbsp at a time and mix on medium speed until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is very smooth. If your dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tbsp at a time until manageable.
    3 tbsp softened unsalted butter
  • Allow your dough to proof in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap for 1.5 hours or until doubled in size.

Dinner roll method

  • Portion the dough into 75g pieces and place into a 9 inch cake pan giving them 1cm of space. When shaping, you want to make sure to form surface tension on the dough balls to make sure they come out looking smooth. Allow it to rest another 1 hour
  • Brush with egg wash which is just 1 beaten egg and bake in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes.
  • Top with garlic butter and enjoy.

Loaf method

  • Separate your dough into 3 equal pieces, it should be about 250g each.
  • Flatten each piece into a rectangle.
  • Fold the long sides towards the middle.
  • Roll it up and seal the edge towards the bottom.
  • Place into an oiled 9 inch loaf pan leaving 1 inch of space between each roll.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour.
  • Brush with egg wash which is just 1 egg.
  • Bake 350F for 25-30 minutes. I like to immediately brush with butter and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into.
Keyword baking, bread, milk, milk bread