Bacon Cheddar Bread

Bacon Cheddar Bread

Cheddar-Bacon-Bread6 cups all purpose flour

3 1/4 cups warm water

2 tsp. instant yeast

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sugar

2 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

10 strips cooked bacon, chopped and divided

fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl combine water, yeast, salt and sugar. Allow mixture to sit for several minutes.  Add flour, two cups of cheese, 1/2 bacon and fresh ground black pepper. Stir with spoon until combined. Dough will be shaggy. Don’t stress if it looks messy. It will come together in the end.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour.  After an hour, turn dough out onto a floured board and knead for a few minutes. It does not need to be completely smooth. Just knead it long enough to come together and place dough into a loaf pan.  Cover loaf with remaining cheese and bacon. Cover with towel and allow to rest for thirty minutes.  Bake in a 400º oven for fifteen minutes. Cover loosely with foil and reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for another 25 minutes. Remove foil and allow to bake for another 5 minutes.   NOTE! Readers have alerted me that the pan I use is apparently larger than the standard 9×5. Therefore, either divide the batch in half and make two smaller loaves, or cut off about 1 1/2 cups of the dough for a taller loaf. Use the leftovers to make a couple of mini loaves or bake in muffin cups.

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