I saw a bacon and cheese loaf on Happy Home Baking recently. It looks so good that I put it on my to bake list right away. After the bacon wrapped asparagus for dinner, I purposely save some bacon strips for this recipe. I combined a couple of basic dough recipes, added some asiago cheese and create my own version. The house smelled cheesy when the bread was baking in the oven. The bread itself is very soft and full of flavor from bacon and cheese. I couldn’t resist the temptation and sliced a piece (well, more than one) when the bread was still quite warm… Mmm, definitely will make it again!
Bacon & Cheese Loaf Recipe (makes 1 loaf 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.5″)
3 bacon strips
2 cups bread flour
5 tbsp grated asiago cheese
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp yeast
125-150 ml water (depending on absorption of the flour)
1 tbsp butter
Topping: grated asiago cheese
- Pan fry bacon in dry clean pan until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Crush into tiny bit and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl (use the bowl for stand mixer), combine well the bread flour, cheese, sugar, milk powder, salt, black pepper and yeast. With the dough hook attached and the stand mixer on low, add in egg and bacon. Pour in water gradually until the dough form a ball (you may need more or less water depending on the flour). Add in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane test” (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it pass the test).
- Put the dough in a large bowl, covered with cling wrap and let it proof in the fridge overnight. The next day remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit in room temperature for couple of hours. (my loaf didn’t proof as much in the fridge so I let it proof longer time next day next to the stove)
- Lightly knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface. Press out any air bubbles as you knead.
- Roll out the dough to the length of the loaf pan, then roll it up like a swiss roll. Place dough into a lightly greased (sides and bottom) loaf pan with seam side down. Cover and let it proof again for 1-2 hours until the dough is 90% height of the pan. (I proofed it for 2 hours to almost 100% full of the pan, and the bread has a very nice height after baking)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes on med. low rack (so the bread will be positioned at the oven center). Cover the top with foil if the top browns too quickly.
- Remove from loaf pan immediately. Let it cool on the rack before slicing.