Bacon Cheddar Bread

By • April 6, 2010 12 Comments

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Author Notes: One of my favorite loaves. Exceptional as a savory french toast. Spread with apple butter and a slab of (more) cheddar for an awesome grilled cheese. Toast and then spread with mashed avocado and a slice of garden-fresh tomato. I could go on. This is my grandmother's basic white loaf, but she would be horrified to see what I've done to it. (The resting technique I learned in a class a few years ago. It makes for a much lighter yeast bread.)MrsWheelbarrow

Serves 2 loaves

  • 12 ounces warm whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4-5 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup bacon, cooked very crisp, drained and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup finely minced chives
  1. Whisk together the milk, egg, sugar, salt, butter and yeast until the yeast is dissolved.
  2. Add half the flour, mix well with a rubber spatula. Dump about 1/2 c of flour on the counter and scrape the dough out onto the flour. Allow it to rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the chives, bacon and cheddar cheese over the dough. Add another 1/2 cup of flour and mix it all together using your floured hands and a bench scraper until well combined. It may be sticky. Once it's manageable (still sticky), let it rest again for a few minutes.
  4. Knead some more, adding no more than 1/2 c additional flour. Your bread will be lighter and have a better crumb if you can avoid adding more flour. It should be smooth, elastic and a tiny bit sticky. If it becomes difficult to manage, walk away and let it rest for a few minutes, then return and knead.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it to coat with the oil. Cover and let it rise for about an hour - doubled in volume.
  6. Lightly butter (or PAM) two loaf pans. Divide the dough into two pieces. Weigh them if you want to be exact.
  7. Press each piece out into a rectangle and then roll it up and place in a loaf pan seam side down. Oil or spray the tops of the loaves and allow them to rise for another hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 350. Brush loaves with melted butter or an egg wash for a shinier crust, then split the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.

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