Braided Bacon and Cheese Loaf
Feb 26, 2006 by Melissa Fehr | 0 Comments| Share it:
Braided bread loaf with bacon and cheese in the center. It’s fantastic served hot from the oven, and even good reheated for breakfast the next morning, or eaten cold as an instant sandwich!
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 package (or 2.25 teaspoons) yeast
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 beaten egg
- 3 slices smoked bacon with the highest meat to fat ratio you can find
- 1 block Irish cheddar cheese (not pre-shredded)
First, mix the water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast blooms and floats to the surface.
Stir in half the flour (1.5 cups) and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Cover with cling film (saran wrap) and let prove somewhere warm (like an airing cupboard) for 40-70 minutes.
Your dough should have doubled in size, and look like this:
Add in the salt, oil and the rest of the flour. Turn onto a floured board (the reverse side of silicon baking mats work well!) and knead until elastic and soft. Form into a ball and return to the now-lightly-oiled bowl.
Recover with cling film and prove again for 50-60 minutes.
Then bring the dough out from its hiding place and punch it down. Recover with cling film and prove for another 50-60 minutes.
Your dough should now look like this:
Put down some parchment paper and roll the dough flat (from here on, I'll only show one loaf - this recipe makes two) with a rolling pin. Roll it out so that the dough is three times longer than it is wide, and as close to rectangular as you can. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.
Preheat your oven to 300F/175C and if you have a pizza stone, add it in now, along with a pan of water. Cover with a dishtowel and let prove where it lies for 20-30 minutes. Then, mentally divide the loaf into 3rds along its width. On the left 1/3 and the right 1/3, cut into 2-3 inch wide strips, leaving the center intact.
Place the bacon along the center, trimming and folding where necessary.
Place the cheddar on top of the bacon.
Now here's the fun braiding part. The female among us will instantly know how this works, but if you're like my boyfriend, you'll probably need some instruction. Starting at the top of the loaf, take a strip from the left side and fold over the bacon and cheese, pinching to seal wherever dough contacts dough. Then take a strip from the right and fold it over, sealing wherever possible. Repeat, alternative left and right, until the end. Pinch both ends so there are no visible holes
Close up of the braiding:
Beat an egg with a fork until scrambled well, and brush on the dough.
Bake on a pizza stone (or cookie sheet) for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the inside oozes with yum.
Have you made this recipe? If so, please rate it.
Final Step: Share It!
Love this recipe? Why don't you share it with others or post a comment. Choose which one below.